Many in recovery wonder about how sobriety will affect their social lives. If drinking was your go-to in social situations, then it is likely you’ll need to do some adjusting when it comes to your social life as a newly sober person.
Sober living is one way to ease yourself into socializing. If you have been in a sober living situation, then you will have experience with socializing with others in recovery. This is good, as these living environments necessitate sobriety and also personal responsibility through following the rules of the environment. Instead of feeling like you are being thrown to the wolves as you cope with your addiction, a sober living facility allows you to adapt to life and all it has to offer, free from alcohol.
However, you eventually have to leave your sober living environment and the structure they put in place. At this point, you have to create your own structure and personal responsibility. Without being subject to random drug tests in order to stay in your current living situation, it can be harder to maintain sobriety. However, even though it’s harder, it is by no means impossible. There are just important things to keep in mind, such as handling social situations.
- Be Open (and Proud) About Your Sobriety
It is 100 percent necessary for you to not feel burdened by your sobriety in any way. If you do feel embarrassed or reluctant to share this information about yourself, you shouldn’t. You don’t have to be outspoken about it in an off-putting manner, but you do need to be honest about your recovery with those you are closest to.
- Avoid Situations/People That Could Tempt You
If you were drinking most frequently at social gatherings hosted by certain friends of yours, then you should consider not going to said gatherings as your recovery begins. When you are further along in recovery, you might be able to go without being tempted. However, if you believe your friends will try to encourage you to drink, then you should cut them out of your life. If they can’t respect your sobriety, they can’t respect you.
- Broaden Your Horizons
When you first quit drinking, you might have a difficult time thinking of ways to have fun without alcohol. Look into organizations and activities that don’t involve alcohol. This can include trying a new team sport or volunteering with a local charity.
- Socialize With Others In Recovery
You aren’t alone in recovery, so find others to spend time with. Look online for groups who engage in sober activities on websites such as Meetup.com. Not only will you find new friends, you’ll also be able to provide valuable emotional support for each other as you go on this journey.
- Give Yourself Time to Be Alone
Recovering requires a great deal of personal reflection, and the best time to reflect is by yourself. Take part in activities such as journaling and meditating will help you deal with thoughts and stress that might be affecting you in recovery. Don’t feel bad about turning down an invitation if you don’t feel comfortable with socializing either.
- Take Time To Reflect Before Social Situations
When it is time to socialize, you might feel uneasy. This is understandable but can be helped. Think about where you are about to go and what you’re about to do. Remind yourself of your commitment to sobriety and the power you have due to your recovery. Take time to breathe deeply to calm yourself down if necessary.
- Get Advice From Those Who Have Been In Recovery Longer
There are others who have been in recovery much longer than you who went through the same thing you’re going through. Ask for advice about how to deal with socializing in recovery. You are likely to get a wide range of responses, so ask as many people as possible.
- Speak Up When Someone Puts You In An Uncomfortable Position
Whether it’s being repeatedly urged to have a drink or being badgered with condescending questions about your sobriety, you might deal with uncomfortable situations while recovering. Do not let anyone dictate what you should do or feel when it comes to recovery. Let them that what they’re doing is wrong and leave the situation.
- Choose Your Activities Deliberately
Structure is a necessity in life when it comes to recovering. Before socializing, put rules in place that ensure you do only what you plan and not deviate from that plan. Set an early curfew for yourself that keeps you accountable for sticking to your self-imposed plan.
- Remind Yourself of Why You Have Chosen Sobriety
Recovering is a journey that lasts the rest of your life. It’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, but it can seem like a maze to navigate at the beginning. When socializing, remind yourself of how sobriety is saving your life and how that is worth more than any temptation you might feel.