New Year’s Eve can be a trying time for those individuals who feel less than optimistic about the future. Yes, it is a time for celebration and cheer, but it is also a time for self-reflection, and sometimes that can be tough. This can be especially true for people in recovery. It can be easy to lose gratitude for all that we have done to come so far in our recovery, and thus forsake the optimism we need to proceed. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to not only have a safe and sober New Year’s Eve but also celebrate one filled with gratitude and optimism.
It’s New Year’s Eve, I’m Sober, Now What?
Many people in recovery get nervous when it comes to holidays. This is because many of the holidays that we are familiar with are saturated in alcohol and drinking culture. Now, this is particularly true with New Year’s Eve.
Even so, there is no reason to be nervous around these holidays as long as our recovery is in strong standing, and we have the proper tools and resources we need to stay sober in the face of potentially “triggering” situations. As long we are connected to our recovery, and are willing to maintain and make connections as needed, we can be safe and sober in any situation, including holidays like New Year’s Eve.
How to Stay Safe and Sober on New Year’s Eve
The key to staying safe and sober on New Year’s Eve is to have a game plan before, during, and after any event that we may be participating in, or party we may be attending. Doing so will ensure that we are holding ourselves accountable for our recovery when it matters most. Before going out on New Year’s Eve, it is a good idea to reach out to others in recovery to discuss your plans.
These discussions can help us determine if we are heading into a healthy situation. For example, if we are going to a bar with a bunch of people that we used to drink with, an individual may ask questions like, “Do they know you are sober?” “Is anyone else there sober?” “Do you have resentments with anyone there?” “Do you have an exit strategy?” The answer to these questions should help us to decide if we are heading into an environment that may jeopardize our recovery. Also, if we do choose to go out, it is important that we have both an entrance and an exit strategy.
For example, if we are going to someone’s house party that is going to have alcohol, we may make it a point to bring our own beverages. We may also find it helpful to bring a friend along who is also sober so that we have an ally at the party. Lastly, we should always have a plan, such as a person to call to pick us up if we feel triggered to drink (or use substances). Reaching out to someone is also helpful after we leave a New Year’s event. They can help us process the evening and see if we have any issues that we should work on to not let them fester toward relapse.
Being Grateful for the Past and Looking Toward the Future
One of the most beautiful aspects of New Year’s Eve is that we get to look back at the year and let go of anything that did not turn out as we had planned. It is a reminder that while we cannot do anything about the past, we can map out a new healthy future.
Also, we must remember to be grateful for the time in recovery that we have achieved. We must remember that for an individual in recovery, even one day without drinking and using substances is a success. So achieving 365 of them in a row is a major blessing.
Also, we can be grateful for the future ahead. We know that being sober allows us to pursue all of the things that our active addiction robbed us of. New Year’s Eve is a perfect time to make a plan to make those things a reality.
Celebrating Sobriety at Lantana Recovery
Here at Lantana Recovery, we know that holidays like New Year’s Eve can be tough. But, we also know that we have the tools that can help anyone in recovery have a safe and sober New Year’s Eve.
We must always remember that recovery is always best done “One day at a time.” This includes when ringing in the new year. But, while it is one day, it is the one day that helps to remind us of how far we have come and how far we can go.
New Year’s Eve can be particularly triggering for people in recovery. One of the reasons for this is that it is so enmeshed in alcohol and substance use. The good news is there are plenty of fun and healthy ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve while sober. This includes throwing a party with other people in recovery and taking the time to be grateful for all of the hard work that they have put in thus far, as well as being optimistic for all of the good times that lie ahead. For more information on how to have a safe and sober New Year’s Eve, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.