How to Stay Sober During Family Events
Did you know that about 90 percent of people who are treated for alcoholism end up relapsing and using alcohol at least once in the first 4 years following treatment?
Many of these people will attempt to increase their odds of successfully quitting by staying away from bars, nightclubs, and other places that serve alcohol.
But many also find that it can be almost impossible to avoid going to places where alcohol is served altogether. In fact, doing something as simple as attending a family event can bring about the temptation to drink.
If you’re fighting to stay sober at the moment, here are some tips that will help you do it the next time you show up at a family event that has alcohol at it.
Tip #1: Bring Your Own Beverages to the Event
When you’re trying to stay sober at a family event that features alcohol, the last thing you want to be doing is rummaging through coolers filled with beer, wine, and liquor in search of a soda or water. It will provide you with temptation you might not be able to handle.
Instead of taking this approach, you should bring your own beverages in a cooler that you can keep close to your seat. This will prevent you from having to come into contact with any alcohol during the event.
It will also prevent others from asking you to grab them an alcoholic beverage while you’re standing near the coolers at the event, which could serve as a trigger for you.
Tip #2: Let Your Host Know You Won’t Be Drinking Alcohol
In addition to bringing your own beverages to the family event, you should also consider letting the host know you are abstaining from alcohol, assuming you feel comfortable doing it.
Hosts can sometimes unknowingly offer a drink to someone who is trying to stay sober without even realizing it, and this will prevent that from happening.
When you take this step, the host will also hopefully be more mindful with regards to making announcements about playing drinking games or holding toasts. The host might not cut these things out of the event completely, but he or she will be more likely to take your feelings into consideration before making a big deal about them.
You shouldn’t necessarily expect everyone else to abstain from alcohol because you are. But it never hurts to let others know what you’re dealing with, and you might be surprised by how supportive they’ll be once they know you’re fighting to stay sober.
Tip #3: Take Part in Activities at the Event That Will Keep You Busy
When you’re in the process of trying to stay sober, it can be easy to put all your attention on not drinking. It can consume your every thought, and it can be difficult to distract your mind from it, especially when you’re surrounded by people with drinks in their hands.
Fortunately, a family event will provide you with plenty of distractions. Whether you’re attending a picnic where people are playing games like horseshoes or a birthday party where people are sitting around and telling stories, you can get involved in any number of activities at the event to keep yourself busy.
If you find yourself sitting around wishing you could have a drink, get up, go mingle with other people, and force yourself to do something–anything!–just to keep your mind occupied.
The more active you are at the event, the less likely you are to drink.
Tip #4: Ask a Family Member to Check on You Regularly
Do you feel like you’re going to have a hard time abstaining from alcohol at a family event before it even begins? Then you might need some extra help at the event to work your way through it.
The good thing is that you will likely be surrounded by people who love you and want the best for you. So one of the simplest ways to stay sober at an event like this is to ask one person to keep an eye on you and make sure you’re doing OK throughout the course of the event.
Whether you decide to ask your spouse, your brother, or one of your kids to do it, don’t be afraid to ask for emotional support from a family member during the event.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been trying to stay away from alcohol for a week, a year, or 10 years. It can be difficult to make it through family events without giving in to temptation, so it never hurts to have someone by your side helping you along the way.
Tip #5: Limit the Amount of Time You Spend at the Event
In an effort to stay sober, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of time that you spend at functions where alcohol is being served.
Does that mean you need to show up at a family event, say hello to everyone, and then leave? Not at all! You should feel free to spend as much time as you would like speaking with your friends and family.
However, you’re going to make life difficult on yourself if you choose to stay at the event until the very end. This is especially true if those who hang around until the end are the ones who have been drinking the most during the party.
You might find it almost impossible to resist a drink when everyone else is having a good time and enjoying themselves.
While you’re free to deviate from your plan depending on how things go, you should walk into your family event with a time you will leave in mind. It will help you get through the event and stay sober while you do it.
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