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Christmas Eve is on the horizon, which means some of you in recovery have invites to holiday parties. It’s quite common for one’s workplace to celebrate the holidays by hosting office Christmas parties. For most people, such gatherings are a welcomed opportunity to imbibe with their coworkers; yet, those in recovery are unlikely to share their teammates’ enthusiasm.

The month of December is notoriously difficult for people in recovery, especially for those whose program is not the strongest. Incessant partying and overindulgence all around you can tip the scales of an already shaky program. So, if you fall into that camp and have received an invite to a holiday party, you may want to think long and hard about whether or not you should attend.

Protecting one’s recovery must be one’s priority, at all times. Even if you’ve been slipping on getting to meetings, or “step work,” doesn’t mean you can’t exercise caution about events that could jeopardize your program. You put a lot of effort into getting where you are today, please don’t attend a party just because you feel obligated. If you don’t go, you’ll still have a job; if you go and experience a relapse, you stand to lose everything you’ve worked for in the blink of an eye.


Holiday Parties In Recovery


Those in recovery learn the importance of handling Christmas parties with prudence, quickly. If you are new to the program, there are some things you can do to ensure you get through parties without incident. Showing up a little bit late will keep you out of the spotlight; leaving the party before others will prevent you from being around drunkenness. People will likely ask you why you are not imbibing (not that it’s anybody’s business), it’s best you have a prescription response formulated for such an eventuality. Being a person with a history of addiction, you shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a believable excuse; i.e., saying you’re not drinking right now, you have to drive, or that you’re on antibiotics.

Some people like to get smart with responding to their coworkers; others will use humor to avoid unwanted pressure to drink. Any number of excuses will suffice, just find one that you’re confident will do the job. Again, it’s nobody’s business why you choose to abstain, but being prepared will make it easier to keep peers at bay.

Make sure you talk to your sponsor before deciding to attend a party. He or she will have suggestions to share with you, or they may tell you that this is not the right time to take chances with your program. Everyone is at a different place in their recovery, at the moment going to a party might be too big of a risk. Remember, our best intentions can often lead to trouble, which is why we show deference to our peers in the program who have more time and experience dealing with these kinds of circumstances. If your sponsor feels that your head is in the right place and your program is solid enough, there isn’t any reason why you can’t manage a holiday party.


Treatment Over The Holiday

The holiday season often affords some people time off from work. Now, might be a good time to take an extended holiday to address an alcohol or substance use disorder. If drug or alcohol are negatively impacting your life, Hope By The Sea can help. Addiction recovery can be your New Year’s resolution, one that brings about lasting changes in your life. Please contact us today to begin the life-saving process of recovery.