Bringing in the New Year Sober
Well, ladies and gents, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching! I think this may just be, by all accounts, the biggest drinking day in the entire world, and here we are trying to stay sober!
Oh, for goodness sake, how do we get through this night sober!?
For a long time in early sobriety, I dreaded the New Year’s!! I still wanted to celebrate it and celebrate it BIG, you know, party like a rock star! Of course totally forgetting that I am 40+, mom of three and I haven’t partied like a rock star, since, well… probably never, but I sure would like to think that I did!
Back then being sober seemed like… sooo boring… there was no way to celebrate anything big and actually have a good time because celebrating always equaled drinking! This is by far the biggest misconception about getting sober!!! We somehow start believing that all the fun is now over… it all got poured down the drain with the booze… we are now condemned to live a glum and boring life… forever! But that is absolutely not true!
Don’t set yourself up for failure
Playing negative talk and expecting to have a super lame time no matter what you do on New Years in no way to have any fun and a possible path to a relapse.
Take care of yourself
It is easy to push yourself too hard, to set expectations too high and to allow yourself to be spread too thin. The final result of all this stress could be you deciding to cut loose and get drunk. No matter how much you may feel obligated to show up to every party, or try to make the holidays perfect for everyone, remember to set limits and take care of yourself, so that you do not end up burning yourself out.
Set up a reward for staying sober
One thing you can do to increase the likelihood that you will make it through New Year’s Eve sober is to arrange some type of reward for yourself. Maybe it is a purchase of some item you have been wanting, or perhaps it is being able to have New Year’s brunch at your favorite restaurant. Whatever it may be, find something that will motivate you to stick to your decision to stay sober on New Year’s Eve.
Now that we are sober, we can actually do anything we want, and any way we want it. So instead of getting depressed about not partying on New Year’s, I recommend creating some new, fun, and special traditions to help you celebrate this awesome night sober!
Start a New Tradition: Our new tradition for New Year’s Eve, is the “My favorite things” night! Basically we all wear our favorite clothes, eat our favorite foods, and play our favorite games. This is the one night when I let the kids eat the worst of all junk foods, and wear absolutely whatever they want!
Celebrate with sober friends: You probably know someone, or perhaps even many people, who are not all that interested in getting wasted on New Years. Maybe they are having their own party, or maybe you can go with them to another party. Also many 12-step groups have alcothons the entire 24 hours starting on New Year’s eve and continuing on New Year’s day. This is definitely a great way to connect with carrying sober people!
Get started early on your New Year’s resolution: If you have been struggling with relapse or have just recently decided to quit, you probably have a New Year’s resolution along the lines of, “I finally quit in 2016!” But why wait until January first to get started on this? Begin applying your resolution on New Year’s Eve. That way, you won’t have to start off your 2016 with a hangover, and you can be that much more proud of yourself for having started out the year on the right foot.
Remember, having fun in sobriety can be a whole new learning process. All the firsts are difficult at first. Like a toddler learning how to walk, being sober means re-learning everything we thought we once knew how to do only while drinking. So, start with a few things and keep trying others. The greatest part of this process is that you may find some new things that are actually really fun to do sober!
Be sure to check out: 100 Fun Things To Do Sober post for some fun ideas!
And of course, you can’t forget to watch the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Happy Sober New Year!
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