Learning how to be social in recovery, especially in early recovery, can provoke anxiety. Our guest blogger is providing some great tips to feel more comfortable in social situations.
Guest Blog by Michelle Peterson, RecoveryPride.org
How Recovering Addicts Can Navigate Social Activities
Back in the day, you got through parties, concerts, and Super Bowls by using your addiction of choice. It was part crutch and part social lubricant. And now that you’re sober, you can see how it was all wrong.
Now that you’re officially labeled as a recovering addict, you have to make some smart choices about your social life. That goes beyond just avoiding the dealers and enablers who helped your life get out of control in the first place. You need to know how to navigate some of your favorite social activities so you can still have a life while staying sober.
Enjoying Music At Clubs And Festivals
Whether it’s a small band playing at the corner club or one of those massive, three-day-long music festivals, you deserve to go out and enjoy some live music. But the problem is how many of these scenes are tied to drugs and alcohol. Here are some tips for getting through these.
Go with people who aren’t going to be getting drunk or high either. Peer pressure is subtle and strong. You’re more likely to avoid problems by having friends around that won’t lead you astray.
Keep drinking plenty of water. Having a non-alcoholic drink on hand fills the void left when you stopped drinking, but water is great because it keeps your stomach full without a ton of sugar or caffeine. Plus, staying hydrated keeps your body in good shape.
Lastly, keep your eye out for “sober tents” at big festivals. Organizers know there are many who want to stay clean, so they create spaces where you can get away from all the chaos and indulging.
Watching The Big Games
Sports is synonymous with drinking and drugs. Even the athletes in the games are using. That’s why it can be tough to avoid temptation when watching a game at the ballpark or a buddy’s house. Lots of people can even offer you something without realizing that you’re in addiction recovery. How can you get through these events while still enjoying them?
First, make sure you communicate to your friends first. Let them know what challenges you might face. Real friends will be able to keep you sober when you need a little help. Besides, peer pressure can be used to your advantage here. If you tell your family that you’re going to stay sober despite watching the big game, you’re more likely to follow through so you don’t disappoint them.
Also, it pays to know what triggers you. Think of the sights, tastes, sounds, and events where you’re likely to think back to when you used. Then either avoid these when you can or lean on a friend for help when those triggers arrive.
Create Your Own Social Activities
But there’s nothing stopping you from creating your own, sober-friendly social activities. This can be a great way to stay sober while exploring all kinds of different things to do with friends and family. Some of these include:
- Going to see movies you might not otherwise watch.
- Visit a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
- Invite everyone over to cook a big meal and play board or video games.
- Explore different restaurants in the area.
- Meet some friends at a coffee shop for conversation.
You CAN Stay Sober And Be Social
Navigating through social events can be tough for someone in addiction recovery. However, there are steps you can take to help you socialize and have fun while staying sober. Just keep focused on why you went sober in the first place.
After all, fun is important for all us human beings and alcohol and drugs are not essential to that, but it takes developing new skills. at end of article For stress and anxiety relief check out my free resources, Lynn Telford-Sahl