Holidays can be hard! There is so much normalization around drinking and partying around the holidays. Especially, it seems, in the summer time.
But what about those of us who are committed to their sobriety? I think it’s important to acknowledge the emotions, frustrations, fears, sadness, etc. that comes up in times like these, so I’m sharing what’s there for me in hopes that it will give someone else strength.
You’re not alone.
I love the 4th of July and I’m super excited to be fully present for the fireworks for the first time in years. But I’m also slightly triggered emotionally (not tempted) because I’ll be spending the day with my family, which is great, but will be going to a very large, very NON-sober party.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to be right there with them. I’m not better than anyone just because I don’t drink anymore. I absolutely love the people I’m spending the day with and must be clear that I’m not casting judgement. To each their own! Everyone is at their own place in this crazy thing called life and I respect that.
But sometimes, for those of us who used to drink, it’s just a big bummer and can be frustrating that so many holidays are inundated and saturated with drinking. Going to events and certain places feels lonely sometimes. We can easily be triggered by memories. Top that with being single (or whatever else you might be dealing with) and you could have a recipe for trouble.
Not everyone who chooses this path can or should put themselves in certain environments where temptation could be an issue. There was certainly a time for me when that was not a good idea. And I still have to be my own judge and advocate for my sobriety. It’s way too important to me to get complacent about it.
On the other hand, there are people who have no problem going to parties, bars or whatever. The important thing is that you keep conscious and take actions that work for you. Know what you're getting into and have a back up plan if it doesn't work out.
No matter who you are, sobriety and recovery takes a constant awareness of one’s self. We don’t get to flounder around and take chances with ourselves on this path. Not if we want to stay on it.
I am definitely in no way tempted to drink and there’s no question for me that I will stand strong through this holiday, AND I will thoroughly enjoy the day with so many people that I love. I’m thankful for my sobriety and love that I get to be an example to my kids, and who knows who else might be inspired to look at themselves differently.
Still, I think it’s important to acknowledge all of the thoughts & emotions that sneak up in sobriety.
Can you relate? What comes up for you in times like these? How do you get through and stand strong in your recovery?
Wherever you are on this journey, please know that you’re not alone. It doesn’t matter what it looks like on social media, or how much time you have under your belt.
We’re all just human beings doing this thing one day at a time. None of us are immune to the challenges and struggles that come up. No one is strong ALL of the time.
Make sure to reach out if you need help or support. We’re in this together!