Learning to plan a sober holiday is an important part of maintaining one’s sobriety outside of the recovery sphere. While there can be numerous reasons to celebrate a sober holiday, learning to do so in a safe way is crucial to ensure that one’s festivities remain consistent with their sober goals and identity. Setting new traditions, being selective about a guest list, and keeping the spirit and reason behind the celebration at the forefront of one’s mind are all important parts of throwing a successful sober party that both acts as a celebration of one’s accomplishments, as well as a reaffirmation of one’s sobriety going forward.
Allowing Yourself to Celebrate
The idea of throwing a sober holiday for one’s accomplishments can be a hurdle in its own right. Despite one’s progress in the recovery sphere or the strides one has made in maintaining one’s distance from drugs or alcohol, there can still be a great deal of shame, guilt, or anger revolving around one’s past use of addictive substances. As a result, it can be difficult to find a reason to celebrate one’s accomplishments.
Such a mentality can linger in the back of one’s mind, mitigating their accomplishments by filtering them through a framework of guilt. However, it is important to acknowledge the genuine difficulty of addiction recovery and that each person is encouraged to celebrate their accomplishments. Allowing oneself to celebrate their accomplishments is a crucial part of maintaining motivation while providing mental respite from the daily struggles of coping with stressors, urges, or other parts of life outside of the recovery sphere.
Reasons to celebrate can come in several forms. An individual may want to celebrate their six months or one-year sober milestones, or they could celebrate the restoration of familial relationships or friendships made possible by one’s sobriety. While the addiction recovery process is a long and arduous one, buried in the stress are also many triumphs and reasons for genuine celebration. It is important to acknowledge these opportunities for the genuine benefits they possess.
Creating New Traditions
Creating a new tradition in sobriety can hold a lot of power in one’s recovery. For some, there can be a certain image that comes to mind when the idea of celebration, parties, or other kinds of social gatherings is brought up. Those in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol may closely associate the idea of parties with their past use of addictive substances and will work diligently to distance themselves from this idea. Starting a new tradition is a great way to give holidays, or even one’s own sober anniversary or celebration, a new tone that can be used to model the idea of these celebrations going forward.
New traditions can be any number of things, but most of their power lies in their ability to recontextualize one’s notions of what a celebration can be. For some, this can mean beginning a new tradition of being the cook at a barbeque, where an individual can both continue to showcase their life skills and acts of service but can also control the flow of food and drink to ensure that no alcohol appears at the party.
Others may start other kinds of traditions, such as getting together and watching a marathon of The Lord of the Rings trilogy or taking a family vacation to the beach or into the city. These new traditions can even be reflections of one’s childhood, reinvigorating past interests and familial bonds before the reins of addiction had introduced themselves, calling back to old favorite board games, activities, or other reminders of one’s childhood.
Be Selective About the Guestlist
Throwing one’s own sober party means that the power to populate it with only the most supportive people lies in the hands of the host. The idea of a party can already be disconcerting, and there can be several preconceived notions that still need to be addressed in one’s mind. Having guests who are not understanding or conducive to the idea of a sober party can be an active detriment to one’s sustained abstinence from drugs or alcohol or can undermine one’s sober identity. Even individuals who may simply not understand the choice to remain completely sober can create their own hurdles by pestering with questions about one’s choice and taking focus away from the new traditions and fellowship being developed.
Being selective about one’s guest list and only inviting those who are fully supportive and understanding of one’s new sober identity can keep these sober celebrations focused on the positive future moving forward. Having small, intimate gatherings that allow for deeper connections and traditions to develop is paramount in avoiding the chance for these celebrations to unintentionally turn into a high-risk situation.
Planning a sober holiday can be an important testament to one’s progress in recovery and the implementation of sober coping strategies. At Everlast Recovery, we are prepared to help you continue to develop these strategies, address your personal concerns, as well as celebrate and revel in your successes throughout your recovery journey. We offer a personalized approach to recovery, and many of our programs are designed to meet you where you are in your journey. Whether you are just taking your first steps into a new, sober life or you are looking to embrace new strategies to continue to maintain your sobriety as an alumnus, we offer an array of programs that can be personalized to fit your needs and goals. Our homestyle approach also promotes an atmosphere of comfort and community, backed by a calming and supportive environment, to help you focus your efforts on achieving your sober goals. For more information on how we can help you or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.