Holidays and Sobriety

Edited by Living Sober

Last updated October 31, 2008

Holidays for alcoholics and addicts can be trying times. Drinking alcohol is often the norm, even for non-alcoholics during certain holidays. Halloween is one of the biggest drinking and drug using holidays there is. When a person is in treatment during the holiday season, focus is placed on the triggers of the holiday season. Sober events are often planned for residents in treatment that teach clients how to have fun without drinking or using drugs during the holiday. There are many sober events in the local Orange County Community that people in recovery attend during the holidays. Halloween is particularly difficult because unlike other holidays that happen during the daytime, Halloween parties are typically night events and the Halloween party environment is typically filled with sex and drinking alcohol. These can be major triggers for the person in recovery and it is not suggested that anyone with less than a year of sobriety attend functions of this sort without sober friends in accompaniment or not at all. One of the reasons why the first year of sobriety is so important is because a person is able to experience all the holidays sober for the first time, making it easier the next. Navigating a holiday sober is difficult even for non-alcoholics and addicts, let alone alcoholics and addicts. Many Alano Clubs have 24 hour AA and NA meetings during holidays. There have been many times in my early sobriety when I would leave a family holiday party, or a Halloween party to attend one of these round-the-clock AA meetings. Halloween can also be used in a positive way for many alcoholics and addicts new to recovery. Halloween gives a newly sober person the opportunity to disguise themselves and feel more comfortable at a party than they might feel without the disguise. When I was new in sobriety, I wore a mask so no one could see me, and I danced for the first time sober. I wasn’t afraid of how I looked or what people thought of me, because they couldn’t see me. So it was a great opportunity for me to learn how to dance in sobriety!

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