If you’re sober, or you want to be sober, but all of your friends drink – this is a real challenge.
Here’s an analogy. Imagine you’re overweight and you want to cut back on your calories and you want to eat healthier. It’s all about the environment. If you’re in an environment where your housemates are health-conscious, they don’t order food all the time or leave unhealthy snacks laying around… this is going to have a possessive impact on you.
On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight but you’re living with someone who buys fast food all the time, doesn’t buy healthy groceries, and the house is filled with bad food choices, it’s going to be almost impossible to overcome your impulses.
You can feel alone when you’re in a group of people and everyone is drinking but you’re sober. Here are some songs about quitting drinking that can help remind you that you aren’t alone.
How This Relates to Alcohol and Friends Who Drink
To relate this back to alcohol, it’s hard enough to quit drinking even in the best environment, but there’s a reason that people go away to rehab to get over the initial struggle of quitting alcohol.
It’s because rehab is a controlled environment that’s designed to help you get sober, from top to bottom. On the other hand, if you’re trying to stop drinking but you live with a roommate who gets drunk everyday, you’re going to have a much harder time.
The same goes for friends and social groups, not just people you live with. If you’re trying to switch from going out and drinking with friends, to living a sober life, it’s going to be really, really difficult to do that if you keep hanging out with the same people and going to clubs, parties, etc.
This is one of the big struggles people face with getting sober. Not only are they giving up alcohol, which they used as an emotional crutch and support for – in some cases – decades, but they’re also faced with giving up their friend group, if the friend group always drinks.
Assessing Your Situation
If your group of friends doesn’t do anything but drink or party, you hvae to face the fact that you’re making it almost impossible to get sober if you keep spending time with them while they party. Not only that, but if you’re sober, do you really want to be spending your time with a bunch of drunks anytime you go out?
If you have a group of friends who gets together for lunch, go to to the park, and other non-partying activities on weekends and maybe just drinks on the weekend, that’s going to be easier for you since you can still see them and spend time with them, and you can jus avoid going out when they’re drinking.
Before You Give Up On Your Group
IF your friends are mature and decent people, they’ll understand that an alcoholic needs support, and can’t be around people who just drink all the time.
It’s not unreasonable for them to make accommodations to plan dry get-togethers without alcohol sometimes, but it’s also okay for you to set the boundary that you simply can’t hang out if there’s always going to be alcohol.
Don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling bad for taking care of yourself. On the other hand, not every friend group is that supportive, and you may discover that they’d rather get drunk all the time than see you ever, but if that’s the case, you’re better off knowing this.
Making New Friends
AA and other meetings can be a good place to meet people who understand the importance of sobriety for an alcoholic, and supporting one another.
Joining a club or a hobby group is another good option, as there are often get-togethers and meetups outside of the club, too, so you can start to build a new social circle of friends.
While some of these might involve alcohol, the average person out there joining clubs and hobbies isn’t going to be as much of a party animal as your old friend group, so if there’s a get together and people are maybe having a drink or two, and plenty of them aren’t drinking at all, you won’t feel nearly as out of place as you would if you went to a nightclub with your old group.