In Young adult and adolescent culture drinking alcohol is considered the norm especially at celebrations and social gatherings.
There have been efforts made for sober parties, but they are few and far between.
For someone in recovery who is using all of their willpower not to take a drink, going to a party can mean they are bombarded with potential triggers.
Not only is it difficult for recovered alcoholics to deal with their cravings, they also must find a way to enjoy themselves without feeling excluded or different from their peers.
People in recovery must be prepared to handle a variety of scenarios that could lead them to feel uncomfortable, alienated or worst of all, tempted to drink. These are some of the things sober people must confront at parties.
Constantly Being Offered a Drink
Even if you are attending a party thrown by close friends who are aware of your situation, there are bound to be plenty of strangers who will keep asking if you'd like a beer. As a recovered alcoholic, the easiest thing to do is politely decline but at some point it may spark a conversation about your sobriety.
Trying to Explain Why You Don't Drink
Although you may avoid bringing it up and feel reluctant to talk about it, inevitably people will begin to ask why you aren't drinking. You then have to decide whether you want to tell your whole complicated story or simply give a few excuses and change the subject.
People Making Jokes about Your Sobriety
If you don't feel like telling your life story about your alcohol problems or even if sometimes if you do, people might be insensitive and start joking about the fact that you don't drink. They could do this either because it highlights their own excessive drinking or they just can't understand your point of view. Either way it can be uncomfortable and annoying for someone struggling with recovery.
People Arguing the Pros of Alcohol
Once in a while at a party you might come across alcohol enthusiasts who are confused as to why you would decide not to drink. These could be people that love sampling wine and beer and see alcohol as one of the joys of life. They might try to convince you that drinking couldn't possibly be a bad thing.
No Soda or Alternative Drinks at Party
If you end up attending a party where no one knows about your sobriety they could have an endless selection of beer and wine and nothing you could possibly drink. The only thing to do is to sip water and try to get absorbed in conversation instead.
Foods Cooked with Alcohol
Some dishes served at parties could be cooked with wine or brandy and be something you have to avoid eating altogether. This along with other triggers can contribute to making early sobriety hard.
People Offering Marijuana or Other Drugs
People at parties might think that since you don't drink you are at least okay with smoking marijuana or doing some other type of drug. You then have to decline these as well and explain your situation once again.
Toasting without Champagne
At weddings or other celebrations people might call for a toast and start passing around champagne. You will have to toast with water or soda which can often feel alienating and a little embarrassing.
Being the Only Sober Person
It can be difficult to be at the type of party where everyone gets obliterated and you are the only sober person there. It helps to bring a sober buddy sometimes to you don't have to witness everyone else drinking around you.
Friends Feeling Uncomfortable about Your Recovery
Sometimes you will have to deal with friends who feel awkward or uncomfortable about your alcohol recovery. They could be old drinking buddies who don't want to face their own problems. It is best to be compassionate toward them and still focus on your own recovery.