Treat yourself like a Toddler

“Treat yourself like a toddler” Overheard at the tables last night and it gave me that slow opening ‘ah ha’ moment. Why are we so hard on ourselves in recovery? Often times our #1 resentment or critic is ourselves… Day 5 or day 500. 😕  Would I carry these same thoughts towards Toddler LF?

So I’m going to try something different today, treat myself like a Toddler. Talk about my alcoholic self in the 3rd person, give her a bit better care and understanding…

  • “LF gets cranky when she’s over-tired. We really need to stick to the usual bedtimes.” – Perhaps I should stop the Netflix binges after 8pm…
  • “LF shouldn’t wear those cute boots for work, they will get too tight after a few hours and her feet will hurt” – okay, I will wear something more comfortable, yet fashionable.
  • “LF doesn’t need to eat donuts in the morning, too much sugar – will make her tired and cranky later” – let’s by-pass the coffee shop at the train station this morning.
  • “LF needs some quiet time each day.” – perhaps a little bedtime story is in order tonight.  🙂

The fact for me is, if you’re dealing with a toddler, you have to plan. You have to think ahead about eating, sleeping, proper winter clothes, necessary equipment, a limit on sweets, etc. Because with a toddler, the consequences can be very unpleasant. In the same way, to be good-humored and well-behaved person in recovery, I need to make sure I have my coffee, my cell-phone charger, healthy snack choices, and my eight hours of sleep.  😆

What type of things would you say to your ‘toddler’ self to guide in the right direction for your recovery journey?

Holiday Parties: 5 Tips to Stay Safe and Sober 

  • Be Prepared to Turn Down a Drink – It’s common to be offered a drink at a party, so be prepared to turn one down. An effective way to avoid an awkward line of questioning is to claim an allergy to alcohol. Addicts and alcoholics have an abnormal reaction to alcohol and in this sense we are indeed “allergic” to it!
  • Hold a Non-alcoholic Drink – Keeping a non-alcoholic drink in-hand will ward off potential offers of a drink. People will likely assume anything that isn’t water is alcohol.
  • Use the Buddy System – When attending a party, it helps to buddy up with someone who is available to talk. That individual can also be in attendance or connected by phone. For those with a designated support system – such as a sponsor for those in AA – plan to check in both before and after the event.
  • Reach Out to Others – Support networks are extremely useful during the holidays, so be sure to use them. Reach out to sober friends and supporters, even if you’re not in trouble. It’s important to stay plugged in, especially during this time. The Sober Grid community is a great place to connect with others with similar experiences.
  • Take a Break – Maintaining sobriety is more important than any party. Don’t be afraid to step outside, or even leave if necessary.
  • Travel Smart –  If traveling, plan out support group meetings – AA, NA a local Alano Club or other 12-step fellowships- in advance. You can visit a 12-step fellowship or local district website, or use addiction.com/meeting-finder/ to get information about resources in different areas when traveling.

12 Ideas to help stay sober during the holidays

Remaining sober can be especially hard during the holidays.  Family gatherings, holiday parties, and other social occasions can be very difficult for someone who is in early recovery.  Thoughts of past holiday occasions often bring up memories of celebratory drinking, drugs, or gambling.

Although it can be very hard to get used to the idea of a sober holiday season, especially when other people around you are seemingly having a great time celebrating by using substances or gambling, completing a stay at a treatment center is an accomplishment that you should be proud of.

Take this opportunity to celebrate not only the holidays, but also your new life of sobriety, which is something really worth celebrating.

If you find yourself struggling during the holiday season, please remember that you are not alone.  Help is only a phone call or meeting away!  Here are some helpful and practical tips to make staying sober easier:

1 Plan each and every day of your holiday season:
  Plan to spend the majority of your time with friends and family who are supportive of your recovery.

2 Find a meeting in your area: Many groups have special meetings during the holidays to share their experience, strength and hope. Check the local papers for a meeting in your area.

3 Ask for support from family and friends: Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays.

4 Have a list of ten people you can call: Make a list and check it twice. Carry your cell phone and list of names at all times.

5 Don’t forget about regular exercise: Regular exercise is an essential component of any balanced recovery program.

6 Stay away from slippery places: There is absolutely no reason to ever check out your former favorite establishments.

7 Create new traditions to replace your old using patterns: Buy a new board game or take the family on a sleigh ride.  Use your imagination, be creative, & have fun.

8 Write out a daily gratitude list: The quickest cure to get you out of the holiday blues is by counting your blessings and being grateful for what you have every morning.

9 Volunteer your services to a charitable organization: There are many people in your community who are less fortunate than you. You will be helping not only the needy but yourself!

10 Write a letter to yourself – “How I stayed sober over the holidays:” The act of writing your ideas on paper is very powerful. Write down all the activities and events that will help you have healthy, happy, and sober holiday season.

11 Avoid H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely , Tired):  If you are hungry, get something to eat. If you are angry, talk to somebody about it.  If you are lonely, go to a meeting or call a friend.  If you are tired, get a good night’s sleep.

12 Live one day at a time and enjoy your sobriety: Stay in the moment and live one day at a time. Never mind about what happened or what could happen. Enjoy today. Live today. Celebrate your sobriety!