For many people, one of the hardest aspects of staying sober is continuing to enjoy social events where the majority of the attendees will be drinking. Holiday parties, weddings, and even casual nights out can become overwhelming, producing anxiety and stress for a recovering addict. After all, sobriety is a challenge. If an addict is surrounded by people who are not sober, it can be very difficult to resist temptation. Fortunately, there are ways to stay social without drinking or feeling pressure to drink.
Choose Your Friends & Activities Wisely
If the majority of your friends are not sober, then you may try meeting new people who are. This does not mean you must give up your existing friend group; it simply means that you will be able to open up new opportunities for sober living. That way, if your current friends decide to go out drinking, you will be able to arrange different plans with your sober friends. However, be sure to keep in touch with your existing friend group and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Long-time friends and their support can be crucial to the recovery process. Consider making plans with friends that don’t involve temptations, such as lunch or going to the movies. In addition, it is important to weed out any friends that do not respect and support your choice to be sober.
Learn to Accept Your Sobriety
Unfortunately, just because you are sober does not mean that everyone else will be too. You can make sober friends, but eventually you will likely find yourself in the presence of temptations. Once you accept that you are sober and you have made a firm commitment to your sobriety, you will be able to face temptations without giving in. You must learn to enjoy your life sober – even if others are not sober with you. In the beginning you may feel it necessary to surround yourself with other distractions. Music, food, and games are all good ways to keep your attention away from temptations. Distractions will help you enjoy your time with friends even if they are drinking. At the end of the day, you will be proud of yourself for avoiding temptation and still having fun.
It may also help to carry around a bottle of water or another non-alcoholic beverage with you. Sometimes, just the act of holding a beverage in your hand can make the situation feel less awkward and allow you to enjoy yourself.
Staying social while staying sober is not always an easy process. Some individuals will find the process to be harder than others. However, by following some of these guidelines and by finding your own comfort zone, you’ll discover that it is possible to enjoy yourself sober.
Peter Wendt is a writer & researcher living in Austin, Texas. After abstaining from alcohol, Peter had a difficult time enjoying himself in social situations. As a result, Wendt visited the texas drug rehab program at Origins Recovery. The expert staff taught him how to transition into his new sober life and helped him enjoy his life again.