Halloween Fun...while Sober

The party invitations are stacking up via Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, email and texts, and unlike every other year where you sent back a RSVP of, “See you there in my Halloween Best!” this year, you are a largely undecided. This year is different; you are working on your sobriety and you know that each and every party will have a fully stocked bar. How do you maneuver in a social world where every party is going to have liquor, the same rules don’t apply as say, having a food allergy or a diet preference where you can politely request a peanut free meal or a vegan option, and asking for a dry party squarely lands you in the “do not re invite category.”

Liquor is referred to as social lubricant for a reason, it affects almost every organ of your body and creates a calming effect for some and a euphoric state for others. The thought of attending a party sober is often scarier than walking through a Haunted House, however the reality of alcoholism is even more terrifying.

According to the NCBI, alcohol abuse is the most costly and common form of dependency in the United States. Americans dependence on alcohol continues to rise, binge drinking especially, which effects those 18-24 years old and 65 and older, the greatest. “Normal drinking” is defined as one alcoholic beverage a day for women and two a day for men; “Binge Drinking” is approximately 4 drinks for women and 5 for a man, consumed in the span of two hours (NIAA).

Whether you are currently sober, or contemplating sobriety, it is a major milestone. You may wonder if you are going to be a social outcast now that you’re sober, far from it. You are either going to be everyone’s new best friend now that you are the favored designated driver, or no one will even notice, shocking, but true. If you Google “Sober Halloween” the general consensus is that you, as an alcoholic, shouldn’t go to a party where alcohol is being served. While this is a solution, most won’t see it as a viable solution. You can’t make your friends, your spouse, your partner or your coworkers stop drinking, that is their choice to do so, just as the decision to work on your sobriety, was your hard fought for choice. You have worked hard to reach the current day you are on sober. Holiday season, basically now through New Year’s Eve, doesn’t have to land you squarely back at square one.

Here are a few tips on how to continue to have a social life, without having an alcoholic drink in your hand.

Make a plan before attending a party.

*Set a time limit, the first party, or the first hundred parties, may cause some anxiety, that is okay, addiction isn’t conquered, it is managed. If you feel an overwhelming desire to drink, that is your cue to leave.
*Have your support network on standby, this can be your therapist, counselor, AA sponsor, religious leader, or friend. Knowing you have someone to talk or text through temptation will alleviate some of the fear you may have about remaining sober this Halloween and beyond.
*The topic of you not drinking may come up, some of your friends or acquaintances may not know about your sobriety, it is up to you whether you feel ready to share. Some safe excuses are, you are doing a cleanse, taking some time away from drinking or that you are the designated driver.

If you are not ready to party with alcohol around, plan your own event.

*Events planned in the morning or afternoon, as well as Dessert receptions, are generally accepted as alcohol free.
*A cookie decorating party is a novel way to get friends together in a sober environment, you can bake your own cookies or buy them from a bakery prebaked. Provide frosting, sprinkles and candy for decorating; screening a black and white Halloween movie will add to the charm of the event, as will themed plates or boxes so your guests can take their treats home.
*A pumpkin decorating and carving party is another possibility, pumpkins, cutting boards, knifes, paint and other art supplies will inspire your friends to find their inner artist, large boxes on hand will allow for masterpieces to be taken home without a mess.

Remember this Halloween Season that abstaining from drinking doesn’t mean you need to turn the lights out and hide, learning how to socialize sober is a learning process, each time you do it, you learn your own strength and resolve in fighting this addiction.

Wishing you all a very happy and sober Halloween-Team SG

Navigating Halloween Sober

Comments

Ducktape's picture

You know, I can remember as a child, ads in magazines where medical Doctor's were promoting smoking nicotine cigarettes. It was a time when tobacco use was the "In" thing to do. Alcohol has been a problem from the beginning of mankind. Today, you attend a party and the smokers are in a circle, standing outside the door, smoking not only nicotine but cannabis cigarettes and pipes. Inside, the party goers are drinking alcohol, still considered acceptable. Why is it that people take the time to dress up in wild costumes and then consume mind altering drugs to escape the reality? Why dress up at all, if everyone already sees you in an altered state? Doesn't sound like a "party" to me, just another excuse to consume in public. I wonder just how many people put on masks, when they are already wearing masks. -- Duck

Emma490's picture

That's deep. However, drugs/alcohol aren't the only mask. Many people put on a social or mental mask on a regular basis, myself included.

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