October is endearingly referred to as “spooky season” and while for many people that is a fun and festive way to reference Halloween, it can be all too real for people struggling with addiction or living a life of recovery.
Holidays of all kinds are tricky with social obligations and large meals, but Halloween can be particularly tricky. As a kid, Halloween is all fun pranks and candy, but as you get older the holiday changes into a time for people to act like other people, usually with the assistance of drugs and alcohol.
With vices being handed out like candy it is imperative that you go into social engagements with a plan during the Halloween season. Despite the risks involved with celebrating Halloween, it is possible to go into the spirit and have a wonderful time dressing up and seeing your friends. To make this possible you simply have to enter the holiday weekend with a plan.
While we will outline some ideas that will help you head to parties and social galleries with a plan to keep you clean and sober you must only use it as a guideline and cater it to yourself.
Identify A Support System
When you are headed to a friend or family member’s house for a party you, unfortunately, cannot bring your professional support system, but you can bring someone close to you that understands your situation. Bringing this person to the party will give you someone to talk to when you feel uncomfortable or simply need to get out of an awkward conversation that is adding difficulty to your journey.
Despite the fact that you cannot bring your professional support to the party itself you can see your group or therapist as close to Halloween weekend as possible. This will set you up for success throughout the weekend.
Have a Plan to Stay Sober
This sounds obvious, but taking variables out of the night is a great way to stay comfortably sober. Making yourself virgin cocktails will avoid unwanted attention, telling the party host ahead of time can help you avoid some conversations you may not want to have.
This is the most personal aspect of attending a party and only you can truly make an effective plan for yourself. Just remember to prepare yourself to deal with people who do not understand your journey.
Have A Plan to Leave
Going into a party with a distinct plan to leave is a great way to provide yourself with peace of mind and prevent yourself from feeling trapped. If you have a car this is not tricky, just pick a parking spot down the street where you know you will not be parked in.
If you do not have a car or do not feel comfortable taking public transportation late at night it would be smart to have a trusted friend who understands your journey ready and waiting to pick you up. If you know a ride is just a call away, social situations can feel a lot less threatening. In a pinch, you can rely on rideshare apps, but that does not quite provide the same peace of mind for some people.
Fun Sober Halloween Celebrations
Despite the risks and tricky situations involved with Halloween, there are many ways you can be festive and enjoy the weekend while remaining sober. The guidance above will help you stay sober in tricky social situations but there are plenty of other activities you can partake in to have a memorable spooky season.
Wherever you live it is almost certain that children will be trick-or-treating on either the Thursday or Friday before Halloween. A great way to celebrate Halloween sober is to truly embrace this aspect of the holiday.
If you have kids it can be extremely enjoyable to dress up with them and escort them throughout the evening. This not only allows you to feel like a participant in the holiday but will lead to you spending quality time with your kids. Plus you can take a couple of the candy bars with peanuts that kids always seem to shy away from.
If you don’t have kids you can dress up and actively hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. A bowl on the porch is boring for both you and the kids, instead, put on a fun costume and hand out some candy. Not only will the kids be excited to see someone in costume but little trick-or-treaters can put a smile on anyone’s face.
When was the last time you carved a pumpkin? Sure it feels childish but it is actually a fun activity that is reasonably inexpensive, can be done with others or alone, and results in a fun decoration that the rest of the neighborhood will enjoy.
Carving pumpkins is even more fun if you pair it with a bowl of candy and a Halloween playlist that really helps you get into the holiday spirit.
Attend A Haunted House
Scheduling an evening at a haunted house is another great way to feel like a part of the Halloween festivities without having to go to a party or partake in vices. Salt Lake City offers more than a few haunted houses so you won’t have to travel far, plus the jump scares inside are sure to get your adrenaline going and result in a memorable evening.
In Utah, Halloween falls directly in the middle of the desert season. The weather in the desert this time of year is as comfortable as it gets both during the day and at night. While you will need good camping gear because the desert gets cold, heading south for Halloween is a great way to celebrate the holiday in your own way.
The desert seems to have surreal spooky vibes this time of year and you will be far away from the draw of partying and well outside the reach of bad influences.