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Written By Legacy Healing Center - Dec 16 2020
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As you say farewell to last year and welcome the fresh start that comes with the new one, you naturally want to celebrate. And for people in recovery, there is much to cheer about. After years of drinking, drug use, and struggles to get sober, you’ve managed to transform your life and find freedom from active addiction. Now you’re ready to celebrate a safe, sane, and sober New Year’s Eve.
In the past, your New Year’s Eve probably involved binge drinking, drugs, and a lot of deep-seated unhappiness looming just beneath the surface. Now that you’re sober, you can fortunately make other plans. There are plenty of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve as a clear-headed, healthier, and happier person. Here are some much more fulfilling ways to ring in the new year and celebrate your recovery achievements.
Now that the old year is coming to an end, take some time to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Perhaps last year at this time you were still in the throes of active addiction – and wondering if you would ever celebrate a sober New Year’s Eve again. Now that special milestone is almost here, so take the time to recognize and celebrate that achievement.
Making New Year’s resolutions is a perfect opportunity to think about your goals for the coming year. Now that you’re on the cusp of the New Year’s Eve holidays, take some time to think of ways you might make the coming year more fulfilling than ever. Whether that means going back to school, being of service, reconnecting with estranged family members, or just living a more peaceful contented life, setting your goals now can keep you accountable all year long.
One fun way to celebrate a sober New Year’s Eve is to surround yourself with loved ones who are too young to drink. If you have kids in the family, why not throw a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party, complete with streamers, funny glasses, and even fireworks? Experiencing any holiday through the eyes of a child makes it magical. The kids will have a ball, and you will too.
Many in recovery enjoy a fancy fizzy “mocktail” (an alcohol-free cocktail). Whether you’re hosting a sober New Year’s Eve party or just hanging out with a few friends, it can be fun to lay out a spread of fresh juices, sparkling drinks, herbs, and spices and get creative with mixing them. Be aware that for some, a faux-cocktail can trigger a desire for the real thing, so only partake in “mocktails” if you feel it’s appropriate for you.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve does not have to mean going to a club, a bar, or a cocktail party. There are plenty of sober alternatives to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration. These could include events hosted by AA and NA, neighborhood block-parties, or even a movie night at a friend’s house. Take some time to research what sober New Year’s Eve activities are going on near you and plan something that you know you’ll enjoy.
Whether you’re newly sober or have years of recovery behind you, it’s always possible to become overwhelmed or triggered on a night like New Year’s Eve. It’s helpful to have an exit plan in place, just in case you need it. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable amongst people who are drinking to excess, excusing yourself from the situation is the best way to preserve your hard-won sobriety. Thinking ahead about what you’ll say when it’s time to go can help you avoid feeling awkward about it in the moment. But also remember, if you need to leave to keep yourself safe, you don’t owe an explanation to anyone.
Being sober is always worth celebrating, and what better time than on New Year’s Eve when we take stock of all that we’ve accomplished and reflect on how we want to grow in the future. As the barrier falls between one year and the next, you have a lot to celebrate. And now that you know how to enjoy a safe, sober, and successful New Year’s Eve, you can start making your plans.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, or you’re feeling concerned about your ability to stay sober this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Legacy Healing Center, we know this time of year can be joyful and also full of extra challenges. Our caring staff is standing by 24/7 ready to help. Call 888.534.2295. Calls are completely confidential.