Know your limits and play within it.

It is inevitable that during your life in sobriety, you will be invited to parties or simple social gathering and the biggest question on your mind most likely will be; how to survive the night clean and sober?

Every person in recovery and every person who is living a sober life will handle these types of situations differently.  Some individuals, especially those fresh out of a drug rehab program, will avoid attending parties and social gathering because it is just too soon to be exposed to that type of atmosphere.  This choice is perfectly ok, and it is important to understand that if you do not require these types of activities in your social life, then there is no point in forcing yourself into it.  If you are the person who still enjoys having a social night out, or attending a social gathering or party, there are some good tips you can follow to make it through the day or night, and stay clean and sober.

How to Survive Parties, Gatherings, and Social Events Clean and Sober

  1. Know the environment. Who are going to visit and what kind of atmosphere it will be.  It can be safe to assume that you have cut all ties with people who are still using drugs and live the lifestyle you use to live.  With that being said, you should know that the party or social gathering you will be attending will not be a drug fueled out of control party.  But, it is still important to ask what kind of people will be going. Is it people you know, or will there be drugs at the party, is this just a laid back social event or an all night shin-dig.  Knowing all this, despite how foolish you think the questions are will help you make an honest decision on whether or not you will want to attend this party.  This is all about knowing your comfort levels, and what you are able to face while at these types of social events.
  2. Buddy up. Take people with you who you know do not drink, and obviously do not do drugs.  It can be important to be at these events with people who are on the same wave length as you, this way you have someone there you can rely on and have a good time with.  This also allows you to watch each others backs in a sense; if there is something that may make you feel uncomfortable you can sort out a good solution so as to not ruin your day or night.  The more sober people you end up going with to a social gathering or party, potentially the more comfortable you may feel.
  3. Plan an exit strategy. If things become too much for you, make sure you do not end up getting stranded with out any way to leave if you need to.  Don’t stress about offending your hosts; worst case scenario, make up an excuse to leave, or just realistically…leave.  Where many former addicts and people in recovery get into trouble is not being able to walk away when they knew they should have.  They decided to stick it out and simply became more uncomfortable as the party progressed, and the more extreme extent of this is they end up having a drink or end up using drugs again.  This does not always happen, but why take a chance when you know you can just leave and there will be plenty of other social events to attend.

Just because you are in recovery and have made some positive changes in your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a party, gathering, or event.

It is all about acting responsibly and knowing your own limits.  These limitations will be different for everybody, for example, a person fresh out of drug rehab may not even attend a party, where as an individual clean and sober for over 20 years will have no issues with it what so ever.

These are two very extreme ends of the spectrum but it will help put things in perspective for you.  Know your limits and have fun within them.

How to Survive Parties, Gatherings, and Social Events, Clean and Sober ©

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