Whether you are new to sobriety or a seasoned sober individual, the holiday office party can still hold many triggers and uncomfortable moments. Remember to breathe, and follow these tips for staying sober.
- You can choose not to attend. Whether you are newly sober or not, you still have a choice to go to the office holiday party or not. Think about what is at stake if you decide not to attend- in terms of your job and your sobriety. Whatever it is, it’s not worth subjecting yourself to temptation or feeling awkward. You can show your appreciation for your company and your coworkers in many other ways.
- If you decide to attend, make safety plans for yourself ahead of time. How are you going to handle the presence of alcohol? How will you exit gracefully if you suddenly feel overwhelmed? Think of as many scenarios as you can, and plan your strategies. Your comfort level is paramount, and your sobriety is your utmost concern.
- Arrive at the party early. Chances are your colleagues who drink won’t have imbibed too much by then to cause unpleasant behavior. Depending upon the type of service at the party, try to get your nonalcoholic beverage on your own. It is your choice as to whether or not you disclose your recovery. Remember, alcoholism, particularly recovery from alcoholism, is nothing to be ashamed of. What you do every day in your sobriety is a cause for celebration all year long.
- Find a colleague to converse with whom you consider to be genuine. Having learned so much about honesty and truth telling during treatment, or through your fellowship meetings, you don’t need to be stuck talking to a boorish colleague who could make you feel uncomfortable. Office holiday parties can be cheerful depending upon the congeniality between your colleagues.
- Leave when you are ready. You don’t have to stay throughout the entire evening. One of the great advantages of being sober is that drugs and alcohol no longer have control over you. You are in control of your life!
- Congratulate yourself for making it through the office holiday party and get yourself to a meeting as soon as possible. That way, if you have any residual feelings that came up at the party, you can talk about them among those who understand and support you. More importantly, if you didn’t have a difficult time, you can talk about the freedom sobriety has given you to move through life with ease.
“One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.”—Nancy Astor
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