For many people, it’s difficult, almost impossible, to socialize without having a few drinks. The decision to stop drinking is often perceived as the end of social life. It doesn’t have to be, though. You can stop drinking without losing your friends or ending your social life. Read on to see how to make it happen.
Why Do People Drink When Socializing?
Alcohol intake is a common social activity. It’s even encouraged to have a drink when hanging out with friends or when attending any type of gathering or another event. People drink alcohol in these settings because it increases their sociability.
One study found that moderate consumption of alcohol can enhance positive emotions, relieve negative emotions among people, and promote social bonding.
Sometimes people drink alcohol to loosen up and have more fun. However, this activity isn’t harmless and innocent. With time, alcohol intake may go up and contribute to problem drinking and lead to alcohol abuse, dependence and alcohol addiction.
Since alcohol is a major component of social gatherings, it can be tricky to decide to quit. The last thing a person wants is to be at the receiving end of negative comments that decrease their motivation to treat alcohol abuse.
Informing Friends About Your Decisionc
If your social life involves a lot of drinking, it’s important to inform your friends about the decision to stop. Why? Announcing your decision further certifies your readiness to quit drinking and start your journey toward alcohol recovery. As mentioned above, this process may include a lot of nervousness. Here’s how to do it:
- Keep it simple – you decide to stop drinking and become sober, which is why you decide how much you’re going to share with someone. You may feel comfortable sharing more with someone people and less with others. The point is to keep it simple and straightforward and announce your decision without feeling like you need to justify getting an alcohol rehab Indianapolis.
- Ask for support – real friends support one another no matter what. Recovery from alcohol addiction requires a strong support system. Besides family, you need your friends too. Don’t be afraid to ask your closest friends for their support while you’re getting sober in alcohol rehab.
- Be ready for negativity – some friends will support you, whereas others may give negative comments about your alcohol treatment. Negativity is common in these situations. The most important thing is that you need to be prepared for negativity and never take it personally. What they say about your decision speaks about them and their relationship with alcohol.
How To Maintain A Social Life When Quitting Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is deeply rooted in social activities that many people think it’s possible to maintain a social life without it. Of course, it’s possible. While it may seem cliché, you don’t need alcohol to have an amazing social life or have fun. Here’s how to maintain your social life when quitting alcohol addiction:
- Go to places that don’t serve alcohol – instead of bars that serve alcohol, opt for places that don’t. This move is particularly important at the beginning of the alcohol recovery process when you feel cravings for alcohol. There are many places that you can visit and have a great time even without alcohol involved. Some examples include movie theaters, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, museums, addiction rehab centers etc.
- Try new things – spending time with friends doesn’t have to include drinking alcohol at home, bar, club, or any other place. You can be creative and try new things such as hiking, working out at a gym, signing up for some cool classes, traveling, and other things. Options are endless
- Connect with people who don’t drink – the best thing you can do for your sobriety is to spend time with people who don’t drink either. That’s why you should connect with others in alcohol treatment. Make new friends, enrich your social circle, go to meetings, and meet sober people. All these things can do wonders for your social life and help you avoid drinking alcohol at the same time.
- Be determined – avoiding places with alcohol is always a good idea, but sometimes it’s impossible. For example, you are invited to someone’s wedding or other special events, and it’s safe to expect there’s going to be alcohol. In these situations, someone may even offer you a drink because it’s a “special occasion.” Be determined. Remember your alcohol recovery centers, how far you’ve come, and think about all the reasons you’ve decided to stop drinking.
- Give non-alcoholic drinks a chance – nowadays, there is a wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks that happen to be delicious. You should give them a try and find your favorite one. Make it your go-to drink. For some people, it’s convenient to order a famous cocktail, but a “virgin” or alcohol-free version.
- Manage your social anxiety – since alcohol increases sociability, it’s not uncommon for people with social anxiety to drink when in public. Alcohol helps them relax and socialize more. Manage your social anxiety in order to avoid cravings for alcohol. Therapy, a standard approach in alcohol recovery, is a good idea because it teaches you to cope with social anxiety and helps you develop skills for social functioning.
Will I Lose My Friends When I Stop Drinking?
No, you will not lose your real friends when you stop consuming alcohol. People who don’t want to socialize with you, or get angry, because you are sober aren’t your real friends. What you should never do is drink to please someone or to make them feel better. Remember, it’s your choice to go to alcohol rehab and it’s your life.
Even though alcohol use is encouraged on social occasions, it can do more harm than good. Many people feel anxious about their decision to stop drinking, mainly because they don’t want to lose friends or their social life. You don’t have to lose anything, though. Be clear and specific about your decision to recover from alcohol abuse, set boundaries, and ask for support as you enter alcohol rehab. Negative comments are common, but you shouldn’t take them personally. Keep your eyes on the goal – sober life – and work to achieve it.