Regardless of how you’re spending your holiday season, it can generally be agreed upon that there’s something special to this time of year. Traditions are, in some aspect, important to us – and if it’s a particularly positive and festive tradition, then it’s important that we carry it on, and use it to enrich the childhoods of our children, and take the time to think back on the rest of the year. But there’s more to the holiday season than traditions – this is a time to look back on the year and reflect. Getting yourself to go sober is much the same – you face the decisions of the past, and strive to make a major change. And just as the new year is an opportunity for new commitments, sobriety is the opportunity to live life again, without the brain fog of addiction.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; regardless of what celebration you’re preparing for, now is the right time to stick to your sobriety and see it through, all the way into spring and through the rest of the new year.
Why? Well, we put together a brief list of six simple and inarguable reasons why you should go sober for this holiday season.
There’s Holiday Cheer To Be Had
The holidays are a time for family to come together, have a wonderful time and a delicious meal, bond over old memories, or make new ones. With families often being split apart across the country due to generations moving from the countryside to the city, and from city to city, the holidays are a good opportunity to get together and be one big family – or, simply spend the days with your favorite few people.
For kids, the holidays are often about candy and presents. Every kid hopes for something in their stocking or under the Christmas tree. But that doesn’t mean the spirit of the holidays is in shiny red boxes and pretty department store ribbons. It’s about being with others.
You can’t enjoy your time with others when you’re still caught up in addiction. Not only because it’s hard to be around someone who isn’t getting clean, but because without a clear head and sober thinking, you’re bound to miss the holidays – and everything that comes with them.
Make Sobriety Your Present to Yourself
Making yourself go sober doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s not a punishment for sin. It’s not meant to make you feel shame or guilt for your past choices.
It’s hard to see it as anything other than miserable when the withdrawal kicks in, but sobriety is life. Living without drugs or alcohol opens your eyes to what life can really be, and lets you experience those moments that make living worth it. Being with family and spending time with the people you love is a crucial part of the holiday season – thus, there’s no better time to get help and commit to sobriety, than right now.
Create a Pledge For The New Year
With the holidays comes the inevitable conclusion to another year – and the beginning of the next. And with every New Year’s Day come countless new commitments to self-improvement.
However, many people don’t follow through with these commitments. Whether it’s the pressure, the gratification of announcing your goal, or just an inability to make new habits stick for a wide variety of several possible reasons and circumstances, the truth is that it’s not easy to make a substantial change in life – and sobriety is no different.
But the hardest part of getting yourself to go sober in the long-term is being sober for long enough that it begins to stick. This initial period of sobriety can be even harsher than the rest of the journey. Using the motivation of the new year to get a kickstart into your sober journey can help mitigate this.
You’ll Have Money To Spend (Elsewhere)
People sometimes underestimate just how much addiction costs. We’re not talking about the cost of treatment or insurance, or the cost of losing a shot to a better career – buying and using drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, will put a major dent into anyone’s weekly budget and can lead people into a downward spiral of financial difficulty and debt.
But by saving all that money spent on addiction, you can instead use it to get better or get yourself something nice for Christmas.
It’s not just a thing for the holidays, either. You’ll experience steady savings throughout the entirety of your sobriety – which, ideally, will be the rest of your life. That money can instead go towards actual self-improvement, coping mechanisms, and better sources of entertainment.
You’ll Actually Remember Christmas Eve On Christmas Morning
Blacking out from drug use isn’t entirely uncommon – and with alcohol, it’s even normal to forget what you were doing the night or day before. If you’re struggling with alcoholism and have been struggling with it for a few years, then you’ll know that Christmas is one of those days when you’re bound to get very drunk.
But if you go sober, then you’ll turn a clouded and unknown night into a memorable part of your holiday season – one you’ll remember for a while to come, even.
Of course, just because you can remember something doesn’t make it good. The key to go sober and stay that way, not just in the long-term, but throughout the holidays, is by spending time with people you like. If your family is what drove you to use drugs to escape them, then make your own family. Spend the holidays with friends.
Don’t let your addiction ruin the holidays – and reclaim them from the bad memories (or lack thereof) you might have had in the past.
The Holidays Will Become Something Good Again After You Go Sober
When you’re struggling with addiction, you need good things in life. They help remind you why you should go sober, and why life is worth living with a clear mind and an open perspective.
Starting your sober journey over the holidays gives you a head start on the new year – treat this as an adventure to be had, an odyssey that’ll take you years and even decades.
Sobriety doesn’t end, and in a way, neither does recovery. That doesn’t mean the struggle never ends. In time, things get easier – and you’ll learn to wonder and love and live life again.