Holidays are especially challenging for recovering addicts. If you’ve just started your alcohol-free life, staying sober this Thanksgiving might seem like a struggle rather than a joy. However, there’s a way to dodge unpleasant scenarios and make the celebration more comfortable for you. This comprehensive guide is curated to help you go through it in the best way possible.
Whenever you need professional help, the doors to Bright Futures Treatment Center are open for you. In addition to drug and alcohol rehab programs, we provide some of the most effective addiction solutions Florida has on offer. That includes relapse prevention planning and consultations with our team. Our aftercare program is there to make sure a patient remains on the right track. So, give us a call at your earliest convenience and let us know how we can help.
The importance of a sobriety strategy on a Thanksgiving
It takes time to go back to daily life struggles after rehab. Holidays spent with a bunch of family members can add up to the stress when you’re not ready. This is why it comes in handy to open your journal (if you have it) and remind yourself of the coping mechanisms you’ve learned. This doesn’t mean that you should be feared of relapse in an environment where people are having more than a few glasses of alcohol. You’ll actually feel a lot better when you know in advance how to make your first sober Thanksgiving less overwhelming, and more fun.
However, if you’re still in the middle of intensive outpatient program Florida, consult with professionals. Based on the stage of your recovery, they’ll decide whether attending Thanksgiving is actually good for you.
1) Inform the people in advance that you aren’t drinking alcohol
The most obvious thing to do is to let family members/friends know you’re staying alcohol-free. This is enough to say, especially if you’re not willing to mention you’ve completed the alcohol rehab Florida program. Your sole request not to be served alcoholic drinks is more than sufficient.
If there happen to be people who don’t take your alcohol-free lifestyle seriously, try to keep a calm composure. In addition to all kinds of triggering situations, such people are a challenge to deal with during the post-rehab phase. They are likely to try to convince you to taste a drink, and not e a “downer”. Politely refuse and remind them you’re not drinking.
2) Bring your favorite non-alcoholic beverage
Just because you’re staying away from alcohol, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a glass of something, be it juice or iced tea. So, bring your own non-alcoholic beverage to the Thanksgiving feast. Moreover, no one will offer you alcohol when they see you already have a drink of your own. Just make sure you have enough beverages with you
3) Go with one or two people you trust
It helps a lot to have someone with you who can help you stay accountable. It may be a close friend or family member you trust. However, make sure they won’t be having alcoholic drinks. Give them permission to act quickly if they notice you’re about to sip on wine, etc. You’ll feel a lot safer when you know someone you trust is there with you.
4) Schedule a therapy session prior to attending the Thanksgiving
Give a call to your therapist and schedule an additional session in advance. Let them know what’s the occasion and that you could use some extra guidance. The therapist will remind you of all measures of precaution you should take in order to have a pleasant Thanksgiving. It’s also the opportunity, to be honest about your progress. Is there something that keeps triggering your relapse? Are there some related issues you can’t seem to overcome? Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to share it with your therapist. Admitting to ongoing problems and drawbacks will keep you away from possible relapse. Finally, go over the coping skills you learned during aftercare treatment once more.
5) Focus on the positive aspect of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reconnect with close family members and those you haven’t seen for a long time. So, try to focus on the positive sides of Thanksgiving. Ask your cousins how they’re doing, start a conversation, and stay with people who uplift your mood. The less you think of potential triggers, the more easy-going the whole event will be for you.
6) Decide in advance how long you would like to stay
Of course, unless you end up having a great time with close people, there’s no need to stay longer than you planned. However, expect the host to propose staying longer for some outdoor festivities, for instance. Therefore, have a backup plan ready. Decide when will you go right after Thanksgiving, or have a friend you came with remind you at some point it’s time to leave. After all, you can also make up a strong excuse to leave.
7) Remain patient with difficult family members
There are almost always those kinds of judgemental family members who look down on others. If some of them happen to know about your recovery, remember it’s nothing to be ashamed about. So, remind yourself of how far you’ve come and what you had to go through to get your life back. Unfortunately, some of them are more than willing to try to trigger you and thus provoke you to relapse. With toxic members of your family, it’s best to stay grounded, calm, and unbothered. Prepare in advance that they might throw passive-aggressive comments at you.
8) Visualize the celebration
Visualization may not predict the entire event but certainly helps you to prepare mentally. Sit down, and close your eyes. Focus on breathing. Imagine yourself entering a home where Thanksgiving takes place. Are you nervous? Is there an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach? If so, focus on a solution. Remind yourself you have nothing to be afraid of and that you’ve come to have a good time. Next, imagine how would you greet people and how would you refuse to drink.
