T. E. Pepper

SFYB Staff Writer

A Simple Way to Survive the Loneliness of the Holiday Season

By: T.E. Pepper

Here’s the thing. A lot of us have burned through friendships and family, and no one wants to see us anymore. Some don’t know where we are, or if we’re even still alive.

When we drink and cause misery in the lives of others, sometimes it takes a long time to reestablish, repair, and resume those relationships. Sometimes we never can. And that makes this a lonely time of year for many of us.

A Simple Way to Survive the Loneliness of the Holiday Season

Being alone for the holidays is isolating and often depressing. But sobriety offers the opportunity to make new friends. I’m talking about people who are safe to be with during the holidays because they’re sober.

Most big cities sponsor recovery clubhouses and charities with round-the-clock AA meetings during the holidays. It’s a great idea to get out and attend a meeting if you’re feeling lonely.

Talk to people. Call another recovering alcoholic. Get out of your house or apartment and go to coffee shops. Be around people.

Sign up for a yoga class or go to a reading at a bookstore or library. Go to a holiday church service or a non-religious meeting like the Ethical Society.

A Simple Way to Survive the Loneliness of the Holiday Season Click to Tweet

A Simple Way to Survive the Loneliness of the Holiday Season

Offer to help people less fortunate than you. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Get into the spirit of the season by focusing outward on others.

Find something you care about and dedicate yourself to that for a few days. Maybe it will become a lifelong hobby. Wouldn’t that be great?

The holidays can be a difficult time, and newly sober people are often seduced into relapse by the mental and emotional pressures bombarding them this time of year. We know we will find “friends” in a bar. But we also know those aren’t real friends. We won’t be happier or less lonely just because we drink.

Being sober means we find new, healthy ways to have relationships with people. The key is not to succumb to depression and isolation. We can’t allow the disease to regain a foothold in our lives again and drive us back to drinking and that kind of misery.

A_people holding hands

Yes, the holiday season can be terribly lonely. But not if you change your focus. See it as an opportunity. Take the next step in your recovery and make more sober friends, help others, investigate a new hobby.

There’s a wonderful sober world out there. Check it out. It’s worth the effort.


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T. E. Pepper
T.E. Pepper has been sober since 2008. A world traveler, a musician, and heavily tattooed, he lives on the East Coast and hopes to help others find the thrilling life in sobriety that he has found.

Filed under: AlcoholismChristmasHollidaySober Survival