I’m not going to lie, sober socialising took some getting used to in the beginning. I felt awkward and uneasy without my alcoholic crutch. However, instead of hiding away and avoiding all social events, I decided to turn up anyway, but on my terms. The deciding factor, for whether I attended a social event or not was…
If the answer was “yes” then I would go.
Focusing on the enjoyment I get from catching up with my friends and family and not the alcohol, really helps. I don’t mind sitting in a pub if it means I can have great conversations or listen to some good music. I also organise events that aren’t centred around alcohol, like going to the movies or having a meal out. Often I have my car too, so I have the freedom to leave when I want.
On Saturday I went to Bongo’s Bingo. For anyone who is not familiar, Bongos Bingo it’s a crazy mix of traditional bingo, dancing, karaoke and more. It’s a night of pure nostalgic escapism and great fun. Alcohol definitely was NOT required, though others were boozing it up. I thought there was so much going on it was a crime to dull the senses with a drink. Sober socialising doesn’t have to be boring.
One of the best perks was finding a coffee stall with no queue! While others queued for ages to purchase their overpriced alcoholic drinks, I strolled up to the coffee stall (feeling quite smug) and enjoyed a chat while grabbing a cup of coffee and some shortbread too. The music was blasting and the atmosphere was pumping; I felt great.
In my experience, the awkward, uneasy feelings start to dissipate once you’ve successfully navigated a few sober events. Yes, each new sober situation is a learning curve but it helps grow your sober muscles until it becomes the new normal and effortless.
I’m not the most extravert person in the world but I definitely get a high from dressing up and going out with friends and family. I can honestly say I do more and varied things now I’m sober. When I was drinking, that’s all there was, drink. Boring.
Sadly, I didn’t win any bingo prizes on Saturday. I set my hopes on winning a giant unicorn but it wasn’t to be. I laughed, I sang, I danced and then headed home on a natural high having had the best time. Sober socialising at it’s best.