“Recovery” and “addiction” are two words that still have a negative stigma surrounding them. While commercials may depict alcohol as necessary to have a fun outing and drug use being a mainstay in the lyrics of popular songs, neither of these things are actually true. However, their presence across various kinds of media, as well as the culture surrounding their use, can make voicing one’s desire to remain sober a challenge. There is no shame in sobriety and no reason why someone who is remaining sober cannot continue to celebrate alongside friends and support networks. Finding the right crowd to celebrate with and knowing how to throw fun sober parties or host holidays can further deconstruct the idea that drugs or alcohol were ever necessary to have a good time in the first place. Staying sober isn’t something to hide, and normalizing sobriety while establishing new traditions can pave the way for a proud and fun life in recovery.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
The people that make up one’s social groups have a huge amount of influence over one’s continued sobriety. They can cause major stress during the recovery process if they are not understanding or respectful enough of one’s wishes to remain sober, but they can also be a comfortable and reliable safety net if they are willing to listen and understand the trials of maintaining sobriety. Finding the right crowd can be difficult, especially when discussing one’s wishes to remain sober, and it may require someone to objectively look at their established relationships and determine who would be supportive of their goals for recovery.
From detox to outpatient recovery, each person will meet a number of like-minded people through their journey to sobriety. Practicing social skills and sharing similar interests and goals are great starting points for someone to begin creating a new, healthy social circle. Not only do others in recovery understand the difficulties that someone may face on a daily basis, but they also remove the stress of having to talk about one’s reasons for sobriety as the relationship develops. Sharing within this space can serve as a launching point for someone to move past any shame they may feel, and instead focus on their future.
Those who make up an effective social circle or safety net do not necessarily have to have dedicated themselves to sobriety in the same way as someone in recovery. However, they do need to be respectful of one’s decision to remain sober. This may involve agreeing to not mention drugs or drink alcohol in the presence of someone in recovery, removing any references to such substances from shared spaces, or understanding that a hat with a “Bud Light” logo may cause more harm than it is worth. These people can still be very effective safety nets, given that they respect the other’s own sober path. However, it is important to set expectations and effective communication systems to ensure that there are no inadvertent stressors being introduced.
Holidays and Sober Parties
Done right, sober parties are just as fun as any other kind of gathering, but there are a few things to take into account when planning a sober party of one’s own. It is still important to set expectations with those in attendance and make it clear that there will not be any drugs or alcohol. Such expectations should be backed by a selective guest list that includes like-minded individuals and understanding support networks.
Holidays and sober parties maintain their effectiveness by avoiding drawing attention to the lack of drugs or alcohol. Rather, they shift the focus to other elements of a gathering, such as the food being presented, or a set of activities such as group games, icebreakers, and friendly competitions. Sober parties also have the benefit of being able to be thrown anywhere, and thus can be used to explore new activities and locations. Sober parties and holidays don’t make a big deal about the absence of drugs or alcohol, and instead, make a big deal out of the new experiences that each person is having.
Sobriety doesn’t limit someone’s ability to have fun or enjoy their days. Rather, it can be a gateway to open oneself up to new traditions that can become hallmarks of one’s sobriety. Despite the surrounding stigmas of words like “addiction” or “recovery,” the fun that someone can find in their daily lives begins with sobriety. Fun doesn’t require anything but the right crowd of people and the right mindset, and each person has the ability to define their own exciting life of sobriety.
Located next to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California, Alta Centers is geared towards creating a feeling of belonging and inclusion for anyone suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. A personalized approach is designed to help you create an effective, individualized recovery plan that helps you achieve your goals in recovery while backing you up each step of the way with practical therapies to help you through the most difficult time in recovery. Sobriety isn’t about learning to live without drugs or alcohol, but about learning what opportunities are available when they aren’t a part of the equation. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction and are ready to take your first step towards sobriety, our personalized care and approach to detox can help you make each step count. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a caring professional about your unique situation, call us today at (888) 202-2583.