One of the main reasons we get sober is so that we can enjoy our lives to the fullest extent. Commonly, people in recovery fall into the pattern of robbing themselves from enjoying normal life experiences in an attempt to avoid seeing alcohol or drugs. While this is suggested in early recovery, we do not have to hide forever. After completing treatment and finding a spiritual solution, it is perfectly acceptable to go to a party where they may be drinking as long as you come up with a plan just in case you begin to feel overwhelmed or tempted to have a drink. Here are some tips on how to protect your sobriety at a party where you may run into temptations.
Make a Plan
Set boundaries for yourself before going to the party. If you know there will be alcohol or drugs, make sure you are convinced that you will not drink or use any substances no matter what. Keep your higher power in mind, prayer can be an excellent insurance policy against taking that first drink. Also, come up with things to say in response to someone offering you drinks or other substances; having your response in mind already makes it easier to avoid a “mental blank spot” that could lead you to a relapse.
Bring Sober Support
Having a sober friend who can keep you accountable come with you to the party will prove to be extremely helpful. If you begin to feel like you want to drink, they can be there to remind you that you can’t just have one. If no one from your recovery community can attend the party with you, tell the host of the party or the person serving drinks that you can’t drink. Make sure that people know you are in recovery and need all the support you can get while being around other people drinking.
Play the Tape Back
If you begin to consider using substances while at a party, recall the last time you drank. Remembering what brought you to seek out recovery is a good way to stop yourself from backsliding. If you have a strong urge to drink, call your sponsor and leave the party immediately. While it is important to have fun, your sobriety takes priority because without it you would not be able to have fun at all.
Avoid Romanticizing Alcohol or Drug Use
While you may be watching all of you “normie” friends having a great time and drinking, remember that is not the way you react to alcohol. It may be fun for them, but for you, it just brings internal and external chaos. If you find yourself still asking why they can drink and you can’t, call your sponsor or head to a meeting right away.
Uphold your Normal Routine
Once you leave the party, make sure you follow with your usual nightly and morning routines. For example, you should take inventory of the events that took place at the party. How did seeing people drinking make you feel? Were you tempted to drink? Were you resentful that you couldn’t drink? Also, make sure you keep in contact with your higher power, your sponsor, and any other sober support you have.
Being able to go to a party and experience the feeling of successfully remaining sober can be extremely gratifying, as long as you make sure you go into it prepared. Your sobriety should always be held as your main priority and taken extremely seriously, considering it can be a life or death situation. That being said, once properly armed with planning and support, you should go out and enjoy your life! There is a common misconception that being sober means your life is over and you can’t have any fun. In reality, we get sober so that we can successfully have fun- and remember it the next morning.
Guest Author Bio
Maya Kelley is a writer in the recovery community, who also has found healthy ways of coping with mental illness. Because of this, her life’s passion is to speak up about mental illness and addiction in an attempt to help others, break any stigmas related, and raise awareness.