Christmas Survival Guide: I'm dreaming of a sober Christmas

There are millions of people in the UK whose families are impacted by someone with alcohol abuse issues, who dream for nothing more than a sober Christmas!

Christmas can be a joyous and magical time of year, however there is so much expectation put on us that it can also be a time of dread for those living in situations some of us know nothing about.

There are millions of people in the UK whose families are impacted by someone with alcohol abuse issues, who dream for nothing more than a sober Christmas!

If you are in that situation, here are the After the Storm top tips for getting through the big day without it descending into chaos! **

  • Accept that Christmas Day probably isn't the day your Loved one is suddenly going to adopt sobriety and therefore avoid conflict on the subject as much as possible just for the day.
  • Trim back the drinks cabinet - this should mean that the amount of alcohol available to your family member is limited so they cannot become completely inebriated.
  • Make sure you have a good Christmas day breakfast and if your plans allow, eat your Christmas Feast at Lunchtime, so the stomachs are lined.
  • If they become too much, remove yourself (and if there are Children involved, them too) from the situation, we suggest going for a walk to clear your head and give yourself space.
  • Selfcare is the key to coping through any stressful situation and this is no different.
  • You can be hopeful that by reading this you are being signposted to resources that mean next Christmas may be the sober event you are dreaming of, there is help out there if you know where to look.

There are so many resources out there for helping family members of people with all sorts of Substance abuse issues, Adfam are currently running a campaign called #Forgotten5million to raise money to support the 5 million people in the UK struggling in fear, isolation and neglect of living with someone with a drug, alcohol or gambling addiction.

Al-Anon also exists for the families of Alcoholics.

The NACOA helpline is open everyday over Christmas and the NewYear.

There are lots of credible private practitioners that can support you with strategies for learning to deal with your loved ones and also help you guide them to sobriety.  It is incredibly important to ensure that the private practitioners are qualified and have safeguarding policies in place, just because someone is in recovery from substance abuse doesn't mean they are qualified to support family members through recovery.  You can find more advice on our Addiction Support page.

*please note we are not suggesting that the tips above are a longterm strategy of support for yourself or your loved one, merely a way to get through Christmas day, please seek professional support as signposted via this article

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