A Guide For Attending Parties And Events
Living a sober lifestyle can be a daily challenge, and when you are invited to parties and events it can be difficult to withstand the temptation presented in the form of an open bar or a well-meaning host who wants to make sure every guest has a drink in hand. It’s important, therefore, to have a plan in mind before attending these events that covers how to avoid that temptation, how to handle any situation in the moment, and how to deal with peer pressure.
While it won’t be easy, there are ways you can stay on a sober track no matter where you are. The key is to be prepared and surround yourself with people who support you and understand the lifestyle you’re trying to attain.
Read on for a guide to attending parties and events while staying sober.
Step One: Prepare
One of the most important parts of living a sober life is preparing for any contingency. This can include anything from researching the event you’ll be attending to bringing your own drink, and it’s also important to think about how you want the evening to go. Remembering that you’re in charge of your own actions goes a long way toward staying on the right path. Some ways you can prepare for a party or event include:
- Finding out the details, such as whether there will be a bar or if any non-alcoholic beverages will be offered. If the event is a wedding reception, for instance, there’s a chance you’ll have to go to the bar just to get a water or soda, so it’s a good idea to bring your own drink and avoid that area altogether.
- Bringing a sober friend along. If the individual is in recovery, attending an event where alcohol will be present might not be the best idea, so find out what they feel comfortable with ahead of time. It’s always helpful to have a support system along.
- Driving yourself or having the number of a cab company or ride service in your phone, just in case you need to leave early. You don’t want to be at the mercy of someone else when you’re ready to go home.
Step Two: Have a plan for saying no
In many cases, there will be people at the events you’re invited to whom understand that you are living a sober lifestyle. However, if you haven’t made the decision yet to talk to people about your choices, it’s important to have a plan in mind for saying no when someone offers you a drink. You might even think of a script so that you’ll be able to answer clearly and confidently, which will signal to the person that you are definitive in your decision.
When it comes to peer pressure, remember that some people might not know that you’re in recovery or are choosing not to drink and therefore don’t understand how assertive they’re being. Others–particularly those who were in your life before you made the choice to be sober–might be resentful because you’ve moved on or are choosing a different path. These individuals can become belligerent or forceful, so it’s imperative that you prepare for this and learn the best way to handle it.
In some cases, you might feel more comfortable in simply leaving the party early, but if you want to stay, let the person know that you’re choosing not to drink and move on. If that means you need to physically move to a different area of the party, by all means, do it. Don’t let anyone bully you regarding your choices.
Step Three: Have Fun!
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you attend a party or event is to just have fun. It can be difficult, stressful, and frustrating to stay vigilant and completely sober while everyone around you is drinking, so find ways to make the night a joyful occasion for yourself. Dance, socialize, and engage in any games or interesting conversations around you. Keep your mind and body busy and it will be easier to stay focused on your goals.
- Play Games
- Start Conversations
Remember, living sober is a big decision, and it’s important enough to plan your social engagements around it. If you don’t feel comfortable yet attending a party where you know there will be alcohol, don’t do it. Stay home with a good movie, or ask a close friend out to dinner. When you do feel ready, you’ll know it.
- Mind Body Green – How To Stay Sober When All Your Friends Drink
- Self – 7 Ways To Have Fun At Parties As The Only Sober Person
- Sober Courage – 10 Ways to Stay Sober at Drinking Events
- Sober Nation – Staying Sober and Having Fun At Social Gatherings – 4 Tips To Keep You On Point