Alcoholism a tricky addiction to successfully conquer for a number of different reasons. Drinking is a major part of American culture – even heavy drinking is normalized in a lot of social circles. For college students, binge drinking is almost a right of passage. “Going out” on the weekends after a long workweek has been widely deemed a great way to blow off steam, and excessive drinking goes hand-in-hand with happy hour and barhopping. Current “soccer mom” culture normalizes drinking wine… and lots of it. Not to mention, alcohol is completely legal for those over 21 – and beyond that, it isn’t closely regulated.
Focusing on staying committed to your sobriety might mean changing up your social scene, your occupation, or your day-to-day environment, depending on your personal treatment goals and your current stage in addiction recovery. If you find yourself surrounded by people who drink heavily, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your recovery is never compromised. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tricks that will help you to continue putting your best foot forward, and maintain a life of fulfilled freedom from alcohol for years to come.
Staying Sober in Alcoholism Recovery
- Re-evaluate your work situation.
Take a look at where you’re working. Does your job trigger you? If you are working in a restaurant or a bar where you’re serving booze all day, you might want to look into the possibility of other career paths. There are many recovery-friendly jobs you can throw yourself into. And remember, the instability of early sobriety won’t last forever. Once you’ve been sober for a year and worked the steps, you’ll be free to do what you want without concern or hesitation.
- Ask yourself if your friends drink normally.
Do your old friends drink as you do, or did they used to express concerns about your drinking habits? If they were worried about you before you got sober, there’s a good chance that they’ll be supportive of your recovery. If your old friends spend all of their time in bars or nightclubs, or if they ever pressure you to drink, it might be wise to surround yourself with a different group of people. Self-care means setting personal boundaries, and sometimes, it means separating yourself from the people you used to consider close friends.
- Be sure you aren’t frequenting the same places you used to frequent.
Just like surrounding yourself with the same circle of friends might not be a good idea, going to the same places you used to go when you were drinking can be detrimental to your recovery. There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, “If you keep hanging out at the barber, you’re bound to get a haircut eventually.” Basically, this saying means that if you’re sober and you spend all of your time at the bar, it’s only a matter of time before you pick up a drink.
- Spend time expanding your sober circle.
One of the best ways to ensure that you stay on the right path is to surround yourself with supportive friends that are also on the right path. In recovery, if you open yourself to meeting people, you will find that everyone wants the very best for you. Being able to talk to someone who knows exactly what you’re going through is a beautiful thing. Reach out when you’re feeling low, share your triumphs when you’re feeling good, and lean on those who know what it’s like.
Garden State Treatment Center is Here to Help
If you are struggling with alcoholism and looking to get clean and sober, or if you are already sober and wondering how to stay clean, please feel free to reach out to us today. Our experienced staff members are always standing by to answer any and all questions you may have. We look forward to speaking with you soon!