Legacy Healing Center Blog
Alcohol Use Disorder and Socializing: How to Be the Life of the Party Without a Drink in Your Hand
Recovery from alcohol use disorder is a lifelong affair requiring lots of hard work and focus. Maintaining your newfound sobriety for a lifetime will require you to put to use all the coping skills you learned during treatment.
Once you’ve completed your time at a behavioral health center and taken the first vital steps on the road to recovery, you can move forward with the rest of your life. However, navigating the tricky waters of parties and other social gatherings can be quite a complicated process for someone who suffers from alcohol use disorder.
For those who do not suffer from alcohol use disorder, having a glass of wine with dinner or picking up a beer at a party may be no big deal, but when you are struggling to maintain your sobriety, the world looks a lot different. Simply being invited to a party can trigger all kinds of unhappy memories, so what should you do, and how can you cope?
It is possible to maintain your sobriety to prevent relapse but still find ways to enjoy social gatherings with friends and family.
Have a Plan in Place to Maintain Your Recovery
Overcoming alcohol use disorder and being in recovery does not mean you have to withdraw from society or spend your weekends all alone. Parties and sobriety can coexist, but you will need to formulate a plan and stay focused on it.
Here are some common-sense steps you can follow to enjoy your next party without fear, and without putting your hard-earned recovery at risk:
Find out who will be attending the party.
If the gathering in question will include your old drinking buddies or others still struggling with alcohol use disorder, you might want to turn down the invitation. Avoiding triggers remains a big part of successful recovery, so use your common sense and decide accordingly.
Eat a healthy meal before you leave home.
Being hungry could encourage you to drink, and indulging in party foods could leave you vulnerable. Eating a healthy meal before attending the party will help satisfy your appetite and make you be a better party guest.
Make socializing the focus of the party.
Attending a party is not an excuse to drink. Parties are great places to chat with old friends and meet new ones, so make socializing your only priority.
Lend your designated driver services.
Not drinking has all sorts of benefits, including the ability to get your friends home safely. Offering a safe ride home will give you one more reason to stay sober and on the road to a lifetime of recovery.
Soak up the feeling of success.
Attending a party can trigger those with alcohol use disorder, but overcoming those temptations remains a vital part of the recovery process. Once you are home, give yourself time to reflect on your accomplishments and appreciate your efforts.
Sober Fun for a Sober Life
When you were in the midst of active addiction, you may have felt like the life of every party. In reality, you were not even fully present for those gatherings because you were intoxicated. You may even look back at your behavior from that time and cringe. And your memories of hangovers might be more vivid than your memories of the parties themselves.
After achieving sobriety and real happiness, you can still be the life of the party, and the amount of joy and satisfaction you derive from genuinely connecting with others at those get-togethers will be even more significant. You do not need alcohol to have a great time, or a drink in your hand to be sociable, friendly, and engaging. Without the crutch of alcohol, you can be yourself, which will allow you to have more fun than ever before.
Do you find yourself struggling with alcohol in social situations? Perhaps you’re considering reaching out for help with problem drinking. Or maybe you’ve achieved sobriety but are concerned that it may be in jeopardy. Whatever the reason, don’t hesitate to call Legacy Healing Center any time day or night. Our caring professional staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you take steps toward a better life. Call 888.534.2295 today. Calls are completely confidential.