After completing our Boca residential alcohol treatment, many of our patients are both excited and scared to get back to their normal lives.
This is common for most recovering alcoholics because they have to relearn how to live their lives without alcohol, including everything from telling people about your struggle to going out to a bar. If you are in recovery for alcohol, you may think that you do not know how to have fun and not drink, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
How to Enjoy A Night Out Without Drinking
A big concern for many alcoholics in recovery is going out and not drinking. As an alcohol detox center in Boca Raton, we know that alcoholism can be a lifelong struggle and that the real world has many triggers that can make you want to drink, especially if you go somewhere where drinking is common. While a sober night out may seem daunting or even unrealistic, it doesn’t have to be. Follow our guide to going out sober while still having fun.
Do Not Rush ItIf you just got out of treatment, you may be dying to spend time with your friends again, but a bar may not be the right choice. Early recovery is a trying time; relapse is common if you are not careful. Instead of jumping back into the bar scene, take your time. Going out doesn’t have to mean going to a club or a bar. Your night out can be a game night in or dinner with friends. Once you become more comfortable with your sobriety and are better able to manage your cravings, you can start going to places where alcohol is more common.
Avoid Unmanageable Alcohol TriggersAlong with taking your time, be conscious of triggers. Being sober doesn’t mean you have to avoid alcohol at all costs, but you need to get an understanding of what you can and cannot handle. Alcohol triggers are unavoidable to some extent, but you can do your best to avoid the overwhelming ones. At the beginning of your recovery, you may find that your alcohol cravings are strongest and that you are sensitive to more triggers. With time, these triggers may be less powerful. Going out and not drinking is doable, but you will have to be conscious of these triggers and how you handle them. Going out to a night club may never be a realistic option but going to a sports bar might be something you can do comfortably with time.
Go Out with The Right PeopleIf you do feel comfortable going out sober, make sure you go with the right people. These should be friends or loved ones who know that you are in recovery and want to support you. It can also be a good idea to go with people who were at your addiction treatment center with you. Your friends and loved ones will not only encourage you to stay sober, but would also probably avoid drinking too much themselves. Avoid the people you used to go binge drinking with as they may be a bad influence.
Focus on Activity-Based Nights OutIf your friends are going out with only the idea to drink, tagging along is not a good idea, especially in early recovery. While sobriety doesn’t mean you need to spend every Friday night at home, if you do decide to go out with friends, ensure that drinking is not the focus. Go to a trivia night. Watch the big game. Go salsa dancing. Go bowling. When you have other activities to keep you occupied, you will be less tempted to drink.
Add More Reasons to Stay SoberIf you want to go out and stay sober, you can add reasons to reinforce your sobriety. Going out early on a weeknight gives you another reason not to drink because you have work the next day. You could also volunteer to be the designated driver so that you have a responsibility to your friends to remain sober.
Don’t Push ItThis is the most important part of a sober night out. If you start to feel overwhelmed or triggered, it is okay to get away and collect yourself. Take a moment to remember why you became sober in the first place and how much progress you have already made. Have an exit strategy and know that is it okay to leave. Be sure to reach out to someone you trust so that they can help you through your alcohol cravings.
Recovery is different for each person. Going out may not be realistic for everyone in recovery from alcohol, but for some, going out and not drinking is manageable with the right tips.
If you or someone you love struggles with alcohol and has yet to do something about it, we want to help.