Alcohol has been used in times of celebration for over 9,000 years*! It is seen as a staple necessity for parties and holidays in today’s society. While some are able to participant in some friendly boozing on occasion, many are not able to control their consumption and begin to spiral down a dark path. For those who abuse alcohol or who are in recovery, one drink is too many and can lead to a devastating chain of events that are nothing celebrate.
Going out without drinking can be scary and takes some getting used to. Most are under the impression that alcohol makes it easier to relax, be more social, dance like pro and have fun. This is not always the case! Learning to be confident in yourself and in your surroundings without using alcohol as a crutch is essential. NO ONE NEEDS ALCOHOL TO HAVE FUN. If you feel the need to go out over the holidays or to a party where the booze is flowing, here are some tips to keep you in recovery:
- JUST SAY “NO.” Do you feel like it’s mandatory to be around your friends or family that need alcohol to have fun? If you have an uneasy feeling about putting yourself in that sort of environment, trust it. There’s no shame in staying home or going to a meeting!
- BE PREPARED. Take your own drinks if you are uncertain about what options will be available. Having a drink (non-alcoholic, of course) in your hand can make it less tempting to pick something not as virgin up. Fancy bubbly water on the rocks is a nice touch, it can also stop some of the annoying, “why aren’t you drinking?!?” questions. They also have alcohol free wine and beer.
- GO IN WITH PURPOSE. Keep the focus on what the celebration or holiday is about. Going out to a party because you are bored can be dangerous territory for most. If you are with family members for a boozy holiday party, focus on spending time with them.
- REMEMBER WHAT’S IMPORTANT. Hopefully, staying sober is important enough to you that you will stay strong. But remembering why you got sober in the first place is always a good reminder that alcohol is not for everyone, especially you.
- HAVE FUN! Getting out of your comfort zone and making new friends can help to keep your mind off the bottle. Who knows, you might even meet someone else who is in recovery.
- BUDDY SYSTEM. Having a friend who is in recovery either by your side or a phone call away is always a great plan. Having someone to hold you accountable is important! If you fly solo, let a sober friend know what’s going on.
- MIND YA BUSINESS. If you do not want everyone knowing that you are in recovery and you don’t want to answer questions about it, you do not have to. Have a friendly response ready when someone offers you a drink or asks why you aren’t drinking.
- BE SELFISH. If the party is getting out of control or you are not having fun, leave. Being the only sober person at a party that is getting sloppy or out of hand is not a good environment to be in. You take care of you.
*National Geographic https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/