How To Navigate Sobriety With a Family Who Likes to Drink
Similar to heart disease or diabetes, alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a genetically distinguished condition. These genetic markers create a greater sensitivity to intoxication, increased tolerance, and alcohol-related organ damage.
Often the environment plays little to no role in the onset of AUD. For example, a person can grow up in a household with little to no exposure to alcohol and still develop AUD due to a genetic predisposition.
If you have friends, family, and loved ones who do not understand the difficulties of remaining sober and being a part of a family who like to drink, itâ€™s easy for them to disregard your efforts to stay sober.
That can be very triggering, especially if family members or loved ones are pressuring you to drink or making you feel excluded for abstaining. It can feel like they have alienated you â€” whether real or imagined.
The fact is that you canâ€™t navigate sobriety alone.
If you donâ€™t have a family willing to abstain from drinking whenever youâ€™re around, itâ€™s time to make a game plan that will help you stay sober while still spending time with your family.
Tips for Navigating Sobriety With a Family Who Drinks
What is the best way to navigate sobriety when you have family members who either don’t suffer from AUD or do and have not yet chosen sobriety? Here are five tips to help you stay clean and sober, even if your family chooses to drink.
Be Open About Feeling Pressured
The road to recovery is a very personal one. As you learn how to navigate sobriety, you need to fully understand your own needs and communicate them to your family.
Just as you don’t want your family to try to encourage you to drink, they probably don’t want to be told they cannot drink.
However, it is vital to discuss with your family what you need from them in your recovery journey. Be open about what helps with support, set clear boundaries, and (most importantly) put yourself and your sobriety first.
If you cannot stand being around someone drinking alcohol, donâ€™t! You donâ€™t owe it to anyone to spend time with them if they do not respect your boundaries and things that might trigger you.
Distance Yourself from the Alcohol
If you share a home with family who drinks alcohol, it can be challenging to figure out how to distance yourself from it. However, there are options that might help.
For example, get a mini-fridge or install a dedicated alcohol cabinet in an area of â€‹â€‹your home that you don’t normally use. You can also set alcohol-free zones where you can get away from drinking that could be occurring, and others in the house cannot take their drinking into those alcohol-free zones.
Put Your Recovery First
While recovery is difficult, making the choice of what’s best for you outweighs what others think about your decisions. Regardless of who they are or how close you once were, if your friends, family, and loved ones do not support your recovery journey, it’s okay to set boundaries and limit the time you spend with them.
Navigating Sobriety Take a Recovery Community
Instead, spend time with your recovery community, eager to support your recovery efforts by helping you stay sober. Friends of Bill know we cannot remain clean and sober without the help of those who truly understand this baffling and insidious addiction.
At Ethos Recovery, we provide sober living communities to help support you in your recovery journey. Surround yourself with those who understand how much work it takes to stay sober.
Navigate sobriety even if you have family members who like to drink. Contact us today to join the Ethos community.
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.