Sobriety at Social Events
As the weather warms up, social calendars tend to include events with ice cold this, mojito that, pineapple-infused zombie something. Throw in a couple ice cubes of awkward, frozen or, irritated and it’s a real hoot. Or, not. Memorial Day, 4thof July, Labor Day, weddings, backyard BBQs, graduations, all create reasons for being together and celebrating with spirits and food. But, if you’re newly sober (abstinent from drugs and alcohol), the setting, the people, or both can create clouds of feeling different, not included or, abnormal. Keyword: feeling. Own your Sobriety at Social Events!
Inventory the Facts
Just because you are not the mango tsunami guy or, the frozen raspberry sunset girl does not mean you are left out. In fact, you may be more IN that you realize.
Fact: Anyone who needs a drug or a drink to have fun is missing out on the gifts of authenticity. Remember, challenge or hardship eventually feels like an extraordinary gift, once the dust settles and the gift immediately after these is held. Be yourself.
Fact: Maintaining Sobriety at Social Events and peace of mind take the same efforts on Christmas, graduation, a day at the lake, as they do on Tuesday at 6A or 11P. Be consistent.
Fact: Not everyone will understand your story. Before sharing, make sure they deserve to hear it. Is this a friend? Or, are you trying to hotwire the beginning of a friendship? Be patient.
Fact: Party’s come and go. The status symbol is not looking like everyone else. Also, the illusion of acceptance creates self-loathing and disconnection. Be generous towards yourself.
Fact: Replacing beer pong with monster pong seems harmless initially. What can you replace beer or energy drinks with to enjoy the social experience, without reliving old behaviors? Be realistic. Remember, mind or mood altering chemicals come with side effects. Be kind to your body.
So how can you have a great time maintaining your Sobriety at Social Events and keep your sense of humor about the illusion that liquor makes people more fun or big events more tolerable? Kona punch tsunami creates more of an emotional and personal tsunami than the light-hearted.
A big part of recovery is managing the risks. Planning ahead goes a long way in Sobriety at Social Events. Social events can be fun, but they can also be stressful, especially in early sobriety. Be gentle with yourself. Provide yourself the opportunity to succeed.
- Bring fun, non-alcoholic drinks to every event so you are never empty handed
- Make sure you get plenty of rest before big social engagements
- Eat a filling and healthy meal, and bring snacks if you’ll be out late
• Talk to your sponsor or support group prior to heading into a situation that makes you nervous and let them know why
These instructions seem so simple but they are true beyond a doubt. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (H.A.L.T.), requires pause and taking care of oneself. Don’t underestimate the power of the details. Your body and mind deserve your care.
Rethink Your Social Circle
You know you’re ready for change when every event you attend ends up with everyone toasted, it might be time to find a new circle of friends. If you’re into sports and your teammates like to play sloshball after every game, it might be time to find a new team. If your girlfriends meet weekly for ‘book club’ to drink wine and gossip, take a break from the group for a while. Also, being sober doesn’t mean cutting people off. It does mean recognizing which activities and friends may be the triggers.
When you’re busier than usual, you may experience inconvenient feelings. Help yourself by asking for help. Find support in 12-step meetings, counseling, Celebrate Recovery; talk to other people in sobriety. Read literature, call sober friends and take quiet time to meditate. In fact, this time isn’t selfish, it means you are working to be a better friend, spouse or parent.
Relying on your support network is: a.) courage, b.) necessary, and c.) managing risks. People who know you see things that you may not readily see.
Hold Yourself Accountable
You can have a wonderful, fun-filled, social calendar. You don’t have to become a hermit. But, you need to take care of yourself and learn new habits, which will soon be familiar and comfortable. Above all, hold your sobriety highest on your list or priorities. Therefore, to protect your sobriety, nurture your recovery habits. If you don’t know how to explain why you are not drinking at a social event, plan your responses in advance.
Yes, you can stay sober and have fun. Let us know what Sober Social events you’re up to! We’d love to hear from you.
Stay connected, stay motivated and chances are you will enjoy a happy, healthy, less-stress life! To learn more, contact us or call 714.375.1110