In sobriety, hanging out with friends who drink can be difficult, especially when the number one priority is staying sober.
How to Stay Sober in Early Recovery
In early recovery from alcoholism, it can be important to just avoid contact with friends. During this time, you can figure out how many of your crowd are actually friends, or just people that you would want to drink with. If you don’t have anything in common besides the fact that you used to throw back some shots, you don’t have to worry about hanging out with these people anymore. Instead, pay attention to those that are true friends and can support you during the transition. A question to ask yourself is whether or not you are missing these people or if you are just bored and want someone to hang out with. Some soul searching during this period of recovery can be beneficial as you move forward.
Whether you’ve received alcohol addiction treatment in Phoenix or you’re from any other part of the country, you will need to follow it up with emotional support and physical support. Having support in early recovery can help you learn from the mistakes and failures of others and know that there is success. If you could be relapsing, having support may help you get out of a dark place. Dealing with the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction is difficult enough without having to deal with unnecessary extra temptation.
Learning to Re-engage Without Alcohol
It may take some work to maintain friendships while sober, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are ways to maintain these friendships that don’t just mean drinking. First, try some day activities. A lot of drinking takes place at happy hours and during the nighttime hours, so switching to daylight activities can help make it easier to avoid drinking. Be honest with your friends. If they are true friends, they should understand what you’re facing and honesty is a great way to help a friendship go forward. You can just spend some time talking as you start to reengage and don’t need to put pressure on coming up with some activities. Find other common interests. New common interests with old and new friends can help you stay away from bars and discover all the fun there is in a sober lifestyle.
What to Do When Hanging Out with People That Drink
While you may be discovering some new friends in your new sober life, it doesn’t mean that you can’t hang out with your friends that still drink. Meeting up at a bar may not be the best idea if you are newly sober, but if you have been sober for a while, being in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t go to a bar. You have to know your boundaries and your limits. If meeting up at a bar is too much for you, suggest a different meeting place. You can meet friends for coffee, go to friends’ homes for dinner and binge watching the latest shows, or explore other activities that your city has to offer. There are a lot of activities that you can do. Try bowling or the movies. There are plenty of sober activities that you may have even forgotten about.
You can also make friends that don’t drink. The 12 Step Program meetings are a good way to expand your network of sober friends and any support group can compliment other forms of behavioral therapy. So have some options of hanging out with some friends you know won’t put any pressure on you. You can volunteer in groups where you have an interest to not only get involved in your community, but also meet some more people that have shared hobbies.
Dealing with Peer Pressure and Alcohol
The safest way of dealing with peer pressure is cutting out any influence that is tempting you to drink. However, this may not work for some of your friends. Don’t hesitate to refuse. Someone may not understand the realities of living sober and can take hesitation as a sign of uncertainty and still press the issue. When you have to attend an event where drinking is involved, sipping on a non-alcoholic drink as an alternative can give people the illusion you are drinking and can help reduce peer pressure.
Everyone deserves a second chance. 2nd Chance Treatment Center gives our patients the opportunity to achieve a lasting recovery and promises to offer treatment that inspires a lasting change. Invest in yourself by calling (602) 464-9576 now. Now serving patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Glendale, Chandler and Mesa.