Girls’ night out and alcohol are as synonymous with each other as peanut butter and jelly. It is depicted pretty much everywhere in society. Movies, TV shows, commercials, etc. One could argue that the cosmopolitan drink became incredibly popular because of the ladies on Sex in the City drinking them on their girls’ nights. However, for women in Florida who are in recovery, something as simple, or fun, as a girls night out can be a dangerous environment for relapse. Many of your close friends can drink successfully without forming an unhealthy habit but, for you, that is not the case. Establishing a strong foundation early in recovery will make it easier to handle a girls’ night out with close friends who are not in recovery and allow you to still spend time with them without returning to your chaotic life of drinking.
Many alcoholics who begin the process of sobriety believe that they will eventually be able to have social drinks without getting out of hand. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Maintaining control of your life (rather than a substance controlling your life) often requires complete sobriety. That being said, it may be possible, if you have a strong enough foundation in recovery and enough time under your belt, that you can still be around other people who are drinking, go out to bars and restaurants, and have lots of fun with friends, even when you are sober. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to avoid alcohol and alcohol abuse at your next girls night out and still have a great time.
Be Honest and Upfront
If you haven’t already, you should be open with your friends about your alcohol issues. Sure, it can be embarrassing to bring something like that up, but they are your friends. If you can’t feel comfortable sharing with your friends what you are going through then are they really your friends? Not to mention, if you tell them and they react negatively, are they really people you want to have in your life anymore? One of the biggest things about sobriety is to surround yourself with people who will be there to support you. If that particular group of friends isn’t going to do that, then they aren’t people you want to have around you in your new, sober life. When other people know about your situation and you tell them it is okay for them to drink around you, it eliminates lots of awkward situations. Most people who are not in recovery don’t understand what it’s like, and oftentimes don’t know how to act around someone in recovery. They either feel weird drinking around you and won’t drink at all, or they will completely ignore it and go overboard. Having the conversation is very important to make everyone comfortable.
Have A Support System
Even if your friends are incredibly supportive of what you are going through it can be hard for them to fully understand the steps you’ve taken to a new life, and how to react. For them, they can go out and have several drinks and not spiral out of control. That’s why having a support system of other people that are going through the same thing as you is crucial. If you are in recovery, chances are you are going to meetings. If you are going to meetings, ask some of the other women there what they do when they go out with their friends. They might have tricks or tips to help you better enjoy the evening without spiraling out of control or even relapsing. It’s important to know that there are other people out there that have gone through what you have. Use them and their experience to help when it comes to enjoying your new, sober life.
Bring a Non-Drinking Friend With You
Maybe one of your other friends chooses not to drink that night as well. Or, maybe you introduce a new friend into the group that also doesn’t drink. Either way, having another friend there with you that is also not drinking can help when it comes to avoiding temptation. You can keep an eye on each other and make sure that you both stay sober that evening. In addition, people always say, “Nobody wants to drink alone”. Well, in most cases, nobody wants to be that only person that is not drinking. Having that other non-drinking friend with you can fix that and make you feel like less of an outsider. Don’t feel bad asking a close friend to abstain from drinking with you the first few times you are out, more than likely they are happy to help you out until you feel more comfortable.
While up to this point, we have talked about ways that you can be around your friends that are drinking. However, what about if you simply just can’t be around them when they are drinking? Well, that’s ok too. Without having substantial time in recovery, it’s probably best that you don’t go out with them alone. It’s important to not only create boundaries but also to know when not to put yourself in certain situations. Maybe being with that particular group when drinking triggers memories of you drinking that you want to avoid. Maybe you are worried about them pressuring you to drink. It’s ok to just take yourself out of that situation and not be around them when they are drinking. As we have talked about earlier, if they are truly your friends, they will understand. In situations like these, having a group of sober friends can be good too. That way when your other friends go out drinking, you can have people to hang out with and not feel left out or lonely. It’s also good to have a time of night that you will go home. As the night goes on and your friends continue to drink, it is always better to just remove yourself from the situation and prevent any further temptation.
Have A “Virgin” Drink
If you are someone who wants to give off the impression that you are drinking with everyone even though you aren’t, you can order a “virgin” drink. Although there are some arguments against this approach, you could order a drink that looks like it has alcohol in it. You can even have it put in a glass traditionally used when drinking alcohol. If you want, go up to the bartender right when you get there and explain to them the situation. Chances are, you’re not the first person ever to go to that bar and not drink. The bartender can make you something that looks alcoholic even though there is no alcohol in it. Plus, when it’s time for the next round you can just say you will have another without having to actually say what you are drinking. Ordering a soda with a lime is another great way to have a drink in your hand like everyone else but remain sober without calling any attention to yourself.
Do You Suffer From Alcohol Abuse and Are Looking for Help?
Whether you are someone who needs help when it comes to alcohol abuse or someone that needs help in dealing with their sobriety, at FHE Health we are here for you. We want you to enjoy your life and don’t want you to be a prisoner to alcohol anymore. Even if you think it’s too late, it’s not. Do not face your addiction alone, call us today at 833-596-3502 and choose a new life for yourself. If you are questioning whether or not you have a drinking problem, feel free to call in for a free evaluation and have any questions answered.