Learning to Celebrate Without Alcohol Abuse

Woman contemplating her Chronic Kidney Disease

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Celebrations and special events of all kinds often involve the use of alcohol, which can become a focal point of any type of festivity.

Weddings, anniversary parties, holiday celebrations and the like often have an open bar available or some kind of beverage station in which alcohol is available.

Many parties will also involve drinking games, which will directly involve guests in alcohol use. Whatever the occasion or scenario may be, this is an important aspect for a recovering alcoholic to renegotiate and learn how to approach.

For an individual who may have been struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction, celebrations and parties can essentially serve as a guise for alcoholism or destructive behaviors involving alcohol. If other individuals are drinking alcohol and using such to celebrate, it is easier to blend in with the crowd for the sake of participating.

If may even feel awkward being the only one that is not drinking in a crowd of people who are collectively drinking alcoholic beverages in the name of celebration.

This can be especially challenging for an individual who is in recovery from alcoholism. How can celebrations be approached while maintaining sobriety? The good news is that you can continue to celebrate without using alcohol, and you will likely have a more enjoyable and memorable experience while being sober.

If you feel obligated to have a drink in your hand at a celebratory event, be sure to opt for something that is non-alcoholic. You can still enjoy a festive drink while skipping the alcohol.

Attempt to become more involved in conversations and relationships, which is difficult to do under the influence of alcohol. Using celebrations as a time to truly commune and fellowship with other people rather than consume your time with alcohol use.

You may even consider assigning yourself to the role of designated driver to give you more reason to remain sober for whatever event you are participating in.

While choosing sobriety may not initially feel as gratifying as using alcohol once did, know that this process takes time and that the benefits you are reaping for yourself will far outshine any event that you may be involved in. Learn to protect your sobriety at all costs and focus on what should be done to help maintain the efforts you are investing in your recovery.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Times of celebration can may recovery and sobriety efforts even more challenging for someone with a history of alcohol abuse. If you have been in recovery from alcohol abuse and addiction, how have you worked through these types of situations?


Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 25, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com