Regardless of the bad puns, Halloween and other holidays can really be scary times for the newly clean and sober. Celebrations in which we used to aim for moderation—only to overshoot the mark—are plenty. So, it is somewhat natural to be nervous, despite holidays really only being like any other day. But, if you really are dead-set on going out on Halloween, fear not; there are plenty of options.
AA and NA Dances
AA and NA dances can be a lot of fun at any time of the year, but especially during festive days like Halloween or New Years’. Even if you are not the dancing type (I dance with the skill of a seizing fish out of water), it is still a great place meet people you have not yet met and those with whom you have begun to form relationships.
A lot of people do not believe it until they see it, but addicts and alcoholics—even when clean and sober—still party just as hard as they used to. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself.
Then again, maybe you have your own Halloween tradition with friends, or there is a special something you always wanted to try but never could because your disease found a way to keep it form happening every year. Now that we are clean and sober, we can go anywhere, we can do anything, and we can remember all of it. We can (generally, of course) afford to go see and do things we previously could not, simply because we were trying to maintain our addictions.
That said, if you are going to a place where there are a lot of people drinking and/or using, it is highly advisable you bring a clean and sober friend, or at least someone who knows about your recovery.
I also highly advise against going to a concert. It is a mistake I will only make once.
Of course, there is always the option of going to a meeting. Let’s face it: addicts and alcoholics can be some pretty “exotic” creatures, as the Big Book so delicately puts it. Halloween is when the crazies come out of the woodwork. Plus, hey, it never hurts to go to a meeting, and there are sure to be many tales of years past in which addicts and alcoholics share what little they remember of some of their own adventures.
For the more nostalgic, there is nothing wrong with staying home. Watch a few classic or B-Horror films with some new and/or old friends, and appreciate that there is no pressure to go out and add more names to that list of people you had harmed. Hand out candy, stroll through the neighborhood, or just plain appreciate the fact you are still around to see the merriment, and not one of the ghosts.
Whatever you decide to do, be safe out there!
Have any ideas for the newly or not-so-newly clean and sober on Halloween? Have your own stories you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!