by Beth Livingston
Certified Recovery Specialist
Well, another holiday is just around the corner and some of us may be at family gatherings where the “drinks are on the house.” It’s been a long time since I drank, but I still know the temptation can be great – the peer pressure too! How are you feeling about your chance of staying alcohol free during this upcoming holiday? We may be around people having lots of fun having a few drinks. And we may be around folks who routinely have a glass of wine with a meal and it never leads them to a life of alcoholism. They may not understand why we need to avoid alcohol. How will we be able to make it through the holidays without a drink?
Alcoholics are used to drinking on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Celebrations, in general, can stir recovering alcoholics to drop their guard and have a drink (or two or more). When we make the life choice to stop drinking, the holidays can be a tremendous time of uneasiness and temptation. We have to be aware of this trigger and plan how to handle the temptation ahead of time. The desire to drink can be even bigger if we’ve suffered tremendous loss during this year or we’re lonely.
Holidays are family times and that sometimes means we will be in the company of family members who have caused or still cause us emotional pain. Spending the day with them can bring on such uneasiness that we use our favorite method of escape. Have you found some healthy ways of making it through these days?
Someone said at a recent recovery meeting that planning how you will handle a situation before you encounter it will give you a better chance at making right choices. She said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." That seemed like a reasonable strategy for success. Can you share with us what your plan is to stay sober this year? It may help someone else.
I have a plan to go outside or to the bathroom and pray to Jesus to help me avoid returning to alcohol, the deceptive fun in a bottle that nearly destroyed my life. I have purposely left a room and gone somewhere by myself and prayed several times in one day during past holidays. The battle for our sobriety is bigger than we are, so it’s so important for us to turn to our Lord. Have you come face-to-face with this struggle between righteousness and the buzz? How did it turn out?
Just one drink can send us down a path we promised ourselves we weren’t going to travel again.
Rather than raising a glass in a toast, let's lift up a prayer to God:
Jehovah God, you are worthy of all praise and all our trust. These days of celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States and the Holy Birth of Jesus Christ the world over are days that we desire to honor you God. Help us to praise you with our bodies, our souls and our minds. Many of us struggle with alcoholism, addictions and other behavior defects and want to surrender our wills to Your will right now. We want to love you with all that we are and without shame. Purify us, Oh Lord, for your Glory! Please help us to be free in You! Please help us to be strong in our resolve to have a new life in You. We trust the Holy Spirit to comfort us instead of the things of this world that used to comfort us. We will have no other gods before you!