Celebrations and Parties in Recovery - What to Expect

It has never been said that recovering addicts and alcoholics don’t know how to have a good time. Indeed, for every holiday or occasion there are an endless number of sober parties to mark the event. For those new to sobriety, you may be wondering how a holiday or special event party could be any fun without drugs or alcohol. Do not let those negative thoughts cause you to skip these occasions! Sober parties are a great way to have fun in recovery with those in your support group, and reinforce the idea that we can enjoy life to the fullest while remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

Sober parties are a great way to meet new people in recovery, just as regular parties were a great way to meet new drinking and using buddies in our active addiction. Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s - these occasions we traditionally used as an excuse to imbibe to excess are now opportunities to revel in our new lives in recovery alongside like minded peers. Most established AA or NA clubhouses host annual parties for these holidays, and you should absolutely attend at every available opportunity in early sobriety. It may be intimidating to be in a crowd of people at first, but the more you walk through that uncomfortability the easier it will become, and the more adept you will be at making new connections in such situations.

What exactly do sober parties entail? Everything a regular party would have except drugs and alcohol. In the summer we have cookouts and pool parties, in the winter we have Christmas caroling and extravagant dinners - all the same enjoyable activities you would find at a “normal” party, but at sober parties everyone is able to recall everything that happens! Rest assured you will not be bored at a sober get together, so long as you try to be social and avoid “wallflower” behavior. This can be hard at first, but as long as you keep trying to improve it will get easier and each sober party will be more fun than the last. Remember, its all about progress not perfection!

For those in active addiction, the term “sober party” seems to be an oxymoron. How could you possibly have fun at a party without drugs or alcohol? Those of us who have been in recovery for a little while know better. Sober parties are a great way to socialize with our peers in recovery while enjoying food, fun, and games. Your first few sober parties may feel a bit awkward, and you may struggle to get out of your shell and talk to others, but keep trying! Eventually these recovery events will be an enjoyable part of your life in sobriety, as you learn to have fun again without the use of drugs or alcohol!