Holiday Survival Guide
For The Alcoholic
Holidays happen most every month, if not national ones, than personal ones like birthdays, job-related
celebrations, anniversaries, and birthdays.
These are all events where alcohol may be a part of the scene and a temptation to the person trying to manage
the disease, alcoholism.
This is an especially trying time of year for someone struggling with alcohol dependency, because alcohol is a
traditionally expected part of some celebrations.
Where that fact may have been a happy one while partaking of alcoholic drinks; as someone who cannot partake, it
can be a nightmare.
Here are some tips that may help to guide you safely through these events and allow you to celebrate them with a
minimal amount of anxiety.
Plan to stay sober. You must put some thought into this plan. This plan should include
several key parts.
1. An escape plan for if the temptation becomes too great to resist and you need to leave
the celebration quickly. A confident and non-drinking buddy is important to have along with you.
2. When accepting the invitation to the celebration assure the host/hostess that you will
attend for a short while.
3. Drink non-alcoholic beverages and be sure you trust the person giving you the drink,
better yet make your own drink if possible.
4. Now is the time to attend your support group(s) more often, not less.
5. Stay knowledgeable about your disease, including the addictive part of it. Dont be
fooled into thinking that because you have gone through treatment that the pull will lessen. You must always be
aware and on guard.
6. Surround yourself with non-drinking friends and acquaintances whenever possible. Avoid
the temptation. Non-alcoholic celebrations can be just as jovial.
7. Seek help through prayer or mediation to gather inner strength.
8. If date/partner/spouse is a drinker (not wise, but sometimes unavoidable) then insist
on driving by yourself to the party and meet them there. This way if they start to drink and have a good time and
you need to leave, you can.
Did You Know
Alcoholism is influenced by both hereditary and environmental factors. Addictions,
particularly addictions to alcohol tend to run in families and it is known that genes to play a
role in that process. Research has shown in recent years that people who have/had alcoholic parents
are more likely to develop the same disorder themselves.
Interestingly, men have a greater propensity towards alcoholism in this
circumstance than women. People with lowered inhibitions are at an even greater risk for becoming
alcoholics. The two main characteristics for becoming addicted to alcohol stem from having an
immediate family member who is an alcoholic and having a high-risk personality.
A person with a high-risk personality is one where he or she has lower inhibitions
and thrives on taking risks in most all situations. If a person comes from a family with one or
more alcoholics and likes to take risks, they should recognized that they are at what is considered
high risk for becoming an alcoholic.
At this time, it is thought that the genetic tendency toward
alcoholism in a person does not ensure that he or she will become an alcoholic but instead
just means that those people feel the effects of the alcohol more intensely and quickly. In
effect, the determination of genetic risk is only a determination of higher risk toward the
addiction and not necessarily an indication of future alcoholism.
9. Always remember that you have a disease that can be fatal if not managed properly,
that glass or bottle of alcohol is so not worth it!
10. Keep loved ones or your sponsor close to you during holidays and any other trying
times. Make sure you surround yourself with those who understand your treatment program enough to remind you
about your plan or steps, even if doing so normally irritates you. You will be glad during the holidays to have
this extra support. Keeping in mind also, that ultimately sobriety is a personal responsibility.
Group therapy or attending a self help group is always beneficial to anyone wanting to
recover from alcoholism.
11. Stay active and involved in holiday activities that your support group will be having
to assist you in surviving the holidays. Understand that your first holiday season (Thanksgiving through New
Years) sober, will be your toughest and you really need to have a huge arsenal of support lined up and a
iron-clad plan, before they begin.
Get assistance making your plan from your doctor, treatment facilitator, sponsor, support group, best friend,