Alcohol is unique in that it is the only drug that is offered at most social events and celebrations.  For those of us who have struggled with alcohol addiction, but may not wish to advertise our problem and recovery to everyone we meet, the stigma associated with sobriety can deter us from turning down drinks in social settings.  If you ask someone who has been sober for a long time, they will probably tell you that other people aren’t nearly as concerned with what is in your cup as you may think they are. However, if you still worry your sobriety will be an elephant in the room, there are a few tricks you can use to make attending social events go smoothly.

It is worth reiterating that people tend to worry more about themselves while socializing than about other people, much less who is drinking what.  However, saying no to all beverages and standing around emptyhanded tends to be more obvious than sipping on a soda or a glass of iced tea. If you are attending a party where you can make your own drink, try pouring your soda or juice in a fancy drink glass and garnishing it with a lemon or lime wedge.  Cranberry juice, club soda, and lime is a particularly tasty drink that looks like a cocktail and will keep people from asking any unwelcome questions. You can also order this mocktail at the bar if you are at a restaurant or club.  

Most of the time, when it feels like someone is being pushy about your choice to stay sober, they are grappling with some substance issues of their own.  Or, if the person pushing you to grab a drink is the host of the party, they may just be trying to be polite, in which case they will be just as pleased with your request for a soda.  The fear of standing out can add to social anxiety and is a common concern for newly sober people, but it helps to remember that in most scenarios the only person aware of your sobriety is you.  For the rare occasion when your decision not to drink becomes the topic of conversation, you never have to go beyond saying that you just don’t feel like drinking. Don’t allow your fear of social situations keep you from seeking help for your addiction.  Quality treatment will provide you with the tools you need to face any challenge that comes your way.

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.