On Thanksgiving Day, many people come together as families and friends to celebrate their blessings. For some, Thanksgiving is a difficult day as it’s also a holiday that frequently involves drinking. Having a sober Thanksgiving free of substance abuse can be a real challenge.
The danger for someone in recovery lies in peer pressure. You’re happy to stick with punch, soda, or an alternative beverage. But others may lean on you and cajole you into giving up your commitment to sobriety. Or maybe it’s just the mere availability of alcohol that poses difficulties. Don’t give in. With courage and with planning, you can have a sober Thanksgiving.
Ideas for a Sober Thanksgiving
With all that swirling around you, it may seem like the odds are against you in maintaining your sober Thanksgiving. It could mean that you find yourself as the only person (other than kids) who isn’t drinking. But staying focused on sobriety is possible. Here are some ideas for making a sober Thanksgiving no big deal:
- Think ahead – Rehearse a script for what you’ll say when offered alcohol or drugs. Have a discussion with the hosts, so they know what to expect.
- Bring your own – If you are a guest and not the host, bring along your own alcohol-free beverages. That makes it easier to stick to your plan.
- Don’t go it alone – Have another person by your side — a spouse or friend — who is also committed to a sober Thanksgiving. It makes sure you’re not the lone focal point.
- Be prepared to escape – The party might get to be a little too much for you. Decide that it’s OK to politely excuse yourself.
With forethought, you can plan for a sober Thanksgiving.
Activities Grounded in Sobriety
One option for a sober Thanksgiving may be to step away from the pressures altogether. Certainly, separating from family isn’t anyone’s first choice.
But it may be best to keep to your plan for a successful recovery. Here are some off-the-path activities that dramatically reduce the risk of substance abuse:
- Plan a vacation out of town – Go skiing, go someplace warm, wherever suits you best. You can be in control of your own destiny and have fun, too
- Make your own celebration – Stay home with your loved ones. After dinner, go to the movies if you can — or have a “movie night” right in the family room
- Volunteer – Helping those less fortunate, such as serving dinner at a homeless shelter, helps focus you outwardly
Having a sober Thanksgiving and avoiding substance abuse can seem a challenge. But with good planning, you can remain on the recovery path.
Use Your Support Networks
The challenge of maintaining sobriety can feel isolating and alone. As you learn in treatment, that’s what your post-addiction support plan is all about.
Reach out to your mentor or sponsor. They have lived through the same situations and can help provide wisdom, strength, and support. If need be, set up an addiction therapy session in the week before the Thanksgiving holiday.
If you do slip, all is not lost. You’re human. Just know that the people around you love you and support you, and you have the resources you need to get you back on track.
Sticking to Your Path at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
A sober Thanksgiving, free of substance abuse, is the right goal. It has its challenges. But you’re doing the right thing. And know that Georgia Addiction Treatment Center is always by your side. Our clinical staff prides itself on taking an individualized, patient-centered approach. We look at the whole person and develop a treatment plan that works. Georgia Addiction Treatment Center offers outpatient programs, including our partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient program. We also offer an alumni program that provides another outlet for support. Start the process of recovery today. Reach out to a counselor at 833.641.0661 to get started.