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The ABCs of a Sober Father’s Day


Father’s Day is coming, but many of us will be conflicted about celebrating it this year. Whether you are in recovery or dad is, remember that even if your Father’s Day doesn’t match the sentimental messages in greeting cards, it’s okay. Be realistic and trust that your Now is not your Forever. One of the gifts of recovery is repairing relationships damaged through addiction. You may even need to put some boundaries in place. If certain people and relationships are too much this year, it’s okay to sit this Father’s Day out.

If you do have Father’s Day plans which are causing you any anxiety, try using the ABC approach. ABC is an anger management technique that also works to improve communications and keep you true to yourself.

A is for Acknowledge.

If you recognize that your button is being pushed or the same old arguments are starting, you can redirect or disengage. Acknowledge the dynamics at play, and you will gain more control over the situation.

B is for Breathe.

Simply breathe. Deep breaths or a break from the action will help you think clearly and gain or maintain control over yourself.

C is for Communicate.

Notice that it comes third, even though our instinct is to launch into talking (or yelling!) first. With the control that stems from acknowledging and breathing, you are ready to make a clear, calm statement about how the words or actions of your dad are affecting you. It may result in a change to the dynamics of your conversation.

We can’t turn others into who we want them to be. But we can change our reactions to them. And what better gift for Father’s Day than the gift of starting over.

Good luck Sober People and Happy Father’s Day to ALL the father’s out there.

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