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Updated 08 December 2009

A super, sober holiday

The festive season is a particular difficult period for an addict in recovery. Peter Powis, clinical director of Stepping Stones Addiction Centre offers the following advice.

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The festive season is a particular difficult period for an addict in recovery. Peter Powis, clinical director of Stepping Stones Addiction Centre offers the following advice.

  • Line up extra AA/ NA activities for the holiday season. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer phones at a clubhouse or central office, help with the dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital.
  • Be host to AA/ NA friends, especially newcomers. If you don’t have a place where you can throw a formal party, take someone out for coffee.
  • Keep your AA/ NA telephone list with you all the time. If a drinking urge or panic comes, postpone everything else until you’ve phoned everyone in the fellowship.
  • Find out about special holiday parties, meetings or other celebrations given by groups in your area, and go. If you’re shy, take someone newer than you along.
  • Skip any drinking occasion you’re nervous about. Remember how clever you were at excuses when drinking or drugging? Now put that talent to good use. No office party is as important as saving your life.
  • If you have to attend a drinking party and can’t take an AA member with you, keep some sweets handy.
  • Don’t think you have to stay late. Plan in advance an “important date” you have to keep.
  • Go to church. Any church.
  • Don’t sit around brooding. Catch up on those books, museums, letters and long walks.
  • Don’t start getting worked up about all those holiday temptations now. Remember: one day at a time.
  • Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts, but this year you can give love.
  • “Having had a…”. No need to spell out the Twelfth Step here, as you already know it.

(Stepping Stones, December 2009) 

 
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