Congratulations on your journey thus far. You have arrived at this very moment in this space to be recognized for your efforts in sobriety and made an important decision to be the best version of yourself. While this is an essential part of your life, people around you may not understand the difficulty of staying sober while others drink.
Alcohol is everywhere today. You are faced with making choices everywhere you go. It is constantly being advertised at the gas station or the grocery store. Staying sober is difficult when others are drinking alcohol around you. It is easy to avoid places or people that trigger you; however, you cannot dodge everything forever without strong coping skills.
This article will provide helpful ways to cope with social interaction to maintain sobriety and encourage you to continue to live your best life through sobriety.
Staying Sober With a Treat
All too often, people are consumed with peer pressure to engage in activities that are not pleasing to the soul. For example, perhaps you are at a birthday party and know what is in the cups around you. There is a space when others urge you to drink or possibly disclose that you have been attending therapy within recovery.
You can avoid this by having a delicious treat in your cup. Perhaps it is your favorite soda or juice, but having a cup in hand will lower the chances of someone offering you something.
Try to choose something other than water to feel like you have a treat. You can opt for a virgin cocktail but keep in mind to avoid anything that can trigger a relapse.
Set Boundaries in Sobriety
As you continue to grow within your sobriety, it will become easier to be in social situations when others are drinking. The most important thing you can do is set boundaries within your sobriety. If socializing with others makes your heart happy, you must learn how to navigate social engagements as a sober person.
Give yourself an “out” before any social event. Whether that means you can only stay for an allotted amount of time, or you have to take the dog out. Identifying an “out” before you engage in a social activity allows you to set boundaries within your sobriety.
Be Honest With Your Peers
Your sobriety is up to you with whom you decide to share. You get to determine the amount of vulnerability that you present. Let your peers know how you plan on changing your life, and explore the ways that they can help you.
Maybe you find it challenging to have a conversation due to fearing the unknown. Anxiety is the body’s way of protecting the mind from harm. You must recognize your fear before you have an honest chat with your friends.
Remember, you get to choose how much information you share. Your peers can only help you with as much information as they know.
Keep a Sober Journal
Writing down your experiences can help you overcome future obstacles within your sobriety. Within sobriety, you may find it difficult to remember or process information. Don’t lose hope; this is normal to feel that your brain is overloaded. According to research, it can be difficult to relate to others and make choices as the brain is on overdrive.
Journaling allows you to reflect and process areas within your life that cause stress. You have been through a lot in your journey, and sometimes it is challenging to discuss thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal is almost like having your therapist at any time throughout your day.
Suggest Sober Activities
One of the easiest things you can do to avoid awkward moments is to go to a place where alcohol is not served. Research places within your area that are alcohol-free and invite your friends. For example, a candle-making shop, library, farmers market, yoga/meditation, or maybe even a nature walk. You get to choose how you spend your free time, and spending time doing sober activities may be just what you need.
Make the Best of Your Sobriety
It is easy to get caught up in negative thinking when changing your behaviors. Just because you are sober does not mean that you cannot have fun. You can still do the things that make your heart happy. For example, if you like to dance, then dance like no one is watching. Perhaps, you are more of a singer, then sing and do it loud.
Your sobriety started because you wanted to make a change. You are empowered to know your life is better because you choose to change it. Within sobriety, your mindset changes as to how you view alcohol.
You decided to change your actions to better your life. No matter what you give up, life will live on its terms, not yours. You can change your life and make yourself the best version of yourself.
Learn From Your Adventures in Sobriety
Every event you attend is a chance for you to learn something new. For example, you may have gone to a wedding and realized that you need to set boundaries in place or you need a quick response. Each day you remain sober gives more power to the next social gathering.
There will always be learning curves and spaces to grow. You may explore what sobriety means to you or take time and reflect on how far you have come in your life. Don’t give up when it seems unbearable. You got this and will continue to grow within your sobriety. Every person learns on their own accord, so do not be hard on yourself.
Committing to sobriety is a life-changing decision. Sometimes you may struggle with sober connections and how to implement them within your daily regimen. Fear of discussing your wants and needs can lead to increased anxiety. Understanding that you are not alone is half the battle, and finding the support you need will help you to stay on track. At SoCal Mental Health, we understand the frustrations associated with sobriety and are here for you every step of the way. We can help you overcome challenges and guide you through the next chapter of your sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with sobriety, call us at (949) 502-2041 today.