One of the main concerns when getting sober is trying to imagine what life will be like without the elusive effects of drugs and alcohol. Will I ever have fun again? How can I be around all these people without having the buffer of being high or drunk? Is sobriety as boring as I envision it? The questions could go on and on to figure out how you will socialize now that you are on the path of recovery. Here are 7 ways to socialize so you can finally get on with your life in recovery.
Immerse yourself into a recovery environment
Chances are you are only familiar with bars and drug houses as your source of socializing. Change your location. Go to meetings, recovery parties, or host your own sober events with sober friends. Although you may feel anti-social, to begin with, surrounding yourself with people who are just like you will give you a relatable source to just be awkward while you are getting comfortable in your own skin.
Start where you are
If all you are doing in your recovery is going to meetings, start practicing your social game on meeting goers. Start by saying “hi” and let the others take the lead. Everyone was new once and everyone wants you to feel welcome. Keep it simple because one hello can turn into full-blown conversations. You could eventually be that person who leads other newcomers into feeling welcome – one day at a time.
Explore new places to go
Now that you are not going to make a fool of yourself under the influence or possibly get arrested for public intoxication, you can go anywhere you want. You can go to local places you have had your eye on but didn’t have the ambition to go. You could travel to places that you have always dreamt of now that you are in a safe space. Literally, the sky is the limit to where you can go and exploring these options will give you the confidence to be around others.
Take inventory of your feelings
Once you have started getting out there and doing things that might otherwise feel nerve-wracking, you should analyze how this makes you feel and why. Gaining knowledge about what feelings come up such as fear, not fitting in, or not wanting to be around others are important to ponder. Understanding the who, where, when, why, and how of your sober socialization can help you to move forward to more settings and actually enjoy yourself.
Let yourself connect to others
Often you may think that you are not connecting well with others when you are really holding yourself back. Instead of worrying about what you are wearing or what you are saying, just be your authentic self. You will never please everyone all of the time. If you just focus on being relaxed and being genuine, you will find your tribe to be supported by and laugh with through simply being wonderful you.
Embrace your sobriety
You may find yourself invited to a function where they serve alcohol. Talk it over with your sponsor to see if you are ready to go somewhere where alcohol is being consumed. If you are, you may be worried that people will ask you why you are not drinking. First of all, why you are not drinking is nobody business but yours, and you certainly do not have to disclose why you are choosing to not drink in the first place. When someone asks, feel comfortable telling them that you just aren’t drinking today, which is the truth anyway. Most likely people will not ask. People who have seen your behavior before will be happy that you are not drinking. Those who are peer pressuring you are probably also struggling with substance abuse themselves and do not want to drink alone. This will give you an opportunity to be a good example of recovery without even saying it out loud.
Identify social triggers
Take some time to really determine what sets you off and makes you want to resort back to drinking and using when you know life is better in recovery. People and places are usually the main triggers that will cause you to want to drink and use. Certain family members and loved ones, for example, could spark relapse mode in a split second. Pinpointing the people and places that you need to keep your guard up with or try to avoid altogether is extremely important to ascertain. No one will protect your sobriety as you will, so you need to learn which playgrounds to stop playing on and which playmates to stop playing with. Your recovery depends on it.
Thinking about socializing without drugs and alcohol in the mix may make you cringe. The main thing to consider is that when you are sober and present, you are also being the person you were always meant to which goes a long way in socialization.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463