Navigating social gatherings can be a challenge when living sober, particularly during the early stages of your recovery. This is when you are rewiring your brain in numerous ways, including as it relates to its reward centers, and creating a better you. These sobriety tips will help you do that in a way that allows you to continue progressing with your recovery amidst the challenges of social gatherings.
When Should You Start Engaging in Social Gatherings?
As with every step on the way towards sobriety and recovery, this depends much more so on your own comfort level and progress than on any sort of predetermined time frame. With that said, be especially wary about social gatherings during the initial months of your recovery, as that is when you are likely most vulnerable.
This is a time that is great for finding and embracing new activities, such as hiking, volunteering, gardening, or otherwise pursuing interests you had not had. Also, be understanding of yourself if you are less passionate about those things than you would like to be. Alcoholics recovery is filled with challenges, and struggling to find joy in activities is expected.
Importance of Socializing in Sobriety
Although you are most likely going to change how you socialize during your alcoholic recovery, do make sure that you are socializing. You may feel like retreating from others during this time, which is often necessary to a certain degree, but it would be best to continue socializing. Your mind and emotions are going through significant changes, and it is essential not to do this alone.
However, keep in mind the difference between being with one or two people versus being at a gathering.
Sobriety Tips for Social Situations
Keep these tips in mind for how to experience sobriety during social gatherings.
Responding to Offers of Alcohol
Mentally prepare yourself for situations during which you will be declining offers of alcohol, as this may be something you have generally not done before. It may be a significant adjustment for you and those who have known you for a while; they may not expect that response. So, think of how you will word what you will say and respond to their reaction.
Of course, when it comes down to it, there is nothing wrong with saying “no,” same as if you were declining a type of food you do not enjoy eating or a concert you do not want to attend.
Frame this in a positive light in your mind. Think of how beneficial sobriety will be for you and how it will help you have a clearer outlook.
As with most things in life, declining offers of alcohol will get easier for you the more often you do it.
Bring a Sober Friend
You should bring a sober friend if you are at a gathering where most will be drinking. There should be at least one other person who you know, trust, and is sober.
Keep a Non-Alcoholic Drink in Hand
If others have drinks in their hands, you should also have one in yours. Holding that non-alcoholic drink may help you feel more comfortable in this type of setting and help you feel like you fit in from a visual perspective, as no one will be asking you, “Why are you not drinking anything?”
Remember That You Can Always Leave Early
One of the most important early sobriety tips is that you can always leave early. If the event is not what you expected, whether that means that what is happening there is not what you had anticipated or you are not responding emotionally to it as you had hoped, leave.
Suggest an Alternate Activity or Venue
During the planning stages, suggest an alternate activity or venue if the group is looking to go somewhere you would prefer to go to for sobriety-related or other reasons.
Also, remember that you can always decline going if you are worried about it or expect to feel uncomfortable there. Yes, being social is an integral part of your recovery process, but what is essential is being social in the right types of situations, in ones that help your recovery, not hinder it.
How We Can Help With Your Sobriety Journey
We understand how challenging sobriety often is, and we know how sensitive you can be to triggers, particularly early on in your recovery. If you need assistance with this process, contact us at 409-331-6996, and we will help get your life back on the right track.