Being sober doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life. However, managing sobriety in a social setting, especially when alcohol is involved, can be a bit of a challenge. You may have numerous concerns about going out after giving up drinking.
1. Talk Honestly with Your Friends
It is up to you to decide how much information to share and who to share it with. You certainly don’t have to make justifications for your decision. Some people drink and some people don’t. Everyone will have their own choice in life to make and no explanation is needed.
If you have good friends who support your efforts, you might decide to have a direct and honest conversation with them. Tell them that you plan to mitigate alcohol or that you are cutting back.
Let them know what they can do to help you. Perhaps you will appreciate a buddy who is also sober or someone else staying sober, so you will have the resistance to cut back on drinking. Or maybe, you still want to go out with your friends but not to bars. You might also want to do the things such as playing cards or watching a movie together without alcohol involvement.
Hopefully, there will be a few of your friends who will be supportive of your decision. Some of them might also be thinking of mitigating their alcohol intake and be inspired by your efforts.
If you or a loved one struggles with substance use or addiction, it is critical to contact experts. Get support from treatment facilities in areas near you.
2. Go to Places That Do Not Serve Alcohol
One of the most effortless things you can do to mitigate drinking and avoid having to explain yourself is to go to places with zero alcohol.
Places such as movie theaters, museums, fast food restaurants, and coffee shops are just several places that aren’t likely to serve alcoholic drinks. Search for places in your community that are free of alcohol, from farmer’s markets to local theaters. You will likely find numerous spots that do not serve liquor.
You might be going out alone as you start this new journey in your life. Or you might want to invite your friends to join you in these places as a way to encourage sober activities.
3. Have a Nonalcoholic Drink With You
It would be helpful to have something in your hand at all times. If you’re going to places that serve alcohol, maybe you can immediately order a nonalcoholic drink.
If you’re going to someone’s home, bring your drinks. Whether you have bottled water or a protein shake with you, keeping a drink at your hand can discourage people from offering you alcohol. It also helps you decline more quickly if you are offered a drink because you can say that you already have one.
4. Be Prepared for People’s Reactions
Although some of your friends may be totally in support of your decision, others may seem indifferent or respond negatively. Your sobriety may be a reminder to your drinking buddies that they are consuming unhealthy amounts of alcoholic drinks or stir up their anxieties if they feel uncomfortable socializing sober. They may also think that you want to partake in alcohol alongside them because they think it will be more fun when drinking.
5. Think Fun
When you walk into a situation believing that you cannot soberly have fun, this is likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You might even begin isolating yourself or holding back from having a good time, which will reinforce your belief and the belief of others that being sober makes it impossible to have fun.
Contact an Experienced Addiction Recovery Center
No one can avoid social situations that involve alcohol or drugs. This scenario will be presenting itself to everyone who is recovering from addictions. It is critical to have a strategy or plan. It is probably in your best interest to get help developing such a plan with a sponsor or peer support group and recovery experts from a treatment facility. Remember that there is nothing more important than keeping sober for your health and well-being. Try to reach out to a treatment facility as well as professional experts for more information.