My sober date is Feb 6th, like many great folks before me I had realized that I was an alcoholic and something finally snapped within me. That evening we had plans to attend a good friend’s 40th birthday party at a bar.
By no means was I ready to let the world know I was giving up drinking, I was in the sad state of shame about my lack of control over alcohol and was very fragile. My husband suggest we skip the party, that it would be acceptable to simply decline regretfully and have a quiet night in.
I can remember sitting on the bed feeling extremely isolated that afternoon as I imagined my life missing every event where alcohol was present. Up until that day all of our social events seemed to include alcoholic beverages and I had no idea how to live without it around. The though of admitting to everyone that I was adopting a sober way of life was too much, with less than 24 hours under my belt how could I possibly enjoy a birthday party at a bar without a drink in hand?
Eventually after discussing my feelings with my husband off and on all afternoon, we decided to attend the party for a few hours and quietly make an exit. It was a lovely party, I had the chance to mingle with a number of our good friends and although people did notice I wasn’t drinking my husband helped me to deflect the comments and humor when I claimed I was being the designated driver.
Over time I’ve learned some tips for dealing with social situations where alcohol is involved.
10 Tips for Socializing Around Alcohol While Sober
- Check your motives – Why do you want to attend the event? Be honest with yourself, sometimes we’re chasing the high of days gone by and putting ourselves at risk.
- Always have a plan – By planning an acceptable explanation for leaving early and transportation you’ll avoid feeling trapped should an uncomfortable situation arise.
- Bring a sober friend – If I attend an event without my husband I generally bring along a friend who I know I’ll enjoy the evening with.
- Order your own drinks – Many people think they’re being generous when they order me an alcoholic bevvie instead of the virgin I actually want, get to know your bartender and be clear when asking for the non-alcoholic version.
- Bring your own drink – If you’re going to someone’s home it’s best for you to bring your own water or other non-alcoholic beverage, hosts often neglect serving a variety.
- Keep a grip on your drink – Again, people think they’re being kind by “spiking” drinks or a simple mix up could have you ending up with an alcoholic drink in error.
- Don’t judge – Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you’re suddenly in a position to judge another person’s relationship with alcohol.
- Be aware – Be aware of how you feel, if you become edgy or tense it may be time to say goodnight.
- Be confident – Believe it or not most people won’t notice or care that you’re not drinking, they’re busy having a good time. Be yourself and feel confident about your decision to lead a life of sobriety.
- Have fun – Remember sober fun is possible if you’ll relax long enough.