Staying Sober During the Holidays.

The holiday season is here. Which means all of those parties and social gatherings are growing closer and closer together.

Holidays are difficult for most people. So trying to stay sober during this season can feel impossible.

Aside from emotional baggage, the holiday season comes marching in with an army of champagne flutes, wine, whiskey, and every kind of booze imaginable. Yes ’tis the season can feel like walking through a landmine field for those of us in sobriety.

Not to mention the rise of wine memes that are almost as mind numbing as wine itself. There seems to be no escape. But do not be discouraged. There is still hope.

I know what it’s like to “white knuckle it” through the holidays. And trust me, no one needs to live this kind of hell.

While grinding our teeth at every passing wine glass is certainly one way to do it, it’s not the one I recommend. So let’s look at how to make this holiday season light and enjoyable-ish.

We are learning how to release unnecessary pressure.

If you have anxiety then you already know how it begins. It starts with subtle intrusions. The space for routine starts to shrink, and somehow, at the exact same time, the room for another excuse or reason to cancel seems almost non-existent.

The holidays will not stop for our schedules or our needs. Eventually we have to step out and engage in our own lives—totally naked. But it doesn’t have to be this crippling, terrifying situation. In fact, staying sober through all of the chaos is the most sacred attribute that we have.

I realize now that even for those of us who are hard core introverts, sobriety is the most empowering tool we have access to in social situations.

The social freedom of staying sober is a beautiful thing.

We are allowed to be a completely whole person. A person who knows themselves enough to know what is right and best for them even during stressful times.

Staying sober is our greatest asset. Tuning into this place before heading out on tinsel town is where we begin. Here are some of the major benefits of going to parties in sobriety.

Concrete Memories of the Event. You will know exactly what you said even if it was awkward.

How many times have we embarrassed ourselves or our loved ones with a drunken debate or misunderstanding about that woman in the corner who does not like us?

Drinking only makes it more difficult to see reality, and in social situations, reality is the juicy part where we can grow the most. If we open our minds to the situation as an opportunity to offer what we have and receive what is there, we are really receiving the fruits of our dharma.

Honest Interactions. Stepping back into social living in sobriety means that we notice everything. Take advantage of this.

Embrace the engagements you have with those who honestly care about you.

I’ve had to break connections with people in my sobriety because I found out that we only got along while I was drinking. This is an opportunity to be exactly who and what you are without any distractions.

But this doesn’t mean that we have to give 100% of ourselves to everyone who walks up to us. It means that we can shine our light appropriately for those who are meant to absorb it.

The right people will find us and hear us just as we are. We get more out of these honest interactions than we fully understand. This is living our true potential.

Confidence in the Truth. We all know those photos from the end of the night at someone’s wedding or holiday party where everyone looks destroyed in their nice outfits. Sobriety means that you keep who you are and how you appear in tact.

Be confident in your clear heart and mind because it will show.

This is a silent reward in situations where things get out of hand. If I am sweating, it is because I am dancing so much, and if someone makes fun of my dancing, that is not my damn problem.

Responsibility.We  are responsible for ourselves, so we can be confident about that!

It’s empowering to drive ourselves home confidently whenever we want without having to worry about anything. Responsibility looks beautiful on you. Trust me.

Welcome to sober life.

The gifts of sobriety can translate to places outside of sober situations. Be who you are because this is already more than most people are capable of doing.

Never succumb to the illusion that sobriety takes away from your ability to fully enjoy people and situations. This is a lie. It is the exact opposite. 

Look at this Holiday season as an opportunity to start new traditions and embrace new aspects of yourself with your loved ones as the person that you really are. If anything, this is the richest and most fertile soil for personal growth. Good luck out there, beautiful. ❤ 

For more on the sobriety journey, follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and check out The OAM facebook page.

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