Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 27, 2012

Three years ago I was in very early recovery, I had been clean for almost 7 months and the holidays rolled around. I made it through Christmas ok, honestly the holidays hadn’t really been a big deal to me in a long time anyways so I didn’t find it particularly triggering or difficult to go through. But a few days after Christmas is my birthday and for some reason, although it isn’t really a big deal to me either, I found some interesting thoughts going through my head.

“It’s my birthday, it would be really nice to see my old friends and go out to the bar to shoot some pool…”

“I have been doing really good, one night isn’t going to hurt anything…”

“No one has to know anyways…”

“I really miss my old friends, I deserve to spend some time with them.”

“My old friends miss me…It’s not fair to them.”

“I can do it one time and then continue with my recovery, it won’t be a big deal at all…”

Well, one of my old friends did come over to visit me on my birthday. And I asked him if he had any drugs after we had been visiting for a while. I wanted to relapse on my birthday! Of course I knew he did but he wasn’t giving it up. He told me he was proud of me and the hard work I was doing, that I deserved to heal myself and get better and he wouldn’t be the one to enable me to throw it all away. What a good friend he is, even to this day, although he is still very active in his addiction.

So for my birthday I didn’t go out, I didn’t hang all night with old friends, I didn’t relapse. I ended up going to my recovery program where they cooked me dinner and a birthday dessert and gave me birthday blessings. Thank god.

The last few birthdays I was either pregnant or a new mom so partying wasn’t an option and the thought never crossed my mind. This year, however, I am home for the holidays and am planning on seeing old friends to celebrate my birthday. Not old friends I used with, just people I have known in my life that I haven’t seen for many years, but I still have a safety plan just in case.

1) I have a ride lined up to come get me whenever I feel the need to leave since I don’t have my own vehicle here. That way I am sure that I have someone reliable to come get me at any time for any reason.

2) I have carefully selected the people I have invited out to spend time with me. I have chosen people I believe to be on the same path as I am or at least who understand and are supportive.

3) I have my best friend and boyfriend on speed dial of course, as they always are even when they aren’t over 1600 miles away. All it takes is a phone call to receive the love and support that I need from people who know me and understand on the deepest level.

I believe with these things and my strong foundation in recovery that everything will be great. What is your recovery safety plan for situations like this?