School has started, though the remnants of the Summer heat are still lingering about. It’s also prime time for the first of many anticipated school parties! For the newly sober, and even for those with a little time under their belts, this might be a source of contention or stress. So, how DO you participate while staying safe and sober?
- Bring a friend with you that has your best interests in mind. In other words, someone who isn’t on the fence about you being clean and sober!
- Arrange for your own transportation so you don’t have to rely on someone else if you want to make a quick exit.
- Have a plan, and give yourself an out so you don’t get stuck in a bad situation.
- Call your sponsor and let your sober network know what you’re doing: Share your plan!
- Communicate with your parents and let them know what’s going on.
- Concerned there won’t be any non-alcoholic beverages? Bring your own!
The trouble with school parties is, often times they’re organized with this idea that getting wasted is the end goal (I’m reminded of Superbad here, despite it’s over-the-top depiction of adolescence!). If a school party falls into your weekend plans, go with a good head on your shoulders and a positive plan of action. Walking a sober path is a learned skill, but it’s not impossible. It takes time to develop positive patterns of behavior while still maintaining our social status amongst our peers. Sometimes, it’s a matter of educating those around us; sometimes it’s about walking away and starting anew.
Sobriety will teach you that fun doesn’t have to include a blackout and a night praying to the porcelain God. Nor does it have to include glib confirmations of the night’s events from friends the next day. Eventually, taking responsibility for your actions will be the de rigueur choice rather than fighting to maintain an old ideal. At some point, you might even discover that you are pretty darn fun all on your own, even whilst pumped up on silliness with a water chaser.