Be sober, be social, and get over awkward.
Being the only sober person in a room doesn’t have to suck. No one should feel awkward at a party nor should a person feel out of place at social gatherings. It is a common occurrence for recovering addicts, fresh out of treatment to have an awkward moment of being the only sober person in the room. There is nothing awkward about this moment as every recovering addict experiences it and it is important to understand how it is just one small feeling to get past. When an addict first starts on their path of sobriety there will many awkward moments along the way, unfortunately some of these moments can cause a person to potentially relapse because of an inability to cope or handle them.
In reality, being the only sober person in the room is actually a good thing, and brings a certain level of fulfillment and satisfaction that you can be sober and be at a party, while still having a good time. Draw from that power instead of drawing from poor me, I am different than and you will generate great power from this.
When a recovering addict walks into a bar, a party, or even a small social gathering; it can bring back a lot of flashbacks triggering off uncomfortable feelings. There is an overwhelming surge of re-stimulation that can smack an ex-user in the face like Mike Tyson and it is really what happens next that can decide or not whether a relapse will occur. The first thing that hits home is knowing that you may be the only sober person in the room or really the only person not drinking and partying. Here is the shocking truth…you are not the only the sober person there, you are in fact one of many normal people having fun and enjoying a night out, while not abusing drugs and alcohol. There is an on-going stigma attached to people who decide not to drink or party hard but quite frankly this is old thinking, especially with all this information about how drugs and alcohol affect the body and mind and the countless stories of people dying because of it. Quite frankly, thinking that you may feel out of place because you are not drinking or doing drugs is something the addicted you would think. You have a decision to see this through two lenses. Either view the circumstance through your addict lens or view it through your authentic self lens. One lens wants to destroy you while the other want you to survive. Guess which one’s which?
Many people in recovery move past this feeling of being out of place and not fitting in because it may have been one of those stressors that caused the drug and alcohol abuse to occur in the first place. How do you move past this feeling? Look at everything you have accomplished up to this point and then take a look around at all the support you have from your family and friends, and now look at where you want your life to go. This will put things in perspective for you and help you realize how small of a problem this current feeling of awkwardness really is. There is nothing awkward about this because you are a normal person having a good time who does not need drugs and alcohol to influence the outcome. Having a night out is not about getting messed up, stumbling drunk, acting like a total fool, and waking up with the worst possible hangover known to man, which lasts all day. It is about spending time with your friends, comfortably, having a memorable night and not waking up with a five alarm hangover. That awkward moment of being the only person in the room is only one small feeling that should have little to no impact, so understand there is nothing awkward about this situation and this will turn into a memorable sober moment that will be among so many others. And if the feeling ever gets too overwhelming, you can always exit stage left and call someone who cares enough to slap you in the back of the head.
How being the only sober person in a room doesn’t have to suck ©