5 Tips for Living Sober When Your Friends Aren’t
If you’ve made the choice to pursue a healthy life of living sober, you already know that there will be challenges along the way. But the decision you’ve made is the right choice for your situation and will bring you peace and joy beyond your wildest dreams.
True fulfillment is something no substance can provide, and beating your addiction by living life in recovery is the most empowering choice you can make.
Still, living sober when the people you spend time with are still using or abusing drugs can prove extremely difficult.
Don’t underestimate the power and influence that friends and family have over you. Recognizing it and being honest with yourself can help you stand strong in the face of temptation.
You have options. You don’t have to fall into old, destructive patterns or be pressured into stumbling on your recovery journey.
In this article, we’ll give you five helpful tips for living sober and carving your own path, even when those around you make it hard.
1. Plan Potential Things to Say
One of the easiest ways to fall under peer pressure is to not have something planned to say in case you encounter a sticky situation. Be prepared for whatever you may encounter.
“Aw, come on! Can’t you have just one sip?”
“Just take a hit. It won’t kill you.”
“It’s New Year’s Eve! You have to join in our champagne toast!”
“For me? It’s my birthday! You won’t even have one drink with me?”
“You’ve had a bad day. You deserve it. Give yourself a break.”
All of these excuses are something you’re likely to hear at some point from friends and family.
Addiction is a very misunderstood illness, and even if the people around you mean well, they don’t know how harmful these sentences can be to your well being.
Whatever you do, don’t give in.
Come up with something to say in response to any and every temptation that may come your way. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and stick to your guns.
You can stand firm. Believe in yourself and follow your program, and have clearly defined responses prepared in case you encounter pressure from friends who have not chosen to live a sober lifestyle.
2. Cultivate Your Own Interests
When you do something new and embrace a life of living sober, you may not be able to live the same exact way you lived before.
Gone are the days of heading to the beach and blazing out with your friends. No more Friday nights getting blackout drunk and waking up to a Saturday you’ll hardly remember.
Instead, find new ways to spend your time.
Invest in hobbies that interest you. Pick up new habits and make plans to fill your time with healthy activities, rather than waiting for boredom to strike and defaulting on old, harmful ways.
You may need to find the bravery to break off from the pack, but don’t fear change. You’ll find new things that make you happy and have loads of healthy fun along the way.
3. Find New Friends
It’s a hard truth to swallow, but there may be people you need to leave behind as you embrace a new lifestyle of living sober.
Sometimes, toxic people need to be left in your past. If a person isn’t good for you, you probably know it and just need to pull the plug on the relationship.
The person you’re thinking of as you read this is a good place to start.
You don’t need to burn bridges by hurting their feelings, but do what you need to do. No relationship in the world is worth your own serenity.
Be true to yourself, and cut out negative influences so that you can live a healthy life with genuine relationships built on mutual trust, respect, and love.
4. Keep A Journal
Reminding yourself why you’re sober in the first place is key. If you don’t fully understand why you’re living sober, it will be easy to fall into old patterns of using and abusing drugs and alcohol.
Take a few minutes throughout the day to write down how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.
If you’re tempted, that’s okay. But reflect back on times when you were miserable due to your use of drugs, and remind yourself of how good you feel now that you’ve cut that out of your life.
Write down poems or stories to express yourself, and let your recovery journey be the beautiful story that it is.
Don’t give into temptation, and keep building those recovery muscles as you take it day by day and begin to live the truly fulfilling life that you have the power to create for yourself.
By keeping a journal, you give yourself space to feel how you feel. You can read back over times that were both difficult and empowering and be inspired by how far you’ve already come.
5. Be Honest
Speaking up to your friends and family about your addiction and your reasons for avoiding specific substances is one of the best ways to live a true and genuine life.
It may feel scary or shameful to speak about what you’ve been through, but don’t be afraid to admit that you are in recovery. In fact, the only thing you should feel is pride in yourself for making the right choices for living a healthy life.
Embrace a sense of confidence that you are pursuing your highest potential and living in a way that is best for you and your path. Don’t shame anyone for their choices, but stand strong in your own and don’t back down from your convictions.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation, of course, but being upfront about your reasons for your decisions can help others understand and know you better.
Give them the freedom to understand and respect your choices, and ideally, they will help you reach your goals rather than hinder you from attaining them.
Living Sober is Possible!
It may seem like an impossible challenge that you can’t imagine accomplishing, but living sober really is possible. You can do it — even if you’re the only one — and you can lead a life that’s all the more fulfilling by making choices that are right for you.
Understand that not everyone’s path will look like yours, and that’s okay. Just don’t stray from what you know is right, no matter how pressured or tempted you feel.
Sacrificing your inner peace and wellness is never worth it.
For help with leading a sober lifestyle, call us today. We’re committed to your recovery and can provide tips, tools, and resources to help you along the way.
The addiction treatment approach at Recovery Ways is about Reclaiming Your Life. The program is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and provide each patient with the emotional, physical and spiritual tools to achieve a productive, joyful, and sober lifestyle. Our approach is a collaborative effort that empowers our patients to heal mentally and physically. We provide a nurturing environment that supports an individual’s unique healing process.All stories by: Recovery Ways