It’s usually a little nerve wracking when we get invited somewhere that has alcohol. Or somewhere where drugs will be around. Do we go? Should we say no? What if it honestly sounds fun besides that part? We shouldn’t have to hide and say no every time we’re invited somewhere. If it’s a vacation or a trip that could be a really great experience, there’s no reason for us to decline because we’re sober. So what if we’re sober? We can still have fun and enjoy our surroundings. But, what if we have too much fun? Could we potentially relapse? Well, yes… But there are tips to stay sober through it.
A lot of people in recovery will think this is a given. Obviously, it’s easy for some people to stay sober at home. But if you live in a community or a household that has drugs or alcohol, it can be a lot harder. My advice for you? Clear out your cabinets. Or get a friend to clear out your cabinets. If you live with people who want to support your recovery, they will have no problem with this. If you don’t have drugs or alcohol in a public area of your house, it’s easier to dismiss it in your everyday life. As your sobriety gets longer and you adjust easier, it could be safe to surround yourself with that without being tempted. But for now, just hide it or throw it out.
Okay, so this might be a little more challenging… But it’s definitely manageable. My guess is that your co-workers aren’t sober. And they will probably want to go out drinking. Or your work event involves drinking and mingling. What should you do? If you’re comfortable enough, you can mention your sobriety to your manager or co-workers. And if not, then you can just opt out of getting drinks with them or order a non-alcoholic drink. Or if you’re traveling for your work event, research local AA meetings. If you keep up our meetings while you’re away, it will provide a cushion when you’re doubting your recovery. My suggestion? Always have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand. Always.
Okay, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Peru. But any vacation in general. Even a staycation. If you’re ready to sit back and relax for a week, your mind might be ordering a refreshing Mojito at the tiki bar or grabbing a beer before you play a round of golf. If you’re comfortable enough in your recovery to vacation at a big drinking city, make sure you have some backup plans. Tell your sponsor, research local AA meetings, and tell housekeeping to take out all the alcohol in your hotel room. Stock up with non-alcoholic beverages and put that in your hotel mini fridge instead.
If your friends ask what you want to drink, then just say water or a soda. If your friends are doing drugs or drinking in front of you, maybe you shouldn’t be there. You pick your own battles in recovery and if it’s not worth it, don’t go!
Holiday gatherings are big drinking and party events. If this gathering means a lot for you to go, then prepare some non-alcoholic beverages to bring to the party. And always have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand throughout the party. If a friend or family member asks, you can simply say you don’t drink. Or that you’re sober. Not a big deal! If you want the support, you might be able to bring a friend. If you can, you can ask one of your sober friends to join so you have some support through the holiday party.
“Oh sweetie, you look so grown up!” “I remember when you were just an itty bitty baby!” Yep, we all have those relatives! When you’re invited to a family reunion, you can really decline… There’s no way around it! Luckily, if you are close with your family, most of them will probably already know you’re in recovery. And yes, there will be some who might forget or might think you’re still a crazy addict. But you just need to put your smile on and tell them how much you’ve grown over the years. You might get relatives asking if you want a drink, or making you a drink automatically. Just be friendly with them and decline. It’s okay if you tell them you’re in recovery. And it’s also okay if you simply just say you’re not drinking today.
Your recovery is sooooo important. So important, that if you think your next outing will be your last sober day, it’s not worth going. You need to always focus on yourself, your recovery and how to stay sober. This is your new life. And if you’re unsure, talk to your friends or family about it. Or call your sponsor or your sober AA friends. Some crucial tips I have are 1. If you *might* relapse, it’s not worth it. 2. Always have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand. 3. It’s okay to decline a drink.