For many people, social anxiety is a mental health challenge. When you’ve decided to stay sober, it may be challenging to get through parties and other social situations while staying true to your recovery. Here, we’ll take a look at some tips that can provide a helping hand to help you stay strong at parties where alcohol is served.
Tip #1: Be prepared.
When you go to a party, well-meaning people are likely going to ask what you’re drinking, or if they can get you a drink. Prepare a response to these questions. If you’re comfortable being honest, fantastic! If you’re not, telling a fib (like you can’t drink due to a medication you’re taking) is fine too. Your sobriety is your business, and it’s up to you to decide how much information you want to share.
Tip #2: Keep your glass full.
When you get to the party, grab a cup and fill it with your non-alcoholic drink of choice. When you have a full cup, others are less likely to ask you if you want a drink. Stick with something on the healthy side (like water or club soda with a splash of juice) to help you feel great.
Tip #3: Get a buddy.
Bring a sober friend or have a sober friend on standby via text. If you feel the urge to drink or use, reach out to them immediately. Choose this person carefully. While your sober friend doesn’t have to be someone who has also struggled with substance abuse, it can be helpful if they fully understand where you’re coming from.
Tip #4: Have an exit strategy.
If the pressure gets to be too much, remember — you can leave. It may help to have a planned excuse to get out of there, if necessary. Saying you have an early gym session or an early meeting can be a great way to slip out quietly after thanking the host.
Remember, you’ve worked hard for your recovery. You deserve to have fun and socialize, and it’s important that you have a plan to hang out with people you enjoy while also staying sober. Socializing is a part of life, even after you decide alcohol isn’t a good fit for you. You’re already doing great with your sobriety — you can handle a party, as long as you’re prepared.