It is holiday season and your making amends so the inevitable is coming, your invited to a party. For me parties meant instant anxiety. My first party in recovery was my daughters birthday party. I knew I was safe because my family is very supportive and knows the signs that I am getting anxious and struggling. Start small meaning first attend a family dinner, then maybe a family BBQ then build up to larger psrties like baby showers and weddings. Always have a “safe” person you can talk to when your there if things are making you feel uneasy.
I used to worry about attending family parties because I did not know how certain people felt about me. I would worry that I was ruining their time because they didn’t want to see me. I soon started to realize that I would always worry unless I knew the truth. So I starting pulling aside those I wronged and apoligzed for our history and asked them if they would be more comfortable if I did not attend. Almost everyone said as long as I was sober then they were happy and comfortable, they also appreciated the fact I considered their feelings. If you aren’t comfortable talking to the person alone bring your “safe” person as a mediator.
Another thing that you may face is people who are not in recovery enjoying activities that we addicts cannot. I personally don’t attend parties where people are smoking pot, drinking or harder drugs. But sometimes we find ourselves in a situation we did not plan for. Luckily drinking has never really been an issue for me, I don’t like alcohol but my dad drinks and I would rather not see someone under the influence. So I leave when I see things getting out of hand. It is always okay to leave. Never feel obligated to stay in a situation you don’t feel safe or comfortable in. Family and friends will understand if you need to excuse yourself.
My word of advice is use these upcoming holiday parties to make further amends, enjoy your 2nd chance at life, be thankful, and show yourself and others you are a changed person.