Spend each day until Thanksgiving visualizing the event. The purpose of it is to train your brain for a plethora of potential scenarios and ease anxiety. You’ll be better and handling yourself when you know what to expect. In addition, you can ask a few friends you trust to simulate the situation. They can pretend to be the hosts/family members who ask unpleasant questions and keep offering you drinks. Do it until you perfect a clear and concise response. It will be much easier to do the same at the actual Thanksgiving.
9) Breathing exercises help with an anxious feeling
If you’re prone to anxiety, remember breaking exercises you’ve learned. However, make sure to practice them on a daily basis. Increased blood flow carries more oxygen to your brain, which helps you stay calm and collected.
10) Don’t depend on anyone for the ride home
Either drive yourself or schedule an Uber/Taxi to pick you up at a certain time. Don’t forget to bring enough money with you.
11) Be a Thanksgiving host
If you feel uncomfortable going to a Thanksgiving, why not host it instead? Simply announce to your close people you’re hosting a sober Thanksgiving. Ask your significant other or friends to help you prepare some meals, snacks, and decor for the gathering. Don’t forget to explicitly remind everyone that alcohol isn’t allowed, for obvious reasons.
12) What if you find Thanksgiving extremely triggering no matter what?
You don’t have to feel guilty for not wanting to partake in Thanksgiving festivities. Your well-being comes first, therefore it’s important to stay protective of your sobriety. Inform the hosts in advance that you won’t be coming. If you need more time until you start going to gatherings, know that’s completely fine.
13) Volunteering can give your Thanksgiving day a purpose
By helping others, we uplift ourselves as well. Therefore, if you’re not into celebrations, use this Thanksgiving to volunteer for an organization or institution you support – Red Cross, NGO, orphanage, etc. Ask someone close to you to join if they’re interested. Charities usually organize donations and announce calls for new volunteers a few weeks in advance.
14) Have a comfy and cozy day
If all you need is proper rest, away from the daily buzz, get comfortable at your home.
15) You aren’t rude if you say no
Another crucial aspect of an Adderall addiction rehab (or any rehab for that matter) is to learn how to say “no” to anything that may harm your health. Also, saying “no” means setting borders with others. It’s not a sign of rudeness, but self-respect. That said if you have to repeat no to anyone who is trying to convince you to have drinks with them, do it without a second thought. Moreover, you don’t owe anyone any additional explanation for why you refuse to partake in anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Don’t hesitate to seek additional support to remain sober prior to and during Thanksgiving
Even after successful crack cocaine rehab, additional support is often necessary. Sobriety is also a matter f habit. It takes time to get used to a sober lifestyle and the sound choices you make on a daily basis. So, don’t hesitate to take extra steps in order to remain sober, especially in the first few days.
Consider relapse prevention
Choose an alcohol and drug rehab Palm Beach center that involves a customized relapse prevention plan after the rehab. The plan you get will be like an anchor for each day of your sober life. The more you exercise sober behaviors, the easier it becomes to combat cravings.
Steps to take in case you happen to take a sip on a Thanksgiving
For some recovering addicts, social gatherings make it easier for them to slip into old behaviors. While this doesn’t mean you’re back to inpatient rehab Florida treatment centers recommend in cases of severe addictions.
However, you should take the immediate steps:
- Ask a friend you brought to leave as soon as possible.
- Go to the bathroom and do breathing exercises. After that, kindly say goodbye to the hosts and guests.
- Go straight to your home.
- Schedule therapy sessions and be honest about how it happened. This may serve to upgrade your relapse prevention plan.
- Call someone close to you and explain the situation.
- Switch your focus to creative outlets, sports, and anything that serves as a healthy coping mechanism.
Consider insurance options if you need to re-enter rehab
Apply for insurance to easily fund your recovery. For example:
- Aetna – Make sure to ask does Aetna cover alcohol rehab at your center.
- Amerihealth – If you wonder does Amerihealth cover drug rehab at your chosen rehab facility, better confirm this with them.
There are other insurance plans you can make the most of. Just ensure you’re qualified to apply for them. Also, don’t forget to verify which of them is accepted at a rehab center.
Contact us at Bright Futures Treatment Center
We are there to make sure you overcome addictive patterns for good and live a prosperous life. Feel free to give us a call whenever you need help and guidance. Our innovative programs and methods serve to make the rehab and aftercare phase smooth, yet effective for each patient. At our center, you have all the help at your disposal, as well as support from renowned addiction recovery professionals.