Menu Close

Now That I’m Sober, How Do I Hang Out with My Friends Who Drink?

Two people having fun sober

Friedrich Nietzsche once wisely said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Living a sober life has proven the truth of this statement for many people in recovery in more ways than one. For most people that have struggled with alcohol addiction, quitting drinking and grabbing on to sobriety by having fun sober is the single smartest move they have made to improve their lives—and it’s a move most don’t regret for one second. If you are looking for professional help in the form of alcohol detox and rehab or an alcohol relapse prevention program, call 888.341.3607 to speak with someone from Gulf Breeze Recovery about our addiction treatment options and how to have sober fun.

Responsibility & Perspective: Being the Lone Sober Friend in a Crowd of Drinkers

The delicate tango of having a social life but no drink in hand can be foreign territory for people in alcohol addiction recovery. Most people that have struggled with addiction don’t know how to have fun while engaging in sober activities. However, when they join the ‘we-still-party-why-don’t-you’ crowd, it can feel as awkward as a teen’s first middle school dance. It feels like stepping on toes—you may cha-cha when you should waltz. Finding the right rhythm may lead to a newfound sense of personal responsibility. It will help if you remember that your number one priority is staying sober. Everything you do must be designed to keep you centered in sobriety. Staying focused on what you’ve learned about being sober keeps your goals in perspective.

Reality Check: How Many of the Crowd are Actually Friends?

The truth is that the life you lived when more days found you drunk than sober was often not a pretty life. The people who were your friends during that time may not be friends at all but simply ‘drinking buddies.’ Beyond a shared shot—or twelve—there may have been little you had in common with them. Ask yourself: Are you missing the people you used to drink with, or are you just bored? It may surprise you when you realize how you made many decisions to drink and hang out with the crowd out of boredom.

Authentic Relationships: Practice May Not Make It Perfect, but Don’t Give Up on All of Your Friends

With practice, you can plan sober activities with a drinking friend. If you need help in doing so, you can follow this simple guide:

  • The day is the new night – Since most drinking escapades happen during happy hour and later, scheduling friend time during daylight hours helps eliminate one aspect that can remind you of alcohol addiction.
  • Be honest – The more open you are about your struggles and successes, the more positively the true friends in your life respond. That is an excellent ground to grow a friendship.
  • Find other shared interests – In sober life, you may find that you have new interests and hobbies. Including friends in those activities allows sharing new memories—and successfully keeps you and your friends away from bars and parties.

Don’t give up on everyone. You may have several friends you can maintain good relationships with since becoming sober.

The Bottom Line: Boundaries Will Help

The answer to the question of how to hang out with friends who drink is both simple and complicated: boundaries. Your counselors in your addiction treatment program likely have repeated this lesson over and over and given you tools to understand addiction and see that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing scenario. If you exercise healthy boundaries that protect your sobriety, you can successfully and soberly have it all.

Find Relapse Prevention Therapy in Idaho at Ashpoint Recovery

At Ashpoint Recovery, we understand that having fun sober can be challenging. We provide evidence-based relapse prevention therapy to help you navigate having fun without drinking. To learn more about our addiction treatment options and how to have sober fun, contact Ashpoint Recovery today at 888.341.3607. We look forward to helping you enjoy a life of sobriety.

Full Infographic: