Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good Holiday Advice

One of my favorite meeting topics is “holiday advice for staying sober”. I have found great gems in the “what-to-do” and “what-not-to-do” at holiday time.
Some favorites:
Keep your keys in your hand: a basic of early recovery. It reminds you that you can leave anytime you get uncomfortable.
Don’t park in the driveway: I learned this one in Alanon and it applies to any recovery.  Have an exit plan. Be sure you can get out if you need to.  Excuse yourself and go take a short drive; volunteer to run to the store for the extra half & half.
Don’t sit your drink down. Know your drink so you don’t accidentally pick up someone else’s. Drink Coke or Cranberry juice or orange pop so you can identify your drink. If you do leave the table and come back and there is a drink there—go get a fresh one.
Ask what’s in it: Especially desserts but other food too. I have seen rum in the mashed yams and cognac on the roast beef. With desserts be very specific, “Is there any alcohol in this?” Lots of cooks think alcohol is cooked off by baking—and especially in early recovery—you don’t even want to have the taste or smell even if it did cook down.
Double-check the box of chocolates. Especially if it’s the higher end gourmet or artisan chocolates. Lots have booze or booze flavor.
And one I just heard last week:
Don’t make amends or try to heal a relationship at holiday time. Yes, we are all feeling sentimental and want that longed for good family. But if your impulse and feeling about mending a relationship is genuine and true you can wait ten days.
What is the best advice you have received for recovery at the holidays?

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