For someone coming out of a treatment program for addiction, staying sober is of paramount concern. But what if one’s former life, pre-rehab, was filled with social situation surrounding alcohol or drugs? It would be an easy path to resume activities so closely associated with, and reminding one of their addiction.
In addition to individuals going through recovery, more and more people are choosing to lead a ‘cleaner’ lifestyle, one without alcohol and drugs.
The question then becomes, for both the person recovering from addiction and for the more health-conscious, how, in today’s world with craft breweries, organic wine producers, and specialty distilleries, can we glean the benefits of staying sober without indulging in former pleasures? Especially the socializing that frequently revolved around them?
It is definitely possible, but realize that not only does it take time to adjust to the fact that you are abstaining from alcohol or drugs for yourself, but it can also take time for your still-indulging friends to accept the changes you are making in your life.
Here are a few common strategies to help move through this sometimes awkward process while still being social.
Just Say No: It’s a cliché for sure, but having the confidence in yourself to decline a drink when out with friends is worth it’s weight in gold. Your close friends should understand the internal struggle and will respect your decision; the people who try and force you to drink, unfortunately, may not respect your decisions and life choices and that is their issue, not yours. If you are worried about being embarrassed, and aren’t yet confident, you can always pull the bartender aside and ask them to make you a cocktail without the liquor.
Sober Situations: There are plenty of activities happening in your area that don’t even have the option of alcohol or drugs, and it’s not hard to find them. You can find life outside of a bar or back room without the temptation of overindulging. Movie theaters, coffee cafes, and some concert venues may be the solution instead of gathering where the drinking is front and center.
Get Healthy: Many people find it worthwhile to start a fitness program where health and wellness is paramount. In fact, it may be a natural extension of coming out of recovery to do so. Joining a gym, or studio that offers classes in weight training, cardiovascular training, martial arts, or even yoga and meditation may be intimidating at first, but it will surround you with people looking to achieve a healthy lifestyle. And once you get over the first lesson or two, you may find yourself with a new group of friends that not only will help you in your journey, but reinforce better habits.