The month of October is best known for its spooky celebration of Halloween. Flocks of decorated children ring doorbells around the neighborhood to ask for candy. Adults dressed in terrifying or risque costumes pack into bars and parties to drink and dance the night away. This is also the month of the Sober October challenge, where individuals have a chance to reflect on their alcohol use and support friends in recovery. October can thus act as a gentle reminder that there are many risks to consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, including alcohol addiction. This article will discuss ways you can have a great celebration this Halloween season while staying sober.
It’s Normal to Feel Down
In the U.S., it is common for people to be out and about on Halloween night, filling up house parties and bars, looking at each other’s costumes, and partying. The creativity and thrill of Halloween make it a unique holiday that many adults look forward to each year. That being said, it’s understandable if you feel left out or sad that you can’t participate like you used to. Drinking is out of the question, and being around it at all can just be too triggering.
Holiday or not, it doesn’t help that the recovery process can feel really lonely. Depression is a common condition that can develop during early recovery. Be aware of the symptoms, such as feelings of worthlessness, chronic fatigue, and intrusive thoughts. If you are having trouble coping and are afraid you might start drinking, ask for support from friends and family or talk to your therapist. Managing depression during any holiday, not just Halloween is critical to prevent relapse.
‘Tis the Season to Stay Sober
To offer a glimmer of hope, October is not just the month for goosebumps and strangely-colored drinks. October is also the month for the Sober October challenge. Individuals who want to cut back on drinking have a month dedicated to the re-evaluation of their relationship with alcohol. It is a time to reflect and make some necessary changes. This challenge started in 2014 as a fundraising campaign in the UK and has now spread all over the world.
What’s the challenge? Don’t drink for the entire month! If you are in recovery, this is probably a daily task on your to-do list for the foreseeable future. However, you can get your friends involved and use this as an opportunity to connect. Not only will your friends be thinking about their own drinking habits, but they can accompany you on staying sober this Halloween.
Getting Creative With Halloween Activities
You might be wondering what you could possibly do on Halloween that doesn’t involve alcohol. It’s true that the drinking tradition is a cornerstone of most Western holidays. One solution is to come up with your own Halloween traditions. For example, if you can handle going out, ask a sober friend to accompany you! They can help you remain focused on staying sober. You both could bring your own non-alcoholic beverages. Kombucha is a great alternative that you could start making for special occasions like holidays.
If you are feeling really festive, you can host your own party. Since it’s your space, you get to set the rules. Invite some friends from your recovery community and spend the night celebrating sobriety. You can plan to have a pumpkin carving contest, watch horror movie classics, make colorful Halloween mocktails, and bake some spooky snacks. Having support during recovery can really make a world of difference.
Another option is to get dressed up and go trick o’ treating with the kids. Maybe you or your friend has a little one that’s ready to hit the road. If that’s not for you, it’s totally fine to spend the night in or go to a recovery meeting. Sobriety comes one day at a time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to enjoy this holiday. Recovery is a process, and you will learn to find happiness in the little things again.
A Reminder About the Risks of Consuming Alcohol
Holidays can be an especially tricky time to remember why you shouldn’t be drinking. Everyone else is having a great time, why shouldn’t you? Don’t get stuck in this mindset. You can still have a great time without drinking. Learning how to do so just takes a little time and creativity. Moreover, most people at that party would probably benefit from drinking a little less!
Alcohol can have devastating effects on the body and mind. The CDC explains that excessive alcohol use over time can result in the development of chronic illness and complications, like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, weakening of the immune system, learning and memory problems, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Halloween is a holiday that typically involves a lot of drinking. You might feel lonely and depressed that you can’t participate like you used to because you’re in recovery. Fortunately, there are many creative activities you can try to make the most of this spooky season. At Oceanfront Recovery, we understand that it can be especially hard to remain sober during the holidays. Our team can help you build the strength and resilience needed to one day navigate these situations with greater ease. Our clinicians and therapists will work with you one-on-one to determine your unique needs and develop a customized treatment plan. Our goal is to get you on a successful path to sobriety and life-long recovery. You will find our residential facilities in Laguna Beach, a space intentionally chosen to help you recover in peace. To find out more about how we can help you change your story, call our office today at (877) 279-1777.