Here I’ll talk about one of the main barriers to recovery from alcoholism. Once a person with an alcohol problem has stopped drinking and has healed physically, the psychological aspects of alcoholism can become a barrier to long term recovery. The recovering alcoholic is uncomfortable without alcohol. One of the greatest obstacles to overcome is socializing. Socializing is associated with drinking. Although alcoholics in the late stages of alcoholism will likely no longer be social butterflies, if the alcoholism hasn’t advanced to total loss of control, socializing can an important of a person’s life, and an excuse to drink with the cover of everyone else drinking. How can a person socialize, party or have fun without drinking? Plus, doesn’t it make the host or guests uncomfortable if one person is not drinking?
Most often, it’s all in the mind of the recovering alcoholic who’s sensitive to what others think about drinking alcohol. In reality, those who don’t obsess over alcohol hardly notice the drinking habits of others unless the drinking is out of control. Most social drinkers don’t really care who’s drinking or who’s not drinking. If the hosts are friends, the recovering person can simply tell them that he/she is not drinking because it became a problem — no big deal. The friend will be glad that the person is in recovery and will try to make the person feel comfortable.
If a host is a big drinker and fears that he/she might have an alcohol problem, there might be some discomfort, but in the beginning of recovery it’s wise to stay away from social gatherings where heavy drinking is the norm. Later, when the person in recovery is secure with their sobriety, they’ll be able to choose with confidence the social events they’ll attend. A person in recovery doesn’t have to hide from life, and they discover they can have a good time without alcohol.
The recovering person will likely discover that the idea of drinking to have a good time was bogus from the start. Anyone who thinks they have to have an artificial stimulus in their system in order to have a good time is making a sad statement. It’s a statement that’s not true, and more and more people are finding this out. As human beings we naturally possess all that’s necessary to socialize and have a good time. Sobriety avoids hangovers and embarrassing behavior, too.