For many people, Veterans Day brings to mind celebratory traditions such as parades and family gatherings. It\u2019s a day that marks the service of all U.S. military veterans, so if you or other members of your family are veterans, celebrations may be even more wild or intense. Get-togethers with family and friends may include open drinking and drugging. As a recovering alcoholic or addict, you may find yourself dealing with things or people who make the day particularly uncomfortable for you. You may be unable to avoid social gatherings or you may feel uncomfortable because you don\u2019t have anywhere special to go. Reasons Veterans Day May Threaten Sobriety There are several reasons that Veterans Day and other holidays may threaten your sobriety or make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. You may feel ill at ease because you have to interact with family members you would rather avoid, or it may be a day that you feel lonely because you don\u2019t have family to get together with. If you are a veteran yourself, you may experience unpleasant memories or feelings on this day. You may feel angry or unappreciated, and your emotions may escalate. It\u2019s important that you ask for help from a counselor, other people in recovery, or from other veterans who understand what is really causing you to experience unsettled or negative feelings. Don\u2019t try to pretend that you don\u2019t feel these feelings or try to stuff them because you think you shouldn\u2019t be feeling that way. Some people in recovery feel lost or restless because they have a day off from work and nothing in particular going on. Since a holiday is a disruption to your normal routine, it can set off feelings of wanting to pick up because you are bored or restless. For some people, this sense of restlessness can be as big a trigger for setting off cravings as being around people who are drinking or drugging. Tools for Recovery Write down your feelings in a journal so that you can work through them. Don\u2019t dwell on negative feelings or obsess about things you can\u2019t change. Slogans are a simple way to keep recovery up front in your mind \u2013 repeat phrases such as \u201cone day at a time,\u201d \u201clive and let live,\u201d \u201ceasy does it\u201d and \u201cthink.\u201d Another reminder is the acronym HALT, which reminds you to avoid becoming too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. If you\u2019re feeling uncomfortable, let someone know. Call your sponsor or a sober friend. Get to more meetings. If you feel you have to attend gatherings with people who are drinking or drugging, bring a sober friend with you. If that isn\u2019t possible, make sure you are able to call or text your sponsor or other people who are in recovery. If you are at a gathering and feel your sobriety is at risk, don\u2019t hesitate to make an excuse and leave the event. If you are feeling uncomfortable because you have the day off from work and nothing to do, make a plan to fill your day with sober activities. Go for a walk or bike ride, connect with sober friends or spend some time meditating, reading or writing. Get to an extra meeting if you can.\u00a0 Keeping It Simple Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are simple programs for complicated people. In the end, the most important thing you have to do is stay away from one drink or substance for one day no matter what. That includes holidays, and any other people, places and things that might trigger cravings. Whatever uncomfortable feelings you have that are holiday-related will pass as long as you don\u2019t pick up. On Veterans Day, honor the holiday and any veterans in your life, but don\u2019t use it as an excuse to pick up a drink. Remember that you are not alone in your recovery journey, and Veterans Day is just a single day along the way. It\u2019s not worth picking up over.