5 Tips for Ringing in the New Year without Ruining Your Recovery
It's hard to believe this year is coming to a close, but I guess we say that pretty much every year.
The days go by slow, but the years go by fast.
Whether you are in active addiction, reevaluating your relationship with drugs or alcohol, or searching for tips to help you continue on your recovery journey - it is our prayer that 2022 be the year you seek God and rid yourself of anything that doesn't grow you closer to him.
Surround Yourself with People That Support Your Recovery
In addiction recovery we always talk about people, places and things.
"You are who you hang around."
With a holiday like New Year's Eve fast approaching it is extra imperative that you ensure your friends and family are going to support your recovery and at a minimum they are not going to suggest that you drink or use drugs to celebrate.
We all know someone that likes to pressure others. Especially when a toast is involved.
If friends and family can't be supportive of the wise choices you are making for your life then you have to use even more wisdom and decline their invitation.
If you need help setting boundaries shoot us an email. We'd love to pray with you about it.
Choose to Celebrate Somewhere That is Not Placing Yourself in a High Risk Situation
If you've determined that your friends and family will be supportive of your recovery and you are confident in your ability to remain sober wherever you all decide to ring in the New Year - that's great!
But what if you're not so sure about your family and friends positively supporting your sobriety?
Are there any other options out there?
A great place to start is your local church. Perhaps you already have one you attend. Or maybe this could be your way of getting to know new people in a sober setting.
Check with the churches in your area to see if they are putting on a NYE event. Chances are there will be awesome music, great company and free food!
Are you a member of an AA, NA or Celebrate Recovery group?
Get involved with your small group and plan a sober celebration!
If neither of these options appeal to you.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with spending the holiday in the security of your own home.
The best part is you can be comfortable in your pajamas and if you don't want to stay up until midnight - your bed is nearby!
If You Decide to Attend a Party You don't Have to Feel Left Out without a Festive Drink. Check Out These Non-Alcoholic Options
One way to turn a normal bubbly water into a festive drink is to simply add a garnish.
Some people feel peer pressured by others observing that they are not drinking.
By looking at this drink you have no idea whether it contains alcohol or not (not that it is anyone's business!)
But especially if you are new to sobriety or even if you haven't committed to complete abstinence yet - having a club soda or a bubbly water with a garnish may be all you need to feel at ease.
Another option, if you are celebrating at a restaurant, for example, request your drink of choice without alcohol.
A virgin daiquiri tastes just as good as an alcoholic one and in addition to no alcohol - there's also no drunken regrets and no hangover!
Can you say "winning?!"
This next recommendation seems juvenile to some, but my personal favorite is sparkling grape juice. It was fun as a kid and it's fun now.
I said what I said.
With all these options in mind the one thing that may sound like a good idea, but I would caution against is beer labeled as non-alcoholic.
Not many people know this, but NA beers still contain some small amounts of alcohol.
Not only that, but the taste is so similar to an actual beer that I find it tends to hurt people in their recovery more than help them.
It can be a slippery slope.
Comment below to let us know how you plan to stay committed to your recovery for NYE and beyond.
However You Ultimately Choose to Celebrate Make a Wise Decision
It's been said that when we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.
Not many people will put in the time and effort of weighing out the consequences of their decisions.
Some of you reading this may even impulsively choose to attend a party knowing the chances of you remaining sober are highly unlikely.
That just speaks to where you are in your recovery journey.
Others of you have hit rock bottom and will take these suggestions to heart.
When faced with making a decision a good old fashioned pros and cons list can be greatly beneficial.
If you are struggling with who you should surround yourself with, where you should go, or what you should drink then take the time to make this list.
You know how to do it, so what are you waiting for? Get out your pen and paper.
Just make sure you take the consequence of each option to its logical end.
For example, if I write that having a drink will be fun and make me more sociable.
I must follow that up with I've had many horrible nights and I've made countless, shameful mistakes when I thought I was just going out for a fun night.
On the contrary if I write that not drinking will make me less outgoing and I won't really enjoy myself. I must follow that up with, but I've never been arrested sober.
Would I rather be "socially awkward" or possibly end up arrested?
Well, now that just seems like a no brainer.
When you make your list be sure to not allow your brain to play those justification and minimization tricks that it likes to do.
Be honest with yourself.
You know what you've been through regarding your relationship with alcohol or drugs and you also know what you're capable of when you are drunk or high.
If there is any part of you that wants to ensure your health and safety then you must honestly answer whether or not drinking or using jeopardizes either.
Lastly and Most Importantly Pray About it
Oh how we underestimate the power of prayer.
As we stated from the beginning - it is our prayer that you will rid yourself of anything that interferes with the growth of your relationship with God.
If it's drugs, alcohol, toxic relationships, pornography, the love of money, unhealthy foods, social media, greed, laziness, or anything else that creates a divide - we intercede on your behalf that those stumbling blocks would be moved!
We pray that nothing, absolutely nothing comes before God.
We ask that as you draw near to God that he would also draw near to you.
We pray for those that are struggling, hurting, or sick.
We pray that God would heal all areas of your life and every aspect of your health: mental , physical, emotional, financial and spiritual.
Yes, Lord, we know that you are able!
Please, Lord, hear our prayer.
If you prayed with us today will you please do us a favor and type amen in the comment section. We want to pray specifically for anyone that was touched by today's message.
Substance Abuse Counselor