If this is your first Thanksgiving sober, you have a lot to be thankful for. However, making the adjustment, and avoiding alcohol, can be difficult during celebrations. After all, celebrations, more than any other time, are the setting where we miss alcohol most. However, by making the conscious decision to better yourself early, you have the time to prepare for this occasion. But, how do I go about it? Do I share the news? Should I fake a drink to avoid questions? Ultimately, this is your journey, and you get to decide who is on it with you. So, we’re here to help… 

First Thanksgiving Sober: Counting your Blessings 

Do what makes you comfortable 

Depending on your stage of sobriety, it might be quite difficult for you to be around alcohol in any capacity. If you know that limitation— that’s great! You know your limits at this time. So, decide what you can handle. If you share with your family or friends that you’re working towards sobriety, and cannot be around alcohol— it is very likely that they’ll have a sober Thanksgiving celebration with you. However, if they cannot accommodate— make other plans. At least now you know where you stand in terms of support. 

Avoid stress 

Holidays can be stressful for plenty of reasons. From buying gifts, seeing long lost family members, hosting, cooking, deciding where to go— the holidays sometimes seem more stressful than joyful. But, as you work towards sobriety, those stressors can be a danger to your progress. So, find ways to manage it. Exercise, meditation, writing, alone time… Practice self-care in your own way to avoid getting off track. 

Find a local meeting 

If you travel for the holidays, you might miss your typical AA meetings in your hometown. But, the fantastic news is that most areas have them— especially during the holidays. It’s not uncommon that the holidays will be stressful, and a trigger for people who are working towards sobriety. So, find a local AA chapter, and go to a meeting when you have a chance. Taking the time to check in, remind yourself what you’re doing it for, and release some tension is a fantastic away to survive your first Thanksgiving sober. You’re doing good, you’re working hard— the holidays don’t have to hinder that.