Halloween is a popular and festive holiday that is associated with treats, parties, and a general good time all around. If you are recovering from alcoholism, however, or trying to curtail your to curtail a bad drinking habit, you’ll need to plan for Halloween in advance so you don’t inadvertently fall into old habits that can derail your sobriety. With some careful planning, you can enjoy Halloween without letting alcohol ruin your long-term goal to live a life free from the negative influence of this addictive substance. The following ideas will help you have a great time while remaining sober.
Be the Designated Driver
If you want to enjoy Halloween with friends who drink, you can volunteer to be the designated driver. Not that you need an excuse for staying sober, but being the designated driver does give you the perfect reason to decline any offered drinks. Did you know that fatal crashes due to alcohol go up in many parts of the world where on Halloween? Designated drivers fulfil an important role for their friends and family, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. If you feel you are able to be around alcohol without needing to drink it, you should let your friends know you’d be willing to escort them on Halloween night.
Host a Party
When you take on the responsibility of hosting a party, you have an important reason to refrain from drinking. You’ll need to safeguard your property and your guests. You can enjoy the festivities along with family and friends and can avoid bar settings where excess alcohol is present. Additionally, you can choose not to serve any alcohol or serve a punch with only scant traces of alcohol for your friends who drink. When you trade alcohol for fun activities, you may find that your parties are more fun when they’re “not under the influence.”
Hang Out with Sober Friends
The fact is, not everyone drinks on Halloween. One of the things you might have learned during treatment at addiction help centres like the ARCProject.org.uk is that you may have to avoid being around people who abuse alcohol or drink too heavily. Friends who could compromise your decision to stay sober are friends you may have outgrown and must leave behind as you head down another road. It may not be forever, but if you still feel vulnerable to cravings or your recovery is still in its early stages, it’s much better for your health and well-being to hang out with friends who have no intention of getting plastered on Halloween.
Halloween is a great night to revisit horror film classics. Movie theatres don’t sell alcohol, so you’ll be perfectly in keeping with your horror film theme for the night if you limit your intake to popcorn and soda. If you don’t have any pals who want to hang out for scary movies, try inviting some new friends from your support group or even family members.
If you plan to attend a party where alcohol will be flowing freely, why not make your own contribution to the festivities by bringing along some “mocktails.” Concoct some spooky Halloween drinks that leave out the culpable ingredient. You can have lots of fun with your non-alcoholic drinks and they may be so tasty that your friends will want them too–even without the booze.
Think of the Kids
There are so many other ways to enjoy Halloween than diluting it with alcohol. Try to remember what Halloween was like as a kid. Wasn’t it fun when neighbours went all out on decorations for their front yard? Plan to give out great treats to the trick-or-treaters this year and design a spooky look for your setting. Invite a couple friends to hang out on your porch giving out candy to the trick-or-treaters. You can play cards or enjoy some other outdoor game as you watch the little kids in halloween costumes run by.
Start a New Tradition
If getting drunk used to be your annual Halloween tradition, you are definitely in need of some new traditions to enjoy this holiday sober. Put more effort into designing your halloween costume, create a “ghoulish” feast for family and friends, read a horror classic, carve pumpkins, organize a mystery-murder project, design a scavenger hunt for your friends, or do something crafty. You can author a brand new tradition to replace the unhealthy traditions you subscribed to in the past.
Don’t let the spirits tempt you on Halloween to forget what sobriety means to your life. If you need help during this holiday, ask for it. Call a mentor, check into a treatment centre, or stay with family. Once you’ve made it sober through this Halloween, it will be easier to stay sober through all the rest.
GUEST BLOGGER: Neil Ramon works as an addiction counsellor and likes to share his thoughts online. His insights can be found on a number of overcoming addiction and healthy lifestyle related websites.