What are you doing this New Year’s Eve? It’s a night made for celebrating like no other! And, for the vast majority of adults, we’ll wager there will be alcohol (And, in many instances, drugs of choice…) on the scene. Drinking and celebrating go hand in hand. It is deeply ingrained in human culture worldwide.
Responsible drinkers may be planning ahead by checking out the sober chauffeur ads or booking their Uber drivers well in advance.
But, if you are a recovering addict, you may feel the wise choice is to pass on the invitations and just watch that ball drop from your favorite chair. Temptation is sure to run the gamut on the party night of nights, for sure. You know it could be your downfall, but, man! You hate to miss out on the revelry!
As a matter of fact, the entire holiday season can be a tough time of year for recovering addicts. Merry making at every turn. Often, with free drinks included! And, sadly, the holidays can trigger family dysfunction at its worst. Another reason people in recovery tend to pick up that old crutch.
Prevention is worth a pound of cure
Isolation is often the better safe than sorry coping method chosen by recovering addicts over the holidays and throughout the year. It’s tough to be around the old social life without falling back into it. The “just this once” thought is a hard one to shake. It can hound you.
In reality, though, seclusion is not a great plan.
Isolation is often where addicts reside before getting clean. So, even though, it seems natural to seclude yourself from your old social life, all you’ve done is put yourself right back where a lot of time was spent alone (or with immediate family and a firm pattern of dysfunction was established) prior to treatment.
It might not be the best plan to just stay home after all.
Does that mean facing an uncomfortable situation for a lengthy period of time?
Out with the old and in with the new
Whether it was inpatient or outpatient treatment, when you sought help you were away from the old.
New environment. New faces. New people. New life.
Trends are often considered the newest “thing.”
Guess what! There is one out there, now, that is perfect for such a season as this.
Have you heard about sober bars? Usually run by non profit organizations, the idea is to provide a safe spot for people who have problems with substance abuse. Filling their need for a place to hang out without having to worry about the temptations of the old bar scene.
New environment. New faces. New people. New life.
All the sights and sounds
It’s the atmosphere of a bar, in all aspects, sans alcohol. What an awesome way to help recovering addicts find their new groove!
Drinks are most certainly available. “Mocktails” are popular, of course, and are served at many sober bars. But, you could be served a variety of other beverages. Energy drinks, milkshakes, juices, or specialty sodas might be behind that bar. Some establishments take things up a notch and serve food, as well.
Entertainment? Why, yes! It would be a pretty dull nightlife just sitting around looking at each other. Live music, dance floors, DJ’s, light shows, Karaoke, darts, pool, trivia nights… The list could go on, we’re sure. Ultimately, the aim is a good time had by all. It keeps people coming back in the door.
Peace be with you
Probably, the most important component of the sober bar is the social aspect. People, from all walks of life, that share a common bond of sobriety coming together to have a great time. That’s a pretty empowering thought, isn’t it?
One with good things written all over it!
How better to start a new phase in life? One reason people go to bars is to meet new people. An establishment full of people, who are not under the influence when gathering, bodes well for forming lasting, healthy relationships.
New friends who know exactly where you’re coming from. Friends at the ready to hold you accountable for your actions. Friends who will encourage you to stay the course.
Life feels more normal when one is taking an active part in it. Staying connected and plugged in is important for maintaining sobriety. It gives a sense of purpose to each day. Recovering addicts need that because some days are really hard to get through.
With sober bars in the mix, recovering addicts can look forward to the coming weekend festivities or Wednesday’s Dart League. And, let’s not forget donning silly hats and making some noise at the stroke of midnight!
Recovering addicts are not doomed to lifestyles limiting their social activities. They can be the example of “how-to” that encourages others to follow suit. Sober living is as real as it gets. Especially, after being lost in the throes of addiction and coming out on the other side.
We mentioned before that non-profit organizations are largely responsible for bringing the idea of sober bars to fruition. Sometimes, those organizations are started by a recovering addict who realized what the missing link was. The thing that would help them rise above and stay there. The answer was a place to be with kindred souls.
This is more than a noble cause. Really, it is a testament to life as it should be.
A quick Google search and you will find a story that catches your eye and pulls at your heart...
This is the season of giving, after all.
May the joy you find in it follow you throughout this new year. And, beyond!