Going through the turmoil of addiction, receiving intensive treatment, and embracing recovery is such a powerful undertaking and such a beautiful accomplishment. But figuring out how to return to our life and the world after such a painful process can be just as overwhelming.
There can also be fear, uncertainty, trepidation, anxious excitement, or curiosity around how we are going to be ourselves, and how we are going to be social again.
So much of our culture feels like it revolves around enjoying alcohol or other substances at concerts, clubs, or restaurants. So much of socializing can have those words, “Let’s grab a drink,” and happy hours can seem like the focal point of connection. But socializing, and truly having a good time while sober is possible. Even if it does feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, in time, you will see it is even more fun and rewarding to be free of substances.
Tips to Re-Enter and Re-Engage the Right Way for You
- Be patient with yourself, and the process. Adapting to a world without alcohol or using can take time, and it can be hard to know what to do and what not to know.
- Do some research online, make a list of activities that look interesting or appealing.
- Now is the time to try new things. Keep an open mind, you might have no idea how interesting or enjoyable an activity might be until you try it.
- Seek out both indoor and outdoor activities!
- You might feel like things aren’t fun without drinking or using, but be patient, it takes time for your body, heart, and mind to resensitize to the world.
- Try to enjoy being fully present, and sober in your body.
- Where you are going, and what time? Who are you going with?
- Do you feel it is a safe choice? How are you getting there?
- Practice self-care before you go out and check in with you before leaving.
- Do you still feel like going out, or do you have an uneasy feeling about it? Have any details of the plan changed? What is your aftercare plan?
Make a Plan
- Make a plan of action in case anything goes in a negative direction, or if you get triggered. If you get triggered, who can you call? What are some self-soothing techniques? How can you affirm and orient yourself in your surroundings? How can you bring yourself back to the present? Can you take some space and some deep breaths?
- If you start to not feel safe, or something doesn’t feel right, leave early.
- Spend time with people who are supportive of recovery or go with an ally.
- If you are at a location or space where alcohol or other drugs are being consumed, truly assess whether or not the space is good for you to be in.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself if it’s too much and you need a break.
Please do not be hard on yourself if you get triggered, or a situation or experience becomes too much to handle. Recovery, healing, sobriety, and figuring out how to resocialize the right way for you takes time to understand and navigate. Be proud of yourself for the steps you are taking, whether you are protecting yourself, taking a time-out from being out in the world, or are taking steps to be in it again.
Remember to Play and Have Fun!
- Keep a light heart.
- Try to explore new activities every week or month! Enjoy the adventure!
- What are new sights or sounds? Who are new people that could be healthy friends?
- Reflect on what worked, and what didn’t work with each new instance of socializing.
- Ask yourself these questions: What are you learning about yourself, that you didn’t know before? What are new activities or gatherings that bring you joy? What talents and abilities are you learning that you have?
- Remember, this time is about you, and for you.
- Share about your experience with your family, loved ones, or members of your support team. Tell them what brought you joy, what activities you want to do again, and which ones didn’t feel right for you.
- Celebrate yourself in safe and sober ways!
While these tips to successful socializing may seem like a lot, please remind yourself how important it is that you are patient, prepared, and have made a plan for any events and activities. With time, this process will quicken and will become fully integrated. Soon you will run through the steps without even thinking about it.
Resocializing while sober is about experiencing a new you, and a new world. By being fully present you can fully enjoy all of the beauty and fun the world has to offer.
If you have been wanting to stop negative patterns of substance use, and re-experience the world from a sober, grounded, and fully-present state, contact us at Ashley Addiction Treatment. Our calm and serene campus is located on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, in Northern Maryland. We are fully committed to your recovery and offer a wide range of holistic and comprehensive services, including individual, family, and recreational therapy, and life skills training, among many other healing modalities. Our staff will walk the path of recovery by your side and will be with you every step of the way. You deserve to live a strong and confident life, full of joy, peace, and beautiful experiences to be fully present for.
For more information, or to take the next steps, contact us at 800-799-4673.