"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier
Can you still go to parties and have fun while staying sober?
Being sober and being social don't have to be mutually exclusive! We’ve all been there; it’s Friday night and the call of the weekend is loud! Maybe you just got that amazing job or it’s your best friend’s birthday and everyone wants to celebrate!
You deserve to take part in any and all parties, get togethers or soirees with excitement, rather than hiding away, overwhelmed with anxiety and unable to interact with your peers. Being sober does not have to impinge on the fun times that come with weekends, holidays or a night out with your buds --your outlook on these events is the only thing that might limit you! At Serving California, we are here to support you and your sobriety. You're in control of your life, your choices, and your health. Add these Five Sober Strategies to Keep Your Cool at Parties to your arsenal, and you'll be prepared to meet any social situation with calm and confidence:
1. Plan Ahead
Have a game plan ready to execute before even leaving the house. You wouldn’t walk into a classroom to take a final exam without studying, right? Similarly, don’t jeopardize your sobriety without taking the time to reflect and weigh your options. First and foremost, as Deni Carise, Chief Clinical Officer for Phoenix House mentions, don’t romanticize alcohol and drugs and become disillusioned by selective memory.
Instead, remember what having your last drink was like or the last time you crashed from a hapless high. Take diligent reflective notes as to how alcohol made you feel, how you disengaged from not only the control over your physical body, but how the drugs made your mental and emotional body fall ill as well.
Afterwards, set an alarm and give yourself a curfew. Thus, acknowledging the maximum amount of time you want to spend at a party or event will decrease the chances that you'll get worn down or overly tired and vulnerable to temptation.
2. The Buddy System is your BFF
Yes, you are an independent powerhouse! Still, there's never shame in asking your friends for help. It is so much easier to hold yourself accountable when you know someone else is also monitoring your behaviors. Going to a party with another sober-buddy whom you trust not only adds to the adage of strength in numbers, but keeps you focused on the bigger picture - spending quality time with those around you.
3. Attitude is a Game-Changer
You do not need to justify your decision not to drink. As Dr. Ezzie Spencer alludes to in her contributing piece on MindBodyGreen, be confident when rejecting a drink and if your peers begin to badger you, remember you are not a social pariah - you are a champion! Your health is worth celebrating, so stay focused on your wellbeing.
4. Serve Yourself
Avoid any potential justifications or awkward conversations of having to defend your sobriety to your friends [who many not even remember the conversation in two hours, let alone the next day, depending on how much they are drinking] and pour your own non-alcoholic drink. No one has to know what's in your cup but you.
5. Be Present
Take a note of guidance from meditation practitioners and increase your internal awareness. Be mindful - you came to this party to spend time with your friends, gather in the spirit of good fortune or perhaps celebrate a victory. Do just that! Mindfully focus on your intention and re-shift your focus away from alcohol. Ask a lot of questions; you’ll be surprised with how long you can hold a good conversation just by being genuinely curious and wanting to engage.
We've seen in countless situations how LIBERATING sobriety can be -- if only we embrace it! By changing your perspective, staying engaged, and arming yourself with confidence and strategy you will encounter a world of opportunity made available to you now that you're sober! Your new lifestlye isn't a limitation - it's a choice - and we want to empower you to continue to keep making that choice, one day at a time.