If you are in the midst of a recovery program to curb your addiction, reorienting in your social life amongst family and friends can feel like you’re walking a tight rope. One misstep, and you run the risk of falling flat on your face. How can you go back to enjoying an active social life when these thoughts weigh heavily on your mind? The key to navigating through the stages of early recovery is to figure out what brings you joy, and what you should do to fulfill this joy. Are you an avid concert goer? Do you enjoy kayaking? Do you find comfort in your sober support group?
You can still enjoy the pleasures of these activities, you will just need to take the precautions for staying on track with your sobriety. Apart from doing your own inner work on mindfulness and discipline, the team of treatment specialists at Southeast Addiction will equip you with the tools to comfortably socialize. Today, we would like to discuss how to socialize without drinking.
Find Solace From Like-Minded Individuals
Once you have broken free from the restraints of addiction, the people you once associated with can no longer be part of your life. To learn how to socialize without drinking, it can help to do some sober social networking, staying around people and friends who are supportive of your journey, with no intent of veering you off the path you chose. Early on in your recovery, you may not feel comfortable with the idea of being sober while attending social gatherings. When these events come up, ask a friend who is also sober to come join you. By having them present, it will give you peace of mind in knowing that you aren’t the only non-drinker at the party, which will also make it easier to have fun!
Being Sober Around Those Who Do Drink
As you begin the process of being sober at parties and other social events, expect to experience these events from a totally different perspective. Your journey of recovery up until this point has changed you for the better, and your social life will look different as well (just know that this is for your benefit). Just because you are doing the work to socialize without drinking, it does not mean that others in attendance are going to forgo their own consumption of alcohol for your sake. We completely empathize with the stress that comes from potentially falling into old habits.
Keep the following tips in mind so that you can come out of this unbothered:
- Have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand as often as you can, which reduces the likelihood of being offered alcohol from another party goer
- If people press you on why you aren’t drinking, share as much as or as little information as possible. The decision is yours to make.
- Be prepared to leave if you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable
- If the pressure is gearing up, skip any events that don’t make you feel comfortable
Try New Activities
As we touched on in the beginning, going out to places that involves drinking does not have to be the default way of spending time with friends, especially if you are actively working on your recovery journey. Try an activity that no one in your group, including you, has done before. If you and your group have never seen a musical, see if you can attend a showing in your area. Maybe your group loves to dabble in video games? It could be well worth your time to visit an arcade or video game café. By putting the attention on something new and exciting, it allows everyone to focus on staying engaged with that particular activity, keeping the presence of deterrents like alcohol at bay.
Immerse Yourself In Sober Support Groups
The core group of people who will have the most insight on your journey are our treatment professionals at Southeast Addiction, as well as the other members of your sober support group. This group will understand the specifics of your situation, and you might find potential friendships within these groups, since that camaraderie has already been established. Through these meaningful connections, it allows everyone in the group to feed off each other and come up with ways to approach social settings, all while avoiding temptation. You might find that this is your strongest resource when learning how to socialize without drinking.
Stay The Course And Socialize Without Drinking
Our team of treatment specialists will work closely alongside you to ensure that you stay committed to the lifelong endeavor of sobriety. Southeast Addiction offers a plethora of programs for all kinds of substance and alcohol abuse issues. Want to get the ball rolling on a tailored treatment program? Contact us today to finalize your involvement.
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If you or a loved one need help, we are available to guide you through every step of your recovery. Call us today and speak with a recovery counselor to get started.