Every New Years brings up visions of drinking and partying the night away.  It is a major relapse trigger for almost everyone early in recovery.  There is some DBT skills and one song that can help keep this time of year safe and sober.

Sober New Years

What a wonderful time of the year, New Roadians helping others to ring in a clean and sober New Year! For ye all are jolly good fellows!! (Cue party hats and noise makers NOW!)

And sparkle…disco-ball…sparkle…glitter…and sparkle!!!!!! 🙂 JAZZY SPIRIT FINGERS!!!! Let’s talk about how to have a sober new years, shall we?

As we near the end of 2015, I’m reflecting on all of the amazing clients we’ve had this year that are living happy and successful lives because of the hard work and dedication they’ve put into healing from their pasts and in building a life worth living.

We have a truly gifted and heartfelt team that has had the opportunity to help them along their way and it’s been a great year! I would like to think the skills and modeling their application is a powerful way to show clients how to overcome or cope with life’s obstacles and create that life with vision and purpose.

DBT shows us, how to show them, to make it all possible.  If you haven’t bought into the skills yet, you should try them in your own lives because they really do work and allow you to be more skillful in all of your affairs!

Make it your New Year’s resolution to give them an honest ditch effort!!! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Three non-alcoholic cheers for DBT! (Cue noise makers again!) And sparkle with glitter!!!No Alcohol New Years Treatment

Suddenly, I feel moved to sing! Ahhemmm, ahemm…hack…hack…drink lemon juice with honey, swish, gargle…and ready! “For old acquaintance be forgot, sumthin, sumthin, miiiiiiiiiiiind? Aaaaaaaaaa ol acquaintance be forgot aaaaaah ol hangst time??!!” Lol! God, I’m good! No wonder my choir teacher loved me!!!

I just so completely nailed that pitch that the heavens opened thinking I was a singing angel, but then said to me, “What the hell did you just say?” I responded by saying, “It’s the New Year’s Song!” They said, “Uh ya, about that, we don’t know what ya just sang, but it wasn’t right or pretty!”

Whoa…harsh!  I must show them! Time for some homework so I can truly showcase my talents!!!


Let’s see…Google search New Year’s Eve song, and go! Huh!!???? “Auld Lang Syne” is the title. Well, now I’m really interested! I’m 41 years old and I never had a clue!!! What the heck does “Auld Lang Syne” mean? Crazy! The things you learn when you’re sober and can give a hoot!

Turns out, it’s written by a Scottish gent, a poet, and it translates to “old long since” or “the good old times.” It’s a song about closure not just for New Year’s, but also done at funerals or graduations.  For the past 7 years, New Year’s in sobriety has not been a big holiday for me.

I’m usually in bed when the New Year is rung in and the whole song part comes about, because even when I try to stay up late, I fall asleep. When you’re sober and not out partying like some of the rest of the world, (and you’re perhaps older like myself and cherish your relaxation or sleep time) if I see the ball drop with Dick Clark, I know I’m up way past my bedtime! 🙂 True story!

Actually, come to find out, it’s not even Dick anymore it’s Ryan Seacrest! Lol!

Anyways, the song…If you Treatment Love New Years New Roadsread the lyrics, it is about remembering love and kindness from days gone by and building fellowships and neighbors to take into the future. 🙂

To help our clients see and understand the healthier translation about the song, I have taken the liberty to re-write the song a bit with some clearer boundaries!

Here it goes…

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? If the acquaintance got you caught up with a cop and you ended up doing time then the answer is yes forget them…old lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my platonic pal, for auld lang syne, we can use our DBT skills yet, for auld lang syne.

And surely this year you’ll refrain from that pint cup! Sobriety can be yours, don’t ever give up! Turn away the drink, stop and think, DBT can be your way ouuuuut, for auld lang syne!”

Ok! Lol! So it’s still a work in progress! I’m certainly no Robert Burns, the Scotsman who originally wrote the song, but I am writing this blog and my intentions are well! Lol! SPARKLE DISCO SPARKLE! Hahahahahaha! The sparkle adds to the blog don’t you think?

DBT Road MapNow, to get down to business! We are on the last two skills in the DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILL SET: (Glitterflashyspark!)

The skill of using PRO’S vs. CON’S, and the skill of radical acceptance. I bet you’re wondering how I am going to tie it in the “Auld Lang Syne,” huh? Well, watch and learn my people! Lol!

You could use the PRO’S vs. CON’S list to make a “wise-minded” choice of the two translations! BAM! The pro’s and con’s of the good ol’ times with use vs. the pro’s and con’s of building a future and fellowship!

The idea is to make a choice of using your skills vs. suffering. The skills ALWAYS outweigh the suffering! Try it at home!

The skill of RADICAL ACCEPTANCE is about just accepting your situation as it is! It could be painful, frustrating, irreconcilable, unfair, uncomfortable, or aggravating, but accepting it is a lot easier than fighting it with no hope for a change in the outcome.

Accepting something is different from approving of it. If you refuse or cannot accept something, in a sense you are causing yourself MORE pain and suffering. Radical acceptance is dealing with the hand you were dealt!

Like accepting, as an alcoholic or an addict, New Year’s Eve, might not be the same anymore! It still can be an oodle load of fun (glitter and sparkle), but you have to learn to do things differently! DISCO-BALL DANCE GLITTER FEVER!!!

Sober New Years HAPPY NEW YEAR’S ALL! PRACTICE, VALIDATE, and HAVE FUN! The skills work if you work them!

By Kristen Sroczynski, LSUDC