Here we go again—another New Year’s Eve coming up and yet another year off the sauce. Or, maybe it’s your first year sober and you’ve never done New Year’s (or any holiday, for that matter) without boozing it up. In any event, holidays that typically involve copious amounts of cocktails, white powders, and/or other questionable substances can often seem daunting for those of us with addiction issues. And, while they can actually be not only bearable but quite fun sober, it usually takes some getting used to.
Here are some tips to make any holiday, birthday, or big event easier or, dare we say, even enjoyable while sober:
- Bring a sober wingman or wingwoman. If you’re planning on hitting a New Year’s Eve party where you know there will be lots of alcohol, drugs, or both, why not invite a sober pal along? It’s always nice to have someone around who’s on your wavelength. If you have a friend by your side that you know will forgo the booze with you, you’ll be in good company and you two can have a laugh while the other guests get tipsy.
- Plan your own sober gathering. Who says alcohol or drugs need to be involved at a party or event anyway? If your idea of fun does NOT include being surrounded by people who are drunk or high off their faces, then get your sober friends together and have a dinner party. You can do a potluck, or make it a tapas-style event — have your friends all pull together to organize. Sober dinner parties are awesome, and there’s just something about having a night of celebration with a group of people who are totally present. The conversations are usually a lot more meaningful, and you’ll all remember it the next day. How cool is that?
- Go to the movies. Holiday movie nights with pals can be SO much fun, and there’s usually not a lot of pressure to get hammered at the movie theater. Popcorn, a good flick, and a fun group of friends are a sure-fire recipe for success.
- Host your own movie night at home. We know there are a lot of public places around the world that aren’t open right now. If your local movie theater is closed, why not host a film night at your pad or a friend’s? Make sure everyone you’re inviting is healthy of course (including yourself). It’s an awesome way to get your pals together, order a few pizzas, and have a cozy, fun, sober night of entertainment at home. Bars and nightclubs are overrated in our humble opinion.
- Host an ugly sweater party. Ugly sweater parties aren’t JUST for Christmas, you know? And they’re a brilliant way to get in a few good laughs with pals sans drugs or alcohol. And, depending on how comfortable you and your sober friends are with the situation, there’s always the option of having guests bring their own booze if they’re drinkers. We don’t really think it’s necessary, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want people drinking. Either way, when there are ugly sweaters involved, it’s hard not to have fun. Don’t forget to take loads of pictures!
- Stay home with a friend, significant other, your pup, or just yourself — cook a nice meal. Sometimes a nice meal and the company of just one person (or a furry friend) that you really care about is just what the doctor orders. And, if you’re around people often, perhaps you’ll be happy on your own (dinner for one, anybody?). Just make sure it doesn’t feel like you’re isolating if you do end up staying in solo. If it does, call a sober friend and have a chat. Just because it’s New Year’s or some other holiday doesn’t mean you have to go out. Cook something nice for yourself and/or whomever you’re with, and just enjoy a quiet evening with a few episodes of your favorite Netflix show.
- Hit a meeting. Are you in a recovery program? If so, and if you don’t have any plans, why not go to a recovery meeting? If there are no live meetings around, find one online. There are always online meetings happening for people in just about every time zone, so jump on a site like www.intherooms.com and find one. Guaranteed you’ll find plenty of sober people home with no plans except that online meeting (where you could actually end up helping someone else).
Remember, just because it’s a big drinking holiday doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have fun without getting smashed. In fact, most of those who’ve been sober for a significant period of time will likely tell you that social events are MORE fun sober. It takes getting used to, but once we get comfortable in our skin without altering our brain chemistry, most of us find that we make better connections and have more interesting conversions than we ever did before. And yes, we have more fun, too, believe it or not.
Life in recovery is surprisingly exciting because once you realize you don’t need substances to have a good time, you’re free. And you get to say goodbye to hangovers forever, too. If you ask us, that’s one of the sweetest deals of them all.
Kembali Recovery Center can Help
If you or someone you love is struggling to get or stay clean, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about our program and to get updates on the current travel rules in Indonesia. Remember, you never have to do this alone.