Steps to Remaining Sober:Don’t
DON’T KID YOURSELF!
The “I Can Have Just One” is a Myth!
Believing that one drink (drug, etc.) can’t hurt is a mind game destined to sabotage your sobriety. You know better; your sponsor knows better; your family knows better.
I Can Substitute!
Another slippery slope is believing you can substitute your drug of choice with some other substance you didn’t love. Not true! Mind altering does just that!
I Do Not Have to Avoid People, Places and Things
The operational word in new sobriety is to avoid- people, places and things familiar to your using life! Avoid people and places where friends or family from your ‘using’ days will be in attendance, regardless of whether it is your best friend, older brother, or your younger cousin. If you used together, it is a trigger for picking up again. Places can trigger flashbacks of your previous life. It can exhume overwhelming feelings that you buried alive years ago.
I Can Jump Into a New Relationship!
Nothing is probably more dangerous to new sobriety than the thrill of a new relationship. However, it is suggested in most 12 step programs that you not make any relationship changes for a year. Do not end present relationships; do not start a new relationship.
While not much is more energizing and adrenalin boosting than a pair of black leather pants and stiletto heels headed in your direction, or a hunk with big shoulders and cowboy boots waiting on the checkout line, don’t get involved.
The high of new love, and its attendant unexplored sex, is a common occasion of slipping; the messy ending of an unhealthy relationship, formed because of the neediness of new sobriety, will also derail your efforts.
Steps to Remaining Sober! Do
Do Have an Escape Plan.
Unless you want to find yourself sipping a drink, taking a drug, betting on the super bowl, unwrapping a 48 pack of chocolate, or calling that married man you finally accepted as an addiction, you must have a stratagem for staying sober. Hoping for sudden will power is a clear path to a relapse! If you decide to attend the family gathering, plan to arrive after the cocktail hour and make your excuses to leave before the drinking, etc. resumes. And, some parties may have to be missed this year.
Do Attend 12 Step Meetings and Call Your Sponsor.
During the holidays, have the phone numbers of members of your Support System, and your sponsor on speed dial. If you have to make twenty calls to get through the day, make them. If you haven’t joined a 12 Step Program, time to consider it.
Look around for Sober Activitiy groups. Many groups host holiday dinners; New Year’s parties; and Super Bowl gatherings. There are sober ski trips, cruises, singles clubs. Seek out those who are also trying to stay sober.
Steps to Remaining Sober: Coping With Relationships
Single and Sober
If you believe you should be celebrating the holidays with the love of your life or getting a fabulous gift from someone other than the cat, holidays can signal disappointment. Being with a gorgeous mate does not a relationship make, nor do gifts a destroyed relationship revive.
Want to retain your sobriety? Don’t judge your circumstances against the Hallmark version of the holidays.
Married and Sober
If you are married, and experiencing confusing, sad, empty feelings in new sobriety, do not put these feelings under a microscope. Feelings are not facts- they change.
Don’t torture yourself by scouring the crowds in every mall, looking for happy, partying couples to prove how miserable you are in sobriety. You really do not know how anyone is feeling. “Don’t judge your insides by someone else’s outsides.”
Even with some resistance from your spouse for being at meetings all the time, attend them. Invite your spouse to an Al-Anon meeting.
At this moment in time, sobriety is the first priority!
Steps To Remaining Sober: New Year’s Eve.
This holiday can trigger many of your fondest drunk-o-logue stories. If so, give yourself permission to forget about it for this year. It is one day out of the year. Actually, it is a few hours, in the evening, of one day of the year. You do not have to be alone. Find some sober activities.
———————————— What to Do?—————-
- Attend a 12 Step meeting.
- Remember your Serenity Prayer.
- Be on speed dial with your sponsor.
- Attend a gathering, hosted by a 12 Step member.
- Remember your 12 Step Slogans, for example:
“Let Go and Let God.”
Ask yourself, “How important is it?”
“Take it One Day at a Time.”
” Never get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.”