With summer quickly approaching, I’m frequently being asked, “What should I do when I attend this party?” Often, the first step is examining your motivation for attending the event. If the motivation is, “I want to show everyone how well I’m doing!” This can be very similar to the phrase, “Hey! Watch me jump off this!” For people in early recovery and clients who’ve had years in recovery this can be a struggle and a high risk situation, to attend an event where alcohol is being served. Sometimes, it is impossible to miss your sister’s wedding or grandma and grandpas 50th wedding anniversary. If you simply can’t avoid these events, you may find these tips helpful.
1. Have an exit plan- Have a plan in place that when you become uncomfortable you can leave. It’s best to bring a friend or a partner that is supportive of your recovery. Prior to attending the event have a discussion with your friend or partner. Have a saying or phrase that is code for, “I’m ready to leave.”
2. Go early and leave early-Go to the event prior to everyone beginning to drink or drink heavily at the event. Often, it can become very uncomfortable, and cravings can rise when you are around this environment for an extended period of time.
3. Self-serve-Upon arriving at the party grab a water or a soda. It is not likely someone will approach you with a drink or ask you if you want a drink, if you already have a drink in hand. Always keep your drink with you to avoid picking up the wrong drink. If you are approached? Respond with, “No thanks”, “I’m driving”, “My personal trainer has me on this crazy diet….I can’t.”
4. Always be ready to go-Make sure you are parked in a space that you are not blocked in and can leave easily. Always know where your keys are so if you become uncomfortable you can exit quickly.
Alanna is the Owner and Clinical Director of Breathe., LLC. Alanna is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Registered Yoga Instructor, and Certified Heartmath Trainer. Alanna has over 20 years of experience working in the addictions field. Alanna takes a holistic approach when working with clients, combining the mind, body, and spirit in counseling.