Dealing with Sober Socialising in Recovery

With alcohol such a major part of socialising these days, it can be difficult for those in recovery from addiction to enjoy time with family and friends. The fear of relapse is ever-present, and socialising with others who will be drinking alcohol can place a strain on those who are trying to avoid this substance.

It is understandable to be worried about how you are going to handle situations where you used to drink and where almost everyone else will be drinking. Business dinners and parties are perfect examples of occasions where you may feel it is expected to attend but where you are worried about the presence of alcohol. The ideal scenario would be to avoid these events altogether until you are stronger in your sobriety, but in reality, this may not be possible. For example, you may have to attend a business dinner with important clients, or you may have a family wedding that you cannot get out of.

Consider Your Reasons

If you feel that there is a particular event that you must attend, ask yourself the reason you want to go and be completely honest. Do you really have to attend a business dinner, or is there another colleague who could go in your place? Have you convinced yourself that the only reason you want to go to a party is that you love to dance? If you can honestly say that your reasons for attending are genuine and have nothing to do with your old lifestyle, then by all means, go ahead. But if deep down you are reminiscing about the ‘good old days’, then you should be very careful.

Be Prepared

If you have made the decision to attend a dinner party with friends, then you should take the time to prepare before you go. Call the hosts and make sure they know that you will not be drinking. By doing this, you can be sure that they will have an alternative non-alcoholic beverage available for you.

Think about what you will say if anyone offers you a drink at the party. If you do not want to tell others that you are in recovery, you could say that you have a medical condition and are unable to drink. That way, you are less likely to get pressured to have ‘just one’.

If possible, serve yourself during the event and make sure that your glass is always close to full. You may want to bring a bottle of non-alcoholic drink that you can keep close to hand. If you have a full glass, there is less chance that anyone else is going to offer to get you a drink and less chance of you having a slip-up.

Try Not to Resent Others

Just because you are in recovery and are unable to drink does not mean that others cannot drink sensibly, so try not to become resentful of those who are having a drink. It is natural to wonder why others are able to drink in moderation, and you are not, but you have been suffering from an illness. And, unfortunately, your illness means that you cannot drink alcohol.

If you are feeling resentful towards others who are drinking at an event, it might be wise to take your leave. You could head to a meeting or call your sponsor to talk about your feelings before you act on them. It is vital that you avoid temptation when in recovery and if you are unable to handle the fact that others are drinking when you cannot, you should really try to avoid events where alcohol will be present.