When someone first gets clean and sober, they may find themselves in awkward situations.
The friends they had at work or at home may wonder why they are not going out for happy hour or not drinking at other occasions. What to do? Do you tell them that you are clean now, or do you make up excuses?
It all depends upon the situation and the people in question. In the beginning of sobriety, we may feel out of place telling our friends that we quit drinking or using. If there are work parties that we attended when we drank, what do we do now? These are some scenarios that may have to be dealt with in sobriety. There are many ways to handle the situation, yet it comes down to one question: Do we keep our recovery a secret, or do we talk about it candidly?
Living an honest life is the most important part of recovery.
The number one person to be honest with is ourselves. Every day that we are sober, we gain more clarity. We learn to listen to our intuition. Maybe there are certain people with whom we feel comfortable sharing our recovery. The people who love and care about us will be happy for us. They are probably the ones who were most hurt by our addiction.
There are also instances where we may not want to speak about being in recovery. For example, we never know how our work colleagues feel about addiction. They may stigmatize it. In work relations, it is wise to use discretion. We do not have to go to every work get-together or party. We can simply make up a reason why we cannot go and avoid the situation completely.
What about unavoidable situations, like weddings and family reunions?
We may not be able to get out of these as easily. In such circumstances, if you are feeling uneasy about going, listen to yourself. Speak to another recovering person about it. If you feel as though your recovery is on the line, put your recovery first. If you do go, there are many ways to get out of drinking. You can have a seltzer water so that you still have a drink in your hand. You can say you are allergic. You can just say ‘no thank you’ if offered something. You can simply say nothing; you do not owe anyone a reason.
Alcohol and drugs will not go away just because we got clean and sober. Let your intuition be your guide when questioning whether to be confidential or candid about your sobriety. It will never lead you astray!