At this point, you made it through Thanksgiving. It will be a good practice to step back and reflect on what worked as well as what didn’t work, a mental replay of your weekend. I definitely suggest a pencil and paper so you can start fixating the pros and cons. Here are a few questions that can guide you:
How did your friend/family member perceive your honesty and making yourself accountable?
Were there any awkward moments while walking into the gathering? During?
Who were you most happy to see?
What did it feel like to gracefully refuse that glass of wine or aperitif?
How did you respond differently to their reaction?
Who were you most surprised that you connected with?
Did you have someone to reach out to via phone/text between courses?
Did you make future plans to further connect with family?
How was the family supportive?
Who was not supportive?
Did you overindulge in foods/ deserts?
If you did slip and have “one”, maybe a sip during the “toast”? What did that do for you? What were the thoughts going on before, during and after? Did you tell the person you were being accountable to?
If you did, that’s OK. You’ve been learning about alcohol and substance use. You’ve been learning about yourself and your behaviors. These things, you can never undo. These facts state that you’re heading in the right direction. You are fostering awareness.
Maybe you needed to have a “slip” to remind you of the things you don’t want. Maybe you were able to control it for the day. If that’s the case, maybe you can continue to do so. Did you go a little further than you thought you would? Did you end up waking up on someone else’s couch after “just one”?
Use this as a pivot point. Either way, find what you can learn from the experience and hold onto that. Build on the positive actions and reactions that you got. Take note of the attitudes that might have set you back that you might want to avoid in the future. I can’t stress enough, write it down. It might feel uncomfortable or corny at first, but you will be giving yourself props for doing so in the future. This is the equivalent of your brain doing push ups. You will continue to get plenty of chances to put this newfound awareness to use coming up this holiday season.
Feel free to share what worked and what didn’t below or you can message me privately as well. In the famous words of Bob Dylan, “That he not busy being born is busy dying”. Love Life Today! THiS ReCoVeRY LiFE.