Trying to prevent relapse and stay sober during the holidays can be hard. Believe me, I know! So, to help you along, I have compiled a list of tips to help keep you safe and sober this Easter. (Which falls on Sunday, April 1, 2018) Feel free to print this list out and carry it in your wallet or your purse. (I know I will keep this same list with me this Easter since I am celebrating my 7 months of sobriety today.)
The good thing about this list is that you can use it not only during the holidays but for events such as birthdays, parties, and get-togethers with friends and family.
- Start each day with a plan to fend off relapse.
- Say the Serenity Prayer in your over and over when tempted with a substance.
- Know your triggers.
- Keep stress under control by learning and practicing relaxation techniques. (Such as deep breathing or counting to 10)
- Let people know that you are no longer use your substance of choice. If people are aware, they won’t ask you to use.
- Plan on attending a meeting before or after your Easter plans.
- Keep in touch with your sponsor.
- Keep numbers with you and handy for other people in recovery.
- Keep a non-alcoholic beverage with you at all times so that if someone offers you a drink you can say that you that you already have one.
- Always have an escape plan.
- Keep some chocolate or sugar-free candy with you in case you get cravings (it is said that eating chocolate or sucking on hard candies can help with cravings).
- If someone offers you a drink or substance you can you say that you had an allergic reaction last time.
- Bring someone who is either in recovery or that does not use substances with you for support.
- Rehearse responses to use when asked to partake in using a substance.
- Learn to move past your cravings. (Cravings typically only last about two minutes, so hang tight and stay strong because the urge to use will not last forever. Tell yourself that you are strong and can get past the craving! You got this!)
- Lean on your support system.
- Just say “No.” (No, thanks. I am _______ driving/trying to abstain/trying to lose weight, etc…)
- Take it one minute or even second at a time if you have to. Tell yourself that you just have to make it through the next minute, then the next and the next. Remember; One day at a time.
- In early recovery, ask yourself if you have to attend this event. If there something you can make up such as being sick.
- Remember to H.A.L.T. (Never be too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired!)
- Carry the coin that means the most to you (Such as your 30 day, 90 day, 6 months, or 1 year) so that you can remember the progress that you have made and that you do not want to do anything to jeopardize your sobriety!
Don’t be afraid to try any or all of these things. It can only help you in the end!
Have a happy Easter everyone!
If you have any ideas or tips for other people in recovery, feel free to comment below!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.