Can I Still Go To Parties In Recovery?
It’s summertime and the party season is in full effect! That might seem like bad news for those of us in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, but does it have to be? Entering recovery does not mean the end of fun and parties—not at all! However, there is a lot to keep in mind when we ask, “Can I still go to parties in recovery?”
There are plenty of parties that take place in the recovery community, and they couldn’t be safer or more fun! There are still parties outside the recovery environment that we may get invited to, as well. There are lots to consider about partying safely in recovery, and there’s plenty to think about. Keep in mind, in recovery we absolutely insist on enjoying life, so long as we don’t put our recovery in jeopardy.
What Kind of Party Is It?
This is the first question we need to ask ourselves. Is it a party where there will be harmful substances? Is it the kind of party that is fully centered around alcohol? Is it just a normal pool party? Is it a family function? What kind of party we’re considering attending is the first question we ought to answer. If it’s a party centered around substance or alcohol use, we may want to strongly consider passing on the invitation. Is it a party being thrown by people in recovery? If it is, what are we waiting for? Let’s go get our swim trunks on!
Do We Have a Reason for Attending?
If we are considering an invite to a party where there may be some drinking, we should ask ourselves if we have a good reason for going. For people not in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, having a few drinks at a party is a normal thing. For those of us in recovery, we know that even one drink may ultimately wind up costing us our very lives. If it is a party thrown by “normies,” there may very well be alcohol around. If we are uneasy about this, we must consider our reason for attending.
Is it just a barbecue? Is it grandma’s 80th birthday? Those are two very different parties. If we feel unsure, we can skip a barbecue with no problem—but it’s a lot harder to get away with missing grandma’s birthday. We may harm relationships with our family, and in recovery, we do our best to avoid harming anyone. We want to give our reason for attending any party serious consideration before we put ourselves in any uncomfortable situations.
What Condition Is Our Recovery In?
This is the next tough question we will want to ask ourselves. Have we been keeping up with 12-Step work, sponsor visits, and recovery meetings? Have we worked the Twelve Steps fully and been placed in the position of neutrality from the drink or drug, or have we been stalling on finishing the Twelve Steps? Are we caught up and current on inventory? Are we keeping our regular meeting schedule? Do we have any reservations of any kind about our alcoholism and addiction?
All these questions are crucial and telling when it comes to the condition and quality of our recovery. We need to be able to answer them honestly, and let the truth inform our readiness to attend parties outside the recovery community. If our spiritual condition is in tip-top form, then we can safely go anywhere any other people may go. If our spiritual condition, and therefore our recovery, is lacking or shaky, we may want to err on the side of caution and do the safe thing: skip the party for now and improve upon the condition of our recovery until we may safely go anywhere we wish.
When in Doubt, Check Your Motives
If we’re uneasy or unsure about attending a certain function, it may be best to avoid it altogether. This tactic gets complicated, however, when we consider that so many of us struggling with alcoholism and addiction prefer to isolate ourselves. Isolation is just as dangerous, if not more so than attending a whoopee party when our recovery is less than solid.
If we’re unsure about attending a party because we’re afraid there may be the temptation of drugs and alcohol, it may be best to skip the shindig. If we’re unsure about attending a party because we’re feeling down and we don’t really want to go out, though, perhaps we should avoid isolating and attend the party anyhow. It’s imperative that we get honest with ourselves and check our motives behind whichever decision we’re leaning toward. Of course, sometimes it’s hard, to be honest with ourselves, which is why we will want to seek advice and counsel from our sponsor, or trusted friends in recovery when we find ourselves in doubt.
Use the Buddy System
If we must attend a party, but we’re not feeling up to it for one reason or another, we can always employ the age-old, tried, and true technique known as the buddy system. It never hurts to bring a trusted friend from our recovery community with us. As long as the environment we’re partying in is safe, we can bring a buddy with us for support and to help us keep safe. If the environment we’re partying in isn’t appropriate to bring a sober friend, perhaps we shouldn’t be there ourselves.
Jaywalker Lodge believes that those of us in recovery should absolutely insist on enjoying life! Life in recovery is meant to be full, fun, and meaningful. A life in recovery is meant to be lived with love, joy, and happiness. No exceptions; we all deserve it. If you’re struggling with achieving or maintaining recovery, then Jaywalker Lodge just may be able to make the difference in your recovery journey. We focus on helping men who have had difficulties securing long-term recovery in the past. We were just like you, but now are experiencing lasting recovery. We can show you the things that made a difference for us, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do. We believe everyone suffering from alcoholism and addiction deserves to find recovery, and we believe no matter what your story is, you can find recovery, too. Let Jaywalker Lodge make the difference in your recovery story. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.