Facing a life of sobriety in New Jersey’s alcohol fueled world can be a daunting task. Billions of dollars of ad budgets are being spent every day to convince you and everyone around you that the thing you need more than anything is a drink. It will be suggested, recommended, and assumed at work functions, family gatherings, and out socializing with friends. In order to stay sober, you’ll need to arm yourself with a few strategies that let you take control of the situation and meet it on your terms.
- You have every right to not drink. No one can force you to do it, no one can pressure you into. You can just choose not to without giving any reason or explanation. It is ok and normal to not drink. You can legally be discriminated against for refusing to imbibe and you have just as much right to be there as the drinkers do. It is always your choice.
- Order a drink that is a treat even without alcohol in it. Bars often carry an array of juices and other non alcoholic beverages – find one that’s a nice treat for you. Maybe a grapefruit with just a touch of grenadine or ginger ale with an extra dash of bitters in it. Find something that excites your palette – something with strong enough flavors that it’s pleasant to sip. If you are sitting there with a drink in your hand, most people won’t even think about the fact that you’re not drinking.
- Be the Designated Driver. Making sure your friends or family get home safe after they’ve been drinking is one of the most thoughtful, loving things you can do. Offer to drive if you’re willing and able – it gives you a clear reason for not drinking, and a clear reason for being there. People will be grateful for you “taking one for the team” even though it’s not a sacrifice for you to not drink since your goal is to stay sober. Be sure to ask if the bar has any policy on designated drivers – often DD’s get their juice of soda for free.
- Tell your story. If you are in a situation that feels safe and you feel comfortable – you should feel free to tell your family and friends about your decision to stay sober. You can go light on the details if need be, but knowing that it’s an intentional and seriously considered choice can help people to understand your behavior, to not feel judged as they drink around you, and offer support that otherwise might not occur to them. There is a lot of power in truth – your willingness to speak about your experience could have a profound effect on someone else struggling with alcohol addiction.
The most important thing to remember is that you are in control of your life. No one can make choices for you, because no one else has to accept the consequences of those choices. Embrace your agency and make the decisions that are the best for you.
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If you haven’t made the decision to get sober and believe you may be suffering from an alcohol addiction Discovery Institute offers comprehensive alcohol chemical dependency recovery treatment at Discovery Institute’s Alcohol Rehab, NJ. Call Today To Learn More.