…on the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a continued personal inventory and promptly admitted when they were wrong…
Did you hear that? My job here is done. It’s completely self-explanatory. Or not. Here comes the annoying, nasal-filled mom voice: “These are stepping stones and you will continue to look back and reassess, blah, blah, blah.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. And again and again, etc. Look back at Steps 4, 8,9, and this will assist you in understanding Step 10.
In the spirit of New Year’s Eve, let’s dig a little deeper into Step 10. Step 10 states (if you read it from “The Big Book”, hint, hint), “Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only ones that call for self-control.” So, how do you celebrate the good times and/or holidays, without using? Well, we’re going to talk about that because, unless you plan to never leave your home or speak to anyone again, you will be exposed to some types of substances, especially alcohol.
It’s something that we have dedicated rites of passage, buildings to the sale of, and buildings to the consumption of…alcohol. We practically revere the shit. So making a toast with something other than alcohol might seem unnatural, but, get used to it. There may be wine in others’ glasses, or even champagne, but there shouldn’t be in yours. And don’t for a second think that alcohol is ok because you preferred opiates or another substance.
Instead of toasting with wine or beer or champagne, make your own signature drink. Sprite and cranberry juice? Peach juice? (I love that stuff, Minute Maid makes it, and, no, I don’t make any money for saying that). Or toast at the kids table. Or ask someone to be your sobriety buddy for the night. If you’ve been working the Steps with family, you might have already exposed to your family how fragile you’re feeling for the holidays. Someone pregnant, sick, or also in recovery would be the first places to look. One of the difficulties with being sober is learning how to have fun, part of it is brain chemistry and part of it is viewing fun without using as being “uncool” for lack of better terminology.
Next, I want to summarize something that I feel will assist you in the New Year. I will provide you with the links so that you can read the entire blog at a later time, but a peeve of mine with “The Big Book” is that there isn’t exactly much to assistance in staying sober. There are likely sober events, I’m sure smaller towns, however, do not have these. We have “call your sponsor”, “go to a meeting”, “ask your Higher Power for help”, the desire to stop drinking, “take what you need and leave the rest”, “keep it simple stupid (KISS)”, etc. However, there aren’t many strategies to use in the moment when you feel a relapse coming on. For now, I want you to name 5 things about yourself that are positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself when you feel a weak moment:
You should visit the blog page, I’m up to almost 70 posts at this time and I stick with mental health, relationships, and addictions, namely. Sometimes, I throw in one just for fun. Follow me on social media for updates as well. I’d love to hear your feedback, your own experiences, comments, questions, complaints, etc.
**All pics come from Adobe Stock or FreePik and title pic is designed using Canva.