Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Southern Delaware Intergroup! We wish you all joy and serenity this holiday season.
For many, the holidays are a season of peace and joy when we get together with loved ones and families. However, the season can be a tough time for people in recovery, and particularly for those early in the process. Family and social events during the holidays can be triggers, which may provide opportunities, and even pressure, to drink alcohol.
On top of that, you may be away during this time, and can’t attend your home group meeting. Or you haven’t talked to your sponsor in two days. How does one stay sober during the holidays?
We have found that sober holidays can be quite fun if we direct our attention towards people and activities that can help strengthen us on our road to recovery.
Here are a few tips and strategies which we have found to be helpful during this time of year.
- Plan Ahead. Know in advance and plan to attend one or more sober events held throughout the holiday season such as marathon A.A. meetings (aka alkathons), sober holiday parties and workshops. We will post these as soon as we know about them. If you’re going to family or social events, always take your own vehicle so you can control when you leave. If possible, bring a sober buddy with you for support. Plan to arrive early and leave early.
- Go to Meetings. You can attend a meeting any day at any time, whether in person or online. If you are traveling out of town for the holidays, be sure to let your homegroup members know where you will be, and ask them to keep you accountable. It isn’t a bad idea to give out your number before you take off for the holidays either; this way, people will be able to easily get in touch should you not show up to a meeting one day.
- Use your phone list. Identify three people you feel safe reaching out to who are supportive of your sobriety and add them to your favorites on your phone. If you’re struggling, reach out to one of them via phone or text. Most A.A. meetings will provide you with a meeting list with numbers. Keep calling until someone answers. If you can’t find anyone to answer your call in your time of need, call the SDIAA hotline at 302-856-6452. Twenty four hour support is only a phone call away.
- Check-in on someone else. One of the best ways to get out of our own heads is to check-in on someone else who might be struggling. If you’re dealing with cravings or having a difficult day, try to reach out to a friend and see how they’re doing. An encouraging word via telephone, email or text may be just the ticket. Out of self, into God, and for others, often works wonders.
- Move your body. The mental benefits of exercise are surprising and profound. If you’re experiencing a craving, try to take a 10-minute walk where you focus on your surroundings. If it’s too cold outside for walking, try 10 minutes of gentle stretching inside.
Want more tips? The 12 Tips on Keeping Your Holiday Season Sober and Joyous brought to you from the Winter 2013 edition of Box 4-5-9 is worth reading year after year.
GSO Seventh Tradition Contributions
In other news, effective immediately, GSO has set up a separate post office box to receive Seventh Tradition contributions in the form of checks. The change, among other things, will enable them to process contributions more efficiently with a significant savings to the Fellowship.
Providing an email address when you send your check will help even more to reduce processing time and cost, because it enables GSO to acknowledge your contribution promptly and save the cost of acknowledgement printing, mailing, and postage.
Please make your checks payable to General Service Board and make note of the new mailing address below.
Post Office Box 2407
James A Farley Station
New York, NY 10116-2407
For more information, please see the GSO letter.