Staying Sober on Thanksgiving: America’s Drunkest Holiday

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is up there with one of the biggest drinking days in America. I’m not sure why, when, or how Thanksgiving has become an beersoaked bloodsport but it has and it’s worth your life just to get through it if you’re an alcoholic in recovery. This week (tomorrow!) I’m hitting four months sober. Thanksgiving poses a Herculean challenge to my hard earned sobriety. All hands on deck this week. If you’re in recovery too, I know you feel me. This holiday is balls to get through sober.

I’ve put into effect my own plan for sober success: I’ll be working in the office. I fully recognize that this is a drastic and insane measure but desperate men do desperate things on Thanksgiving. My rule? If it keeps me sober, it’s a goodass move. I’m not freaking the fuck out or anything but I’m not taking any chances either if I wind up in the kill zone. I haven’t had any real cravings in a while but I’m not taking any chances, man. I’ve learn the hard way not to fuck around with Thanksgiving. This holiday can be unforgiving.

Here’s some helpful and not insane tips for protecting your sobriety this Thanksgiving!

  1. ANTICIPATE THE CRAVINGS! Sometimes just knowing that there’s a slight chance that you might just have a bad time out of NOWHERE is helpful. I’m not saying to worry about cravings, but NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THAT SHIT. That’s a recipe for failure. Play the tape and have a game plan for how your going to deal with that shit.
  2. BUDDY SYSTEM: Communication is crucial to staying sober. If you’re going into a hostile environment this Thanksgiving, it’s good to bring a teammate or at least let somebody else know that you’re staying sober. It’s a good move and people usually respect that. It’s also easier if you’re not keeping it to yourself.
  3. NO SHAME! Most likely, you’re not doing Thanksgiving at a frat house so nobody’s going to be pushing liquor on you. Don’t feel pressured to drink and if somebody is trying to make you drink tell them to go fuck themselves because that’s dumb. Hopefully, you don’t have to tell anybody to go fuck themselves for any reason but you never know! Holidays bring out the worst in people. Never be afraid to go ape shit on somebody who doesn’t respect your recovery and dedication to sobriety.
  4. OFFER TO BE A DESIGNATED DRIVER! People love to get trashed on Thanksgiving and everybody likes a helpful friend! My go-to move in a lot of these situations is to volunteer as designated driver. It’s an underrated move. And it’s a good way to go if you’re feeling uncomfortable about discussing your reasons for not drinking.
  5. IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES! If worst comes to worse and you just gotta gtfo then a cigarette break is a perfectly acceptable escape from danger. If you do smoke, you should treat yourself and buy some good smokes. Don’t cheap out! Treat yourself! And if you anticipate potentially needing a long break then by yourself a nice cigar. If you don’t smoke (good for you!) just lie and say you’re stepping out for a smoke break and just chill down for 15 minutes. If you’re quitting smoking like me, I like going with tooth picks and a cup of tea. It’s not a bad alternative! And it’s way healthier–but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I hope that you find these tips helpful and feel free to post your own sober pro-tips in the comments!

Good luck staying sober this Thanksgiving!

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