by Tara Hill
New Year’s Eve is a night where most people look forward to partying. Part of celebrating December 31st, involves drinking alcohol. For many people, consuming alcoholic beverages on occasion doesn’t pose a problem. For others, alcohol addiction is a very real disease. New Year’s Eve can be challenging and scary for recovery alcoholics and those trying to abstain from alcohol. These tips can help.
The most obvious tip for reducing the possibility of backsliding and taking a drink on New Year’s Eve is to stay away from alcohol. On a night that is so steeped in drinking, even if it is only a midnight champagne toast, that can pose a challenge. If you belong to an organization such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), it is important that you attend a meeting on New Year’s Eve. Many chapters of AA have evening or even midnight meetings on difficult days such as New Year’s, to help people stay focused and abstain from alcohol. Don’t be afraid to rely on your sponsor for extra support during the holidays.
It may be helpful to make a list of all the reasons you stopped drinking and refer to it during the holidays to help stay focused on remaining sober. A visual reminder of how damaging the misuse of alcohol has been in your life may help give you some strength on New Year’s Eve.
You can offer to be a designated driver, although if you believe being in the presence of alcohol will prevent you from abstaining from alcohol on New Year’s Eve, it may not be a good idea. If you do offer to be a designated driver that night, stay home or partake in another New Year’s Eve activity and wait until people need their ride home, rather than joining them at places they will be drinking.
You can plan a get-together with people from your AA meetings, or if you are not involved in Alcoholics Anonymous, invite people to an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve party. Believe it or not, many people don’t enjoy drinking alcohol regardless of whether they have had problems abusing it or not. If you belong to a church, chances are many people will not be drinking alcohol on New Year’s Eve. Plan a party at your home where you can be assured that no one will be drinking or bringing alcohol to the party.
Remember, alcohol is not needed to have fun. You can stay strong and abstain from drinking on New Year’s Eve by having a solid game plan, reminding yourself of why you stopped drinking, relying on AA meetings and your sponsor, and surrounding yourself with people who won’t be drinking on New Year’s Eve. Stay strong and stay safe, and may you ring in the New Year completely sober.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.