CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.
We welcome Caleb and Molly to the CITB family and know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org and have a safe and happy Halloween!
Fun is not just for kids, and in fact, Halloween is the perfect time to make believe, dress up, and have a great time. But, how do you throw a substance-free party when you’re in recovery from addiction? One of the best ways to make sure everyone has an amazing time is to pick a theme and run with it. Sure, themes are a little cheesy, but that’s what Halloween is all about! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. They’re all packed with activities that make it easy to keep the focus on the fun and away from alcohol.
With movie themes, the possibilities are endless. A great way to set the scene is to use a projector to show the movie on a blank wall. For a scary classic, show Psycho but without sound and keep a scary soundtrack playing in the background (complete with the Psycho screech of course). Movie night can also be more fun than scary with favorites like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, or Harry Potter. Ask friends to come dressed as their favorite character, and serve alcohol-free versions of some beloved drinks from the movie you choose, like this Food Network recipe for butterbeer from Harry Potter.
When you turn your home into a house of horrors, the fun is all about the spooks. Check out Holiday for detailed how-tos and scenarios for making your home haunted. You can stick with a single theme like zombies, mad scientist, or a witch’s house, or set up a different scene in each room of your house for a surprise around every corner. Tie in themed food and drinks that are as spooky as the decor. There is no need for alcohol with all kinds of creepy punch recipes you can make that fit perfectly with the haunted theme.
Bonfire and Ghost Stories
Bring the fun outside by setting up a fire pit in your yard, building a bonfire and having everyone tell spooky stories around the fire. Serve s’mores and something warm to drink, like hot spiced cider, and offer blankets so everyone can get cozy. To make the stories come to life and feel even more real, set the scene by turning your yard into a graveyard, complete with tombstones and ghosts floating from trees.
Give your guests a case to solve with a mystery party. Try a modern take on a classic like this Nancy Drew party idea from Country Living, or do something a little more current like CSI. Whichever theme you go with, come up with a crime to solve, with clues, mysterious invitations, and a crime scene. Ask everyone to dress the part, and set up a “crime lab” with drinks served in test tubes
This theme gives your guests an excuse to dress up in swanky attire, but with a twist. Pick a time period or theme, such as Victorian opulence or the roaring twenties. This makes dressing up, even more, fun (and challenging!), and don’t forget to give masks for guests for an added air of mystery. For decor, go for Hollywood decadence but with an eerie touch, like these ideas from The Huffington Post.
Another upscale option is to plan an elegant dinner party styled in black and white. Set a beautifully creepy table with black and white linens, candlesticks, and a smattering of spiders. Ask guests to dress in only black and white. You can find endless ideas for spooky black and white decorations – from spiderweb, white lab coats, and skeletons to bats, ravens, and spiders.
Whether you go with something scary, fancy, whimsical, or somewhere in between, try finding a theme that you and your friends will get into. Simply have fun with it. When you do that, the fun is all about the theme and the activities instead of being about drinking. With a little careful planning and a lot of imagination, you can absolutely throw an amazing substance-free Halloween party.
Feature Image photo credit: Pixabay
This animation was created by comedian Mike Polk as a comedy piece and commentary. I saw it and realized its potential to help kick-off a series of posts on the topic of MISCONCEIVED and/or FORCED/DESTRUCTIVE life patterns commonly called Belief Systems. This series of posts will help you find destructive patterns (Belief Systems). We will offer guidance in identifying and correcting MISCONCEIVED patterns (Belief Systems).
Watch, Listen, Learn…
LIFE PATTERNS 101
Truth is sometimes painful. This video touches on EVERY issue (Belief System) that can develop when people try to FORCE a Belief System upon a relationship. If you IDENTIFY the truth and accept it, then let it guide you; the result will be a CHANGE in your Belief System. By changing your Belief System you break the pattern.
If you recognised ANY of the patterns (Belief Systems) in this video I STRONGLY urge you to READ ON. This post will offer some NEW concepts to help you understand and change your relationship patterns (Belief Systems).
LESSON ONE: Soul Mates 101
We have been mislead to believe there is only ONE Soul Mate for each of us. So we travel through our lives looking for the BIG ONE, the REAL DEAL, the EARTH SHAKING event that we have been assured will be SO OBVIOUS to us.
“MAKE IT WORK” – Tim Gunn
What happens when this process (EVENT) does not take place the way you have been led to believe it will? At that point most people take it upon themselves to FORCE (artificially create) these incorrect Belief Systems to become true. In effect they begin to “Create Their Own (BUT INAPPROPRIATE) Reality“. This results in living patterns (Belief Systems) like those portrayed in this animation.
This thinking pattern (Belief System) is SO WRONG in so many ways. Your thoughts are much more powerful than you realize – Your thoughts (Belief Systems) are like a massive iceberg that is mostly hidden beneath the surface, yet the part that is underwater is usually what sinks ships!
Wrong thinking, including ideas and misconceptions (Belief Systems) you formed as a child, could very well be affecting your life negatively now.
LESSON TWO: Soul Mates – A NEW Belief System
In your lifetime, MANY Soul Mates will travel through your life.
Main Entry: Soul Mate
1 : a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament
2 : a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs
3 : one of two persons compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity
What most do NOT understand is the FACT that in our lifetime many POTENTIAL Soul Mates are available AND seeking us out.
FACT: If you are busy with the WRONG person when a POTENTIAL Soul Mate seeks you out, that Soul Mate will keep on walking.
Are you so afraid of the unknown that you MUST fill the void by FORCE even at the cost of NOT meeting a yet unknown Soul Mate? You fill that void with a COMPROMISE. MOST of the time you fill that void with the WRONG person.
People come into your life for a reason, others just a season and sometimes they stay a lifetime. When you know which it is, then you will know what to do. This is A NEW Belief System for most people. With this NEW Belief System you need not fear being alone. You will not be driven by fear and you can fully enjoy your destiny.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to help you through a difficulty, to give you guidance and support, or to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They are there for the reason you need them what ever it may be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or perhaps at an inconvenient time, that person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
We must realize that when our need has been met, our wish fulfilled, their work is done. The request you made has been answered, and now it is time to move on. In this NEW Belief System, we need NOT fear being alone because we know other Soul Mates will follow.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. Their purpose may be to bring you peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifelong lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
“One of my core beliefs is that belief itself is a choice that can be made of our own free will” – Steve Pavlina
By applying these concepts you have a NEW choice in Belief Systems. Will you find yourself saying “Thank You For Being A Part Of My Life” (no matter if for a reason, a season or a lifetime) or will you continue to say “I Guess You’ll Do – You Can Pick Me Up At Eight…”
[notice]EDITORS NOTE: I am an Ordained Minister focused on pastoral counseling. I have expertise in anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, trauma, chronic pain and illness. I teach research-based, mindful, integrative, cognitive, and behavioral solutions to life’s challenging problems. I have been a certified Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner for over 25 years. In my current counseling practice I utilize a blend of talk based counseling with NLP programming techniques.[/notice]