Sobriety Musings

As the youngest in a slightly dysfunctional family full of addiction and mental illness, it was no surprise that I would eventually find myself battling those same demons. I grew up surrounded by booze, drugs, and chaos with very little conversation on the seriousness of alcohol abuse and addiction.
It can be difficult to stay sober over the holidays because they're so stressful. But family dynamics, crazy in-laws, and unfulfilled expectations don’t have to threaten your sobriety. Be proactive and have a plan for surviving the holidays in addiction recovery. You can make it through this season with your sobriety intact. Here are five tips to help you stay sober over the holidays and into 2018.
Watching sober friends relapse can be heartbreaking or challenging as well as enlightening and motivating. Personally, I have seen a handful of friends go back to drinking after six months or more of sobriety (Attitudes That Can Lead to a Drug or Alcohol Relapse ). In some cases, they convinced themselves they were not alcoholics and that they could manage their drinking. In other cases, they had always had some doubt as to the severity of their powerlessness over alcohol. And in a few other cases, the relapse seemed to come from nowhere. In reality, a relapse starts long before the first drink but it's not always easy to spot. Here are the lessons I have learned from watching sober friends relapse.
In addiction recovery you have to focus on staying sober even during a tragedy. The weekend's news about the tragedy in Orlando has left many of us feeling sad, angry, shocked or even defeated. As an alcoholic in recovery, I have to carefully work on staying sober during any tragedy.
Improving sobriety by healing resentments is the ultimate goal of revisiting painful memories. When we have successfully navigated our memories and emotions, we have the opportunity to let them go so that they no longer harm us. In order for old resentments to no longer hold power over us, we have to choose to forgive ourselves and the other person. You can heal resentments to improve your sobriety.
The winter blues are here and for those of us in all types of recovery, they can be especially tough (Stop Letting Winter Depression Freeze Your Happiness). If you're a recovering addict or alcoholic with the winter blues setting in, you are not alone.
Learning how to revisit painful memories can improve your sobriety by cleaning up negative emotions that no longer serve you. Recalling old wounds may seem scary, traumatizing, and unnecessary to some, but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. While difficult and unpleasant at the time, the discomfort was outweighed by the relief I felt afterward (Unwanted Trauma Memories - How Do You Get Rid Of Them?). It's important to take certain steps during this process to ensure it has a positive outcome. Here are some tips on how to process painful memories to improve your sobriety in 2016.
New Year's Eve brings lots of unsafe alcohol consumption but you need safety on New Year's Eve. Whether you're sober or not, you should make plans to stay safe this New Year's holiday. Here are some ways to ensure alcohol safety on New Year's Eve.
Love it or hate it, the holiday season always brings obligations and you have to handle holiday obligations in alcohol recovery. It can be tricky to navigate those obligations. For me, feeling overwhelmed is just as a big an alcoholism trigger as alcohol itself so I have to be careful in my alcohol recovery with regards to holiday obligations.. 
An alcoholic self-sabotages when she tries to evade negative feelings and consequently creates more problems in her life (Ways to Avoid Negative Coping Skills). Alcoholics commonly self-sabotage their relationships, sobriety, and career as they try to avoid feelings they often buried with alcohol. Most of the time, they are not even conscious that they are sabotaging themselves, unless it is pointed out to them. For this reason, it's important for alcoholics and their support network alike to understand why incidents of an alcoholic's self-sabotage most often occurs around a sobriety milestone or a significant life change.