How to Stay Sober When People Around You Don’t
One of the most difficult things you’ll encounter when you try to stay sober is other people getting drunk or high around you who don’t understand why you are working so hard. To them, it is easier to bring someone down than to lift someone up, or even to lift themselves up. Most of the time, these people will wear you down and try to get you to relapse. The only thing you can do is stay strong and be unwilling to bend no matter what. Your sobriety and your well being are well worth it, no matter how strong your addiction is.
How You Can Stay Sober
Removing yourself from a situation where people use alcohol or drugs is the best possible way to help yourself stay sober. There is no question about there. However, sometimes it just isn’t possible. You may live with an active addict, or even if you do your absolute best to stay away from mind-altering substances, it will only be a matter of time before you go to a party where alcohol is served. That happens all the time because alcohol is legal and totally socially acceptable.
This is where accountability comes into play. You need to be your own boss and have a strong backbone. You need to be able to say no to people when they tempt you. You also need to know your own limits and know when to remove yourself from a situation. And, that might mean making some major lifestyle changes. Here are some of the best ways to protect your sobriety:
- Create distance between yourself and people who don’t stay sober. This isn’t always completely possible but you can make an effort to do your best. If you live in an unhealthy situation, move if your situation allows it. Don’t go to the same places you used to drink or get high.
- Never give in to the temptation or think you can handle “just one”. You can’t. Period. Countless people relapse by giving in to the idea that they are “normal” and can handle just one drink, or just one hit, every single day. Unfortunately, you’re not normal, you have an addictive personality. It is extremely rare – nearly unheard of – that a person can go from dealing with an addiction to being able to do any substance responsibly. Just say no, 100% of the time.
- Make sure you have plenty of sober friends. Filling your time with sober activities and sober people will help you feel like you aren’t alone in trying to stay sober. They will help you see that things are ok and that there are plenty of things you can do, and there is fun to be had, without being under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Sober friends can also accompany you to parties or situations where you may be tempted to relapse. After all, there is strength in numbers.
There’s a saying that if you hang out at a barber shop long enough, you’ll eventually get a haircut. It is an analogy for when you are around drugs and alcohol a lot, you’ll eventually give in. For many it is true. In the end, you have to decide whether or not you can handle a situation, and make sure to remove yourself from anything that puts you in over your head.
The effort to stay sober needs to come from within. You need to constantly work on yourself to realize the value of recovery, and to realize that you are worth it. You always need to play the whole story out and remember how far down alcohol or drugs brought you, so that you do everything in your power to prevent it from getting even close to there again.