There is always some event that comes up that also brings triggers; the holiday parties, the work happy hours, the family birthday parties, and all the other parties that you get invited to. The parties are supposed to be filled with cheer and laughter and good times, but sometimes it can be overwhelming and a lot to deal with, especially when you are in recovery.
In recovery, we tend to have our daily routines; wake up, pray or meditate, exercise, work, go to a meeting, pray, go to sleep. Of course, there are meals and visits with friends, but we usually have our days set and know pretty much what’s going to happen and can control or gauge our feelings or reactions to situations that may arise. But when parties come up on your calendar, those may interrupt our schedule. This is when we need to have a plan and be prepared.
Tips For Staying Sober at Social Events and Gatherings
Think ahead and have a plan – if you know you are going to certain family gatherings, a friend’s party, or a work party that will have alcohol, plan. Have a plan for possible scenarios you could get into and know what your plan of action will be next.
- Bring a sober friend with you – Bringing a buddy that doesn’t drink will help you feel less awkward about not drinking and easier to stay away from alcohol. You could also make plans to go to a movie after the party or make plans for the next day such as a bike ride or breakfast.
- Ask your sponsor or sober friend to take your call – If a certain situation happens where you feel triggered, have the support you can call to talk to and talk you through it. Let them know ahead of time where you will be going and what expectations you have as to your feelings on the situation.
- Bring Your Beverages – Bring a cooler of your sparkling water or soft drinks so you can have a drink in your hands at all times so no one will be able to approach you and offer you a drink.
- Be prepared – Be prepared with a response if someone comes and asks you why you aren’t drinking. You could tell them that you are on medication or you are driving or you could just be honest and tell them you don’t drink. Whatever it is, be prepared and stand behind your response.
- Pick and choose what events to attend – If you know the office party is just about getting hammered, don’t go. You have a choice to go or not. You can say no.
- Stay active – If you are at a party where groups are just hanging around the table talking and drinking, suggest playing a game of charades or baking some cookies together. Stay busy and engaged.
- Limit the time around relatives or others that drive you crazy – If you have a relative or friend that drinks like a fish, maybe plan to see them earlier in the day when they won’t be drinking and then you will still be able to get some quality time in.
- Go to a twelve-step meeting – If you feel like you won’t be able to stay sober at the social event or gathering, then you need to focus on your recovery first and think about going to a meeting instead.
- Take it easy – interruptions of your schedule can be stressful. We don’t need to push it. Make sure you take extra care of yourself around these stressful times and take time out for you and listen to yourself. How are you feeling, mentally, physically, emotionally? Your body will let you know, be aware, and take care.
Evidence-Based Treatment for Drug Abuse
If you or someone you love needs alcohol or drug treatment in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place and we’re very glad that you’re here. You’ve taken the all-important first step toward relief, and that’s what we want for you and your family.
Right now, you need compassionate professionals who understand what you’re experiencing right now. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we are at Garden State Treatment Center. We’re an experienced and highly trained team that has helped pull hundreds of families just like yours from the jaws of addiction and despair.
We are a Joint Commission (JCAHO) accredited facility, which shows our commitment to continue elevating our standards and providing superior treatment for substance abuse.