Brad Lamm, CIP
One of my major concerns in early sobriety was how to be present at a party when I’m sober and everyone else is drinking. Wouldn’t just being at an event where alcohol is served activate the phenomenon of craving? Over the past decade or so, I’ve learned myriad ways to engage in social activities that might also be triggers for relapse.
Be prepared: know who is going to be there and who you can count on to be supportive. Have someone there as your silent connection, that you can look at and they’ll know you need extra support, a diversion, or an excuse to leave early if it gets to be too much.
Know your replacement strategy: if its food you struggle with, eat before you go. If that’s not possible, find out exactly what’s on the menu and make your choice before you arrive. If it’s booze you’re off, what is your drink for the night? A bottle of water? Club soda with a twist of lime? Go knowing exactly what you are going to consume and stick to it.
Serve yourself: Whether it’s food or fine wine, the best way to know exactly what your consuming at all times is to pick it up or pour it out yourself. By eliminating the middleman, you’ll never worry that someone accidentally gave you more than club soda.
Although it may be smart to stay away until you find your feet in recovery, sooner or later we all need to develop the skills to stay sober no matter what the circumstance. Putting a plan in place before you walk out the door will give you a chance to highlight your personality, without the regrets of the morning after.