New Year’s Eve is a time when people typically celebrate the past year and make resolutions for the upcoming year. The reality of most New Year’s Eve celebrations is that they not only include alcohol, the day seems obsessed with it. Drunken New Year’s parties are so common they have become a cliché.
Obviously this can be a very difficult time for individuals in recovery. Knowing how to navigate this challenging time is imperative for maintaining sobriety.
“Stick with other sober people to increase the circle of support around you this New Year’s Eve.”
New Year’s Eve can feel lonely if you don’t have sober friends you can reach out to, because so many New Year’s celebrations involve alcohol and drugs. If possible, contact friends and support several days prior to New Year’s Eve to help you feel connected and to minimize feelings of loneliness. Reaching out to your sponsor can be a big help and can provide positive support for you around New Year’s Eve. Find out if your local central office has anything planned for a sober new years gathering, meeting, or both.
If thoughts of using begin to creep in, it is important to remember how bad things were when you were in active addiction. Remember the consequences you had from using. Realize that this time of year tends to glorify alcohol and partying. So, don’t let fond memories keep you from realistically remembering the bad times and the consequences you faced from using. At the end of the night, and early that next morning you will still be you, but if you ended up using, you would have to wake up hungover, off the wagon, and in mush worse place than had you "played the tape through." Don't get caught up in romancing the thought of using, remember what it truly looks like when you use, the whole picture.
If you must attend a party that will involve drinking, plan ahead. Take a sober companion to accompany you to a party. You can hold each other accountable throughout the night. Have a nonalcoholic drink in your hand to avoid constantly being asked. Enjoy the party food and snacks, you deserve a sweet treat. And leave promptly if you feel triggered. You will find that there are other people not there for the alcohol, and are always good people to strike up sober conversations with.
If things get tough, remember, the day will pass and upholding your sobriety is something that you can cherish and applaud yourself for surviving New Year’s Eve. Setting New Year’s resolutions enables you to identify goals that you can work towards throughout the New Year. Happy New Year!