You’ve decided to get sober – an awesome decision to support your physical and mental well-being that will radiate outwards to benefit so many areas of your life. When you share your decision with a select few who are close to you early on in your sobriety, they show you support and encourage your decision. That’s awesome! Once you’ve gotten a solid streak of sobriety under your belt and start to hit your stride, you decide to tell others. The momentum keeps going until, abruptly, you get some feedback you didn’t expect and it really hurts. That’s when you realize, there are some people who won’t be supportive of your sobriety.
If you’ve already experienced this or haven’t yet, let me be clear: other people not being supportive of your decision to get sober has absolutely NOTHING to do with you and everything to do with them. Don’t let their opinions make you second guess yourself as to whether or not it’s something you should be doing if you feel good about doing it.
Having been an online sobriety coach for over two years now (and sober for three and a half), I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about sobriety. Here are the top five I’ve come across, and what the reality is. (I originally posted this on Medium)
1) Everything will be full of sunshine and rainbows after the first few weeks of sobriety.
While the first few weeks of sobriety can be challenging, you’re unfortunately not in the clear once you get through them. It is 100% true that the days, weeks, and months to follow can be more manageable once you make it past the first few weeks (and, let’s face it, they aren’t possible unless you make it past the first few weeks), but that doesn’t mean things are going to be smooth sailing from there on out. It’s that sort of thinking that lands a lot of people in trouble. They build up a type of confidence that makes them cocky — they think they’re invincible and that their drinking problem is a thing of the past. While it’s awesome to be confident with your sobriety, I constantly remind my coaching clients that they need to be comfortable in their sobriety in order for it to really stick.
The holidays (Christmas/Hanukkah through New Year’s Day) can be rough for SO many reasons. Perhaps you’re spending time with family you can’t stand, or you’re alone while everyone else is with their families. Maybe you’re facing financial hardships and can’t get everyone the gifts you’d like to give them, or maybe you don’t even have time to try to pick out presents in the first place because you’ve got too much going on in your life right now. You also might be attending parties with friends or family where alcohol will be flowing freely – but you’re trying to stop drinking and haven’t told anyone yet.
Whether drinking is your response to stress, anxiety, boredom, or celebration (or simply doing it because everyone else is and you feel awkward not to join in), you’re reading this because you want to stay sober during the holidays. I’ve had to deal with this struggle myself and help my resilient clients here at Coached by Taylor through this difficult time of the year as well.
How do you stay sober during the holidays? It won’t be effortless but no matter where you’re at in your sobriety, whether it’s day one or one hundred, here are 15 tips to help you get through the holiday season sober. These tips span a variety of different situations you might find yourself in. I encourage you to utilize as many as you can!