Alcoholism Recovery: 12 Steps to Stay Sober Over the Christmas Holidays

November 30, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

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By Larry Smith

One of the most difficult times of the year for those recovering from alcoholism is the Christmas holidays. If you find yourself struggling during the Christmas season, please remember that you are not alone. Help is only a phone call or a meeting away! Here are some helpful and practical tips to keep you from taking that first drink.

1. Plan Each and Every Day of Your Holiday

Plan to spend the majority of your time with friends and family who are supportive of your recovery. If you are required to be present for a social gathering where alcohol is being served, bring a fellow AA member with you. Plan fun events and outings to replace your old drinking rituals.

2. Find an “Alkathon” in Your Area

During the Christmas season, some AA groups hold a marathon of meetings called an “Alkathon.” It is a time when the members of Alcoholics Anonymous gather together to celebrate their recovery from alcohol addiction. Many AA groups have meetings on the hour every hour to share their experience, strength and hope. If you are a member of the fellowship or think that you might have a problem with alcohol, you are welcome to attend. Check the local papers for an “Alkathon” in your area.

3. Ask for Support from Your Family and Friends

Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays. Be up front and tell them your concerns.

4. Have a List of at Least Ten People you can call if you feel the Urge to Drink

Make a list and check it twice. Carry your cell phone and your list of names at all times. The urge to drink is very powerful and can happen at any time.

5. Don’t Forget about Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is an essential component of any balanced recovery program. If you have extra time on your hands, it is a great idea to get out and exercise. Examples include running, skating, cross country skiing, stretching, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates or water aerobics. Instead of napping on the couch after dinner, go for a walk around the block.

6. Stay Away from Slippery Places

There is absolutely no reason to ever check out your former favorite drinking establishments. It is very likely that your old drinking buddies are still there and are still telling the same old stories.

7. Create New Traditions to replace your Old Drinking Patterns

Try something totally different during the holidays. Buy a new board game; take the family on a sleigh ride; prepare a family power point presentation. Use you imagination, be creative and have fun.

8. Write out a Daily Gratitude List

The quickest cure to get you out of the holiday blues is by counting your blessings. Be grateful for what you have by writing out a gratitude list every morning. Don’t stop writing until you have at least 10 items on your list.

9. Volunteer your Services to a Charitable Organization

There are many people in your community who are homeless and hungry. Why not volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or at a special Christmas dinner for those less fortunate than you? You will be helping not only the needy but yourself!

10. Write a Letter to yourself. How I Stayed Sober over Christmas.

The act of writing your ideas on paper is very powerful. Write down all the activities and events that will help you have healthy happy sober Christmas. Now take action on them and make this letter come true!

11. Avoid H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T. stands for:

• Hungry

• Angry

• Lonely

• Tired

There are very simple solutions for all of the above items. If you are hungry, get something to eat. If you are angry, talk to somebody about it. If you are lonely, go to a meeting or call a friend. If you are tired, get a good night’s sleep.

12. Live One Day at a time and Enjoy your Sobriety!

Stay in the moment. Have present time consciousness. Be in the now. These are all different ways of telling you to live 1 day at a time. Never mind about what happened or what could happen. Enjoy today. Live today. Celebrate your sobriety!

If you follow these simple steps, it is totally feasible to stay sober over the Christmas Holidays. Take action now! Print out this article and plan a Happy and Healthy holiday season.

Dr. Larry Smith Chiropractor and Author of:

Embrace the Journey of Recovery: From Tragedy to Triumph!

Are You Recovering From Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

“If your answer is yes, then this book is for you!”

Embrace the Journey of Recovery will passionately reignite your spirit and teach you how to confront, conquer and powerfully triumph over addiction, cancer or any other life threatening illness! Is addiction a genuine life threatening illness like cancer? If so, then why is it concealed behind a wall of shame and denial?

Discover the answer and experience the remarkable story of two courageous yet ordinary individuals and their astonishing recoveries from heartbreaking tragedy. Find out how a cancer survivor and an alcoholic mutually support each other and passionately embrace the journey of recovery.

Their message is simple. They transformed their lives and you can too!

To find out more about this exciting new book click here:

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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