December brings us the holiday season and staying sober can be challenging for people in recovery, and particularly for those early in the process. There are many social events during the holidays, which provide opportunities, and even pressure, to drink alcohol. When this is combined with the gathering of family members — who may be hearing for the first time about the newly launched effort to stay sober — anxiety and tension can be intense.
How to Survive the Holidays Sober
However, though the holiday season can be difficult, remember this is a WE program. What you can’t do alone, WE can do together. Help is only a phone call or meeting away! Prioritize your recovery, and have a blessed and happy holiday. One second at a time, one moment at a time, you can do it.
Here are eight helpful and practical tips to make staying sober easier, brought to you by Delaware Young People of Alcoholics Anonymous (DEYPAA).
- Use your phone list — Most A.A. meetings will provide you with a meeting list with numbers, if you get a craving place a call. Keep calling until someone answers.
- Use your sponsor and support group — Don’t be afraid to lean more heavily on your sponsor or support group for the holidays. Set a day to meet with them weekly to hold yourself accountable.
- Know where the local A.A. events are held throughout the holiday season — Attend your local holiday A.A. events to center yourself before or after holiday parties.
- Create an action plan — Protect your sobriety and create a sobriety protection plan. This could be using your own vehicle to get to family holiday parties, planning meetings around your holiday event or bringing a sober buddy to events with you.
- Don’t be afraid of the A.A. hotline — If you can’t find anyone to answer your call in your time of need, call the A.A. hotline at 302-856-6452. 24 hour support is only a phone call away.
- Check your motives — Before entering any situation that could be sobriety or serenity threatening check your motives. Ask yourself “Why am I here?” If you find that you can be of service to others at the event all the more reason to be there, but if attending to show off to family or friends how well you are doing and coming at it from a place of ego and reputation management you may not only further harm your reputation but endanger your sobriety as well.
- Gratitude List — Quick! Name three things you’re grateful for … reminding ourselves of the joys of life can help us get another moment of sobriety.
- Bring Your Higher Power into your plan — Before you do anything remember to pray. Sometimes that one second pause to pray is all the reminder we need. God will move mountains but we must bring the shovel. Next move into action of doing the next right thing. Similar to STOP, DROP, AND ROLE … PAUSE, PRAY, AND DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING!
Want more tips? Here are 12 Tips on Keeping Your Holiday Season Sober and Joyous brought to you from the Winter 2013 edition of Box 4-5-9.
There are few other newsworthy items to take note of.
Box 4-5-9 is a quarterly news bulletin from the U.S./Canada General Service Office. This newsletter includes information about A.A. service, literature, events, sharing from groups, service committees and individual U.S./Canada A.A. members.
This is the second installment of a new series on the technology that is changing the way Alcoholics Anonymous communicates to suffering alcoholics and interacts with its members. Highlights of the winter 2019 issue, which you can download here include:
- NAATW and TIAA: Grassroots Sharing on A.A. and Technology — Information about the online forum, Technology in A.A. (TIAA), and the National A.A. Technology Workshop (NAATW), which was born of the idea to “share technology within Alcoholics Anonymous so that every new webmaster doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel and, even more importantly, so that fresh ideas on how to use tech to spread the message to suffering alcoholics can come bubbling to the surface.”
- ASL Big Book DVD — The new American Sign Language (ASL) Fourth Edition Big Book (contains the first 11 chapters, “Dr. Bob’s Nightmare,” the Forewords, “The Doctor’s Opinion” and the Appendices) is now available in DVD format. It is 409 minutes long and spread out over four discs. You can purchase it online through A.A.
Highlights from A.A.W.S.
You can read the highlights from the A.A. World Services (A.A.W.S.) board meeting on Friday, November 1, 2019 in Rye, N.Y. here.
Discussion topics included a report from the General Manager on the operation and maintenance of the new NetSuite enterprise system, which went live Monday, August 5, as well as an update on the 2020 International Convention, new Communication Services Department, and the processing of a backlog of New Group kits.
Additional highlights are the Accessibilities/LIM department is in process of collecting stories submitted by the Fellowship to update the pamphlet “A.A. for the Older Alcoholic”; developing audio interviews with the military in A.A.; and coordinating announcement of the new American Sign Language (ASL) translation of the Big Book with the Public Information desk and the Publishing Department.
The Communication Services Department is developing a new website design, as well as maintaining the Meeting Guide app, YouTube channel and exploring the implementation of additional Google products.
December 2019 Printable Meeting List
You can download the December PDF listing of our meetings in Sussex County DE.
Here’s what’s new for December 2019 which you can download here.
You can also subscribe to the Grapevine here which make great gifts. Additionally, you can order or gift the 2020 Wall Calendar, 2020 Pocket Planner, as well as books, eBooks, subscriptions, gift certificates and other items with free shipping through 12/31/19. To learn more and order, visit their online store.
This month’s Special Section features stories on A.A.’s Remote Communities and how members stay sober during the holidays.
We hope you have a joyous, sober, and wonder-filled holiday season.