How Can I Stay Sober When I Live in a Party Town?
When youâ€™re sober, feeling like there is pressure to party in the place you live can create a stressful environment. Even if it seems like you have to drink if you live in a party town and that â€œeveryone is doing it,â€ there are always plenty of other options. You just need to know where to look. Here are some ideas for enjoying your time, having fun, and staying sober while living in a party town.
Explore Hobbies That Donâ€™t Involve Drinking
Try visiting places that donâ€™t serve alcohol or doing activities that donâ€™t revolve around drinking. If you like going out and exploring, even party towns have plenty of coffee shops, libraries, and museums to frequent. If youâ€™re looking for ideas to do on your own, consider giving these a try:
- Try journaling
- Take a meditation class
- Learn a musical instrument
- Bake a new recipe
- Practice a foreign language
Developing hobbies and building new skills is a great way to spend time and feel a sense of accomplishment in sobriety. There are hobbies you can do alone and those you could try out with others. They will also help you begin to cultivate a sense of independence in sobriety.
Build up a Support Community
One of the single most important things you can do for your recovery is to have support from people with similar experiences. There are many different groups available for people in addiction recovery. This could mean a recovery support community or a community surrounding another shared interest. Experiences are a great way to build connections, so doing group activities can speed up the process.
Ways to cultivate community outside of a recovery setting include:
- Join a book club
- Find a hiking group
- Take a cooking class
- Bring your pet to the dog park
- Go to a trivia night
The thing about receiving support thatâ€™s sometimes hard is that you have to seek it out and build it yourself. Itâ€™s usually the last thing you want to do if you feel lonely or isolated. Keep the long game as well as your recovery goals in mind.
Avoid Tempting Environments
Keeping yourself in spaces conducive to recovery can be a crucial aspect of sobriety. Places associated with alcohol, like bars, weddings, and concerts, can be triggering, especially depending on how long youâ€™ve been in recovery. The decision to go anywhere you might have normally been drinking or using, or know that other people will be drinking, should be carefully thought out. Generally, you should only attend drinking events when you have a good reason to be there. You should also know that itâ€™s okay to say no to things that could jeopardize your sobriety.
If you have to go to a drinking event, make sure you have an exit plan in case the stakes increase. Have a reliable friend who knows where you are and whom you can call to talk you through it. If you bring a sober buddy, you can hold each other accountable.
Sometimes living with people who drink, particularly in a party town if they are going out or hosting parties often, can also make it difficult to feel comfortable in your sobriety.
A structured sober living community can help you build a sense of community and maintain sobriety when living in a party town. Still, it gives you much more freedom than a formal treatment center.
If it sounds like a sober living community could be a good fit for your needs, get in touch with us at Ethos Recovery.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.