May 25, 2024

15 Things I’ve Learned Being The Only Sober Person In The Room

In the early days, I felt that it was my responsibility to answer the question, “How come you aren’t drinking? ” I didn’t understand I could decline to answer or that I didn’t have to make sense to everyone. For a period it was, “I’m an alcoholic,” and that tended to silence anyone (for clarification, I no longer identify as an alcoholic). These days, unless I’m feeling generous, I simply say, “I don’t drink,” and leave it at that. If your friends drink too much while you’re struggling with staying sober, know you’re not alone. At Gateway Foundation, we take the time to understand the triggers keeping you from staying sober.

If you drink when you’re lonely, pick up the phone and call a friend or make plans to do something social. Albertson has found that prioritizing yoga, meditation and walking on the beach has really helped as a drinking distraction for herself. You can also revisit an old hobby you once had, whether that’s playing a musical instrument or making art. Drinking less will give you more time to pursue these passion projects in general and can pave the way to help you find new hobbies and interests. ” You want to learn how to have fun without drinking, and that’s how you ended up here. It’s easy for you to avoid alcohol and have fun in the day, but when you go out to a social event at night, you start having problems.

Is there a safe approach to drinking?

Going back to normal life when in recovery is a challenge that can potentially lead to relapse. But being prepared to deal with triggers and temptations can make the process easier. Returning to a regular environment and spending time with friends who drink is one of the challenges you might face.

It’s also helpful to change your environment—for instance, avoid going to bars. There are also resources such as 12-step groups and recovery groups. When I was drinking, it never occurred to me that I was an introvert.

Have an Emergency Plan

Sobriety is kind of like the fast-pass line at Disneyland, except the ride is growing up. So if all of your friends drink alongside you, then there’s no issue, right? Well, there’s a concept in psychology known as “confirmation bias,” and it means that we often look for evidence to support something that we already believe to be true. While making the decision to be sober was the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s also one of the hardest.

  • Maybe you like spending time with your co-workers.
  • We feel like we’re not just in the spotlight but also under a magnifying glass.
  • If these emotions become excessive, they can hold you back from recovery.
  • In some cases, this can mean changing your social group and spending time with different people.

I used to have to anticipate losing my purse or belongings or saying or doing something I didn’t mean to say or do. Social settings where you’re the only sober person are incredible reminders of why you’re sober. It won’t be long before you see a drunk person doing something silly or stupid and be glad that it isn’t you. When you’re a person who drinks, coming across a sober person is often a novelty. Usually, it’s the cranky designated driver, or the well-behaved friend of the group, or someone who’s taking the night easy after a particularly terrible hangover. Many times, we drink because it’s just a way to not feel like an outsider.

‘Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book,’ by William G. Wilson (Bill W.)

It is helpful to be sensitive about this issue, as so much is at stake, but to also remember that it is that person’s own responsibility to manage their recovery. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. For example, you may have developed a co-dependent relationship, or a family member, friend, or employer may have been enabling you without even knowing it. Sobriety means not being under the influence of a substance.

  • It’s been over six years since I first started seriously questioning my relationship with alcohol and considered a life without it.
  • Ask open-ended questions, actively listen and show a genuine interest in getting to know people.
  • When a person consumes alcoholic beverages, the alcohol builds up in their bloodstream.
  • We are always the lead protagonist of our own story — when we take on a legitimately dramatic narrative arc (such as trying not to drink), that sense of being the center of attention grows.

When I think back to my drinking days, I might have come across someone who wasn’t drinking once or twice, but I never stayed around long enough to figure out why, or what motivated their decision. To be honest, sober people scared the crap out of me. Think about which friendships will be supportive of your sober life going forward.

Balancing holiday parties with guests in recovery.

Many bars and restaurants have entire mocktail menus, and there is an ever-increasing number of nonalcoholic drinks to buy at home. “I now drink sparkling water with a lime on the rocks and even enjoy creating pretty mocktails that are not filled with sugar,” she explains. Think about what inspires you to drink and find something else to do in those situations where drinking would normally occur. This, says Hobelmann, could be everything from taking a walk to watching a Netflix show.

being sober around drinkers

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