When you stop drinking, it feels as if your entire world has changed. As a person in recovery from alcohol addiction, one of the biggest things I struggled with when I first gave up drinking over two years ago was my need to still have “fun” with friends but not knowing how to continue to enjoy my life without the buzz. I knew that I could no longer go to happy hour after work or indulge in boozy Sunday brunches, because I was committed to living an alcohol-free life, but I also didn’t want to become a bore with no friends.
Maintaining close friendships in recovery has been one of the most important ways that I have been able to keep my sanity and stay off the booze. But those friendships can get a little threatened when the stuff you used to do with your friends is no longer an option. It took some hard lessons to figure out where I was comfortable and what were some of the things I could do (or needed to adjust) in order to live life as a happy, sober person. And I am here to tell you: It IS indeed possible to socialize and even have a fantastic time without drinking. It just might take some work to get there. Here are eight ways to socialize without drinking, whether you are in recovery from substance abuse like me or simply taking a break from drinking.
Make sure you have a go-to mocktail.
A must when you’re partying sober is to make sure that you don’t find yourself in the awkward position of standing around without a drink in your hand. Yes, I’m sorry to say, some people might stare and wonder WTF is going on if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. In order to combat it, it’s important to have a go-to non-alcoholic drink that you can always rely on. And if you’re still feeling a little uneasy in your sobriety and don’t want to divulge to others that you’re staying off the drink, a well-placed lime on your drink glass will fool many into thinking you’re partaking just like the rest of your buds.