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How To Stay Sober Around Relatives And Coworkers Who Drink

guest post by Patrick Bailey

Staying sober can be a challenging endeavor even when you don’t have any outside influences. It can be especially difficult if you have to be around other people who still drink constantly.

Individuals such as coworkers, family members, and friends might not be as committed to your well-being and sobriety as you are. These are some tips that can help you to stay sober even if other people are still drinking regularly. Read through these tips and practice the ones that seem helpful to you. You will find the strength to succeed in your journey. 

coworkers drinking at a party
staying sober around drinking relatives and coworkers

1. Explain Your Situation

People aren’t mind-readers. Therefore, they aren’t going to know that you’re struggling with addiction unless you let them into a little bit of your personal truth.

Let the people who are affecting you know your ordeal so that they can act accordingly. Though you can’t control what anyone else does, you might be able to spark an element of compassion or empathy. Some of these persons might be willing to cut down on their usage in front of you and not offer you alcohol if they know you’re trying to maintain your sobriety. 


2. Find Yourself a Sponsor

Another thing you can do to keep yourself strong is to find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who will hold you accountable for your actions while you’re fighting the addiction.

You can contact this person any time of the day or night if you have a craving, and you need someone to talk you down from using. The individual will be blunt and truthful with you, and he or she will try to discourage you from taking a step backward.

The best people for sponsorship are persons who have years of sobriety behind them and experience with helping others to stay level. Usually, people choose sponsors from their alcohol detox and recovery programs. In some cases, a sponsor can be a friend or family member. 

AA sponsor and sponsee talking
Getting a sponsor to help manage your recovery


3. Distract Yourself

Distraction is one of the most effective methods for cravings. Make a list of activities that can take your mind off of a craving for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

Examples of activities that might work for you are exercising, shopping, listening to music, or watching something entertaining on television or social media sites. You’ll be able to continue your day once you’ve gotten over the temporary wave of compulsion. You just have to be strong and switch to distraction mode the moment the urge hits you. 


4. Enter a Treatment Program

You may want to consider entering a treatment program if you have not used one to achieve your sobriety. You can choose from a variety of settings for your recovery.

You can choose an inpatient facility where you will stay for approximately 30 to 90 days. You can choose an outpatient treatment facility that you will visit once per week or something along those lines. You can also choose a 12-step support group or a personal counselor, coach, or therapist.

No method of recovery is right or wrong. It’s all about what will work best for you. 


5. Think About Your Progress

Think about your progress right away if you ever feel like you’re losing the battle. Consider how long you’ve been sober and think about how you would feel if you had to discard your time and effort to start all over again. That might deter you from indulging for a while. 


6. Reward Yourself When You Succeed

Giving yourself a reward when you succeed will help you to keep the momentum with your sobriety journey. It’s a method that some 12-step programs use. They reward their participants with chips to celebrate recovery milestones. You can develop your own special rewards plan that will build your confidence. Maybe you can buy yourself a delicious meal or reward yourself with an electronic item or a piece of jewelry you like to celebrate your success. 

reward yourself for your sobriety wins


7. Avoid Places That Involve Alcohol Consumption Heavily

Another thing you should do is to avoid places that serve a large amount of alcohol. You may want to stay away from employment gatherings such as holiday parties for a little while. Steer clear of bars and clubs that serve excessive amounts of alcohol, as well. Eventually, you may get to the point where you can be around alcohol without experiencing the urge to drink. For now, it’s best to try to protect yourself as much as possible. 


8. Get Involved in Something Meaningful

Getting involved in something meaningful will consume all of your mental and emotional energy in a positive way. It can help you to combat any idea you might have about using alcohol. You can find a place to volunteer, and that will make you feel good about yourself. Examples of places you can volunteer are libraries, soup kitchens, and domestic violence centers. You may also want to involve yourself in the arts. Music creation, drawing, and sculpting are all activities that can help you create positive energy in your life at a time when you need it the most. 


9. Learn Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help you to battle the urge and keep your sobriety intact. Breathing exercises and meditation are the two most effective practices. You can learn to do simple meditation or assisted meditation in a few minutes of time. You can then add it to your arsenal of protective routines. 


10. Share Your Success Story

Sometimes, sharing your success story can help you to strive to keep going even longer. You can tell your success story in a support group to encourage others. Alternatively, you can write about it or create a social media video that other people can see for years. You never know how many lives will touch by doing so. 


Start Fortifying Your Sobriety Today

Now you know of some ways that you can stay sober throughout the most challenging times. Keep a strong and positive mindset and set some protective plans in motion today. You will conquer and control the habit with the knowledge that you’ve found today. 


Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 



mentalhealthfirstaid.org – 10 Tips for Talking About Addiction

thedailymind.com – Fool-Proof Distractions to Help You Stay Sober


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