The routine: eat dinner somewhere in downtown Sacramento, go to the bars by 9, spend too much money (definitely), get home (maybe) around 2 am. Just writing it out makes you realize how detrimental the routine gets to your life, especially once you are out of it. After quitting alcohol, you don’t have to fall back into that same old routine. Even if your friends are inviting you out for the night, and who knows where that will lead them, you can still go with them. You don’t have to give up your social life if you give up alcohol. Here are a few ways to help you feel comfortable while changing up that exhausting routine a little.
- Confidence is key. Be prepared for the questions. Someone will always ask why you aren’t drinking, and the question may get more frequent as they continue to drink. Don’t be ashamed of it, it’s okay not to drink, in fact, you’ll definitely feel better than them in the morning. Make sure that when you’re explaining why you aren’t drinking that you do so with grace. If you turn it into a lecture, your friends might not be as willing to hang around you, as the word “buzzkill” starts to circulate.
- Do not lecture your friends. You love your friends, and you want them to be informed of the reasons that they should stop drinking, but they have to make that decision on their own as you have. You don’t want your friends to quit asking you to go out, and this will definitely happen if you are lecturing them all night about drinking. You don’t have to be totally okay with what your friends are doing, but make sure to pick your battles, instead of creating them.
- There are a lot of people who don’t drink. Surprisingly, there are many people who don’t drink but will still go to a bar for the social atmosphere. I can think of a few people I know off the top of my head, and I’m sure you can too. Create a friendship with these people, if you already haven’t, and they can turn into your partner in crime while having a fun night out on the town, without getting trashed.
- Have fun. Everyone loosens up a little while drinking, and you don’t have to be any different because you’re sober. Can you think of a better time to be goofy than while surrounded by drunk people? Let the stress of the week go, just like you would if you were drinking. Just because you aren’t drinking in a bar, doesn’t mean the bar fun has to end.
- When it’s time to go home. The best part about you giving up the booze is that you know your friends will make it home safe. Even if you leave early, you can help your friends make arrangements. In the Sacramento area, there are many different car services that they can call, or you can even set up for them before you leave.
Having a sober night out doesn’t have to be boring. Developing skills to enjoy being sober is essential to a successful long-term recovery.
Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on March 29th, 2018.