How to get your pub on, clean and sober.

Blistering hot Buffalo wings and mile-high nachos with oozing cheddar cheese. Yummy! Yes, pub food can be awesome, but meeting up at pubs when you’re sober can prove problematic for many in recovery and if you’re early in recovery, you know the rules, stay away! But that doesn’t mean meeting up at pubs when you’re sober is always going to be off the table.

The neighborhood pub or the bar down the street form work can tend to be a common place to meet up among friends and to catch up.  Many people in recovery can attribute the beginnings of their addiction to a local bar or club they would frequent on a very regular basis.  In fact, a great number of drug fueled nights may have started in that very pub or bar you may be looking to meet up at for a drink, and are wandering how to make the best of the situation.  Your close friends or your close colleagues at work may have all the intimate details of what you went through and will not put that unnecessary pressure on you to have a drink or stay out longer than you want to.  Other acquaintances; however, do not have all the intimate details of your previous life and this is where some of the dilemmas may occur. Here are some quick tips on how to make the best of this all too common situation.

If you are just fresh out of treatment and on the new road of recovery, the very best option is to stay away from bars and heavy social drinking, especially the night life.  This is not saying you can not go out and have dinner in a pub or a restaurant, this is merely recommending that you stay away from the “meet up for a drink scene”.  This is a wise move because just simply going out for a drink or drinks is what may have landed you in trouble previously; furthermore, why you would want the re-stimulation of alcohol and temptation to drink as soon as you get out of rehabilitation is something you need to ask.   Finally, even you manage to convince yourself that you can have that one social drink and leave, 99% of the time it never happens that way, and half dozen drinks later you are looking to score some drugs.  The best recommendation when newly in recovery is go for coffee instead, and stay clear of the social drink scene, for your own benefit.

Here is the more common scenario, you have a few years of recovery under your belt, and you have built stable and normal routines in your life, all contributing to you staying sober. You have started to accept your friends and work colleague’s invitations to meet up for a drink, as you know your own comfort zone and confidence in your abilities to maintain your sobriety.  With this scene being set, here are some recommendations.  Don’t stay out late, meaning don’t close the bar; fatigue and being around heavy drinking is not a good combination, besides you are out to socialize and catch up, not close the pub and stumble home drunk.  When you meet up with whomever, order some awesome mouth watering food, which can make it a more relaxed environment for yourself, especially if you get stressed out about being around the drinking scene.  Virgin drinks and non-alcoholic beer; you can sip on these for ever, and quite frankly they taste just as good.  Finally, set a time to leave; each group of people you are out with may be different, but just tell yourself I am going out for a couple hours and heading home, and set that time for yourself.  It is sometimes even best to set up other plans, so you know you will have to leave to make those other plans on time.

This is an all too common occurrence; meeting up at pubs when you’re sober, and it’s really just knowing how to make the best of the situation.  Every former addict in recovery has their own ways of handling this in the way that makes them comfortable, as you know what your limitations are and what makes you un-comfortable.

With that being said, you also know you can walk away from any situation as you have the personal integrity and self-confidence to do so.  Life does not end when you are in recovery, and as cliché as this sounds, life really does just begin; a whole new world and a clean slate are right in front of you to explore, create, and enjoy…so go head and get your fingers dirty.

Meeting up at pubs when you’re sober ©

pub night clean and sober