Sober Party Girl - Say What??
Yes! We get to have our mock-tails and remember the entire evening too. When you have done the work, continue to do the work, we get to enjoy life, and that includes being able to get out there and have some fun. The fact of the matter is this; when you are diligent with the program of AA, or any other program you might choose, the promises we are told can be ours if we do the work. We are at point where we recoil from alcohol, like a hand to a hot flame. I have found that at this point I can peacefully coexist with alcohol in social settings.
Let's run down some basics so our sober bad-ass selves can enjoy a fun evening out. Most people will respect you and your sobriety. It's a simple thing to say,"I don't drink." People will usually leave it at that. As well, you don't owe anyone an explanation for why you're not drinking. Not one! I on the other hand am pretty blatant about the fact I am a recovering alcoholic, and give zero sober fucks if someone wants to have an opinion about this. I will even make a joke about it, and fire back with, "I have a weird allergy with alcohol. Whenever I drink, I break-out in handcuffs." People love that!However, there's a huge stigma around elicit drug use, and I don't mention my historical issues with cocaine. It's irrelevant in this context.
Alright, so where to go when you're sober and looking to have a bit of social interaction? This where Facebook, Meetup, and other online forums come in handy. There's a number of events always happening in your area. Grab a few of your sober friends from AA, or some old friends that have supported you in your recovery to join you. We can't sit back and complain that no one ever wants to do stuff with us if we don't make the effort to ask. This is a new concept for some of us. We have been in a little protective cocoon for a bit of time now, and we've blossomed into a beautiful butterfly. Let's go spread our wings! Be brave & vulnerable. The worst thing someone can say is, "No thank you." And that's ok. The key here is not to take a declined invitation personally. Be proud of yourself for breaking out of your comfort zone. You were willing to put yourself out there, and that my lovely is a beautiful & brave thing.
Finally, have a back-up plan or "Get out of jail free" card in your back pocket just in case you start to feel uneasy or not safe. I always suggest letting your sponsor, a supportive family member, or friend know that you're going out and that you'd like to be able to reach out to them if things start to go south. You can ask if they can be available to come pick you up, or even just call with an "emergency" so you can have an excuse to leave. I am a fan of setting a time for when I will leave. If it's a dinner I found through Meetup, I will make a plan to attend the dinner, socialize for a bit of time after we're finished, thank the host and new people I met for a lovely time, and then make my exit. Do not feel guilty for leaving. You are your own best advocate. So, advocate for yourself.
Go live life! Go have fun! The point of living is to be alive. Enjoy. Drop me a note, and let me know how your social life is going in sobriety. Remember, all of us that are trudging the road of happy destiny are with YOU in spirit. Lot's of love to you.
Links to amazing meet up communities & social events: