Once an alcoholic or drug addict is far enough along in their recovery, they may feel comfortable with the idea of going to a party or social gathering where alcohol may be involved. Whether or not this is a good idea is sometimes a subject of debate within the recovery community. Ultimately, it is the prerogative of the individual to decide if they think they can handle the temptations a party would likely offer. However, what is the most effective way for a person to maintain their sobriety in such a setting?
Everyone’s recovery is different. For some individuals, it is best to stay away from party settings at all costs, as the temptations are simply too great. However, other people in recovery may feel confident that they are able to say no to drugs or alcohol, and still have a good time socializing. The most difficult part of attending a party, if you are a recovering addict, may be explaining to strangers why you are not partaking in the drinking. It is important to not get discouraged or tempted by those who may not understand how important your recovery or sobriety is.
Just Say No
Hopefully, the parties a recovering addict is going to are full of responsible adults, rather than a wild, high school party. It is far less likely that a person will experience peer pressure amongst a group of mature individuals. However, the threat of peer pressure is always present at any social gathering. A person may be meant to felt uncool if they do not go along with the group. In reality, maintaining your sobriety is much more important than trying to impress others, its your life on the line. This is a fact that should always be remembered if you are in a party setting and start to feel strange.
1. Check your motives. Is this an engagement that you need to attend? i.e. family wedding, work gathering, loved ones birthday, etc. If you find that your motives are to go because you want to feel “normal” you may want to check with your support group and sponsor to see if it’s your disease talking.
2. Let someone from your support group know where you are going to be and at what times. Keep connected with them via phone or text if you start to feel uncomfortable. If a member of your support group can join you, all the better.
3. Set times for when you are going to be at the engagement. If you find that you are there till 2 O’clock in the morning, you may want to check your purpose for staying.
4. If someone offers you a drink, you can politely decline. You don’t need to explain yourself, no is a complete sentence. It’s OK not to drink, plenty of social drinkers don’t do it sometimes too.
5. It’s also best to get to a meeting, meditate prior to the engagement, and take care of yourself that day. Did you get enough sleep? Have you eaten today? These things are important, because irritability can play a factor when an addict or alcoholic does not properly take care of the basic needs to keep healthy.
Stages Of Recovery
There are different stages in the recovery process of course. Those new to the world of recovery may harbor a sense of embarrassment and be concerned about relaying the fact that they no longer drink. However, as recovery becomes more of a habit, responses change. Ultimately, you make your own choices and others should be respectful of your choice. If they push you, clearly you have no business being there and interacting with individuals who aren’t supportive.
The road to recovery is filled with many detours and speed bumps. Many individuals believe it is best for those who are recovering from an addiction to avoid putting themselves in tempting situations in the beginning, like a party, all together. However, if you are someone who thinks that they can handle the pressure and temptation at a party because you have stayed in the middle of your program, it is up to you to make the decision of whether or not to go. If you do decide to go to a party, remember, no one can make you do anything you are uncomfortable with. Just focus on your primary purpose for being there, and that you do not need to have a drink to have fun.Tags: 12Steps, Addiction, alcohol, Fear, Higher Power, party, peer pressure, peers, Progressive Disease, Recovery, sobriety, temptation, Transtheoretical Model, Watershed Alumni