When you get sober, there are many “firsts” you have to get through, events and holidays that you previously would have spent drunk or high. The trick is, knowing some simple “sober hacks” that will help you to not only get through, but actually have fun too.
So You’ve Been Invited to a Wedding
Weddings are a wonderful way for two people to celebrate their love with their family and friends. These events are often emotional, beautiful occasions, that are captured in photos and videos, and remembered for a lifetime. But if you’re like most alcoholics or addicts, in the past, these events have been a chance to take advantage of an open bar, and party like crazy (because it’s a celebration, duh)! So attending your first wedding sober can be intimidating and nerve-wracking. First and foremost, because you need to protect your sobriety- your life depends on it. But also because this is a chance to prove to your family and friends that you are really invested in changing your life and behaviors. Instead of being a sloppy disaster, that needs babysitting and takes attention away from the bride and groom, you have the opportunity to show up and make a positive contribution to this important day. When you have never done this before, it can be intimidating, but there are some tricks to making it easier on yourself.
Tips and Tricks for Staying Sober at a Wedding
- Bring a Sober Date
This ONLY applies if you were given a plus one. But if you can, bring a “sober buddy”- someone else, either in recovery or who is willing to stay sober, that you can go with. This will not only hold you accountable, but can make it easier to be around others who are drinking, because you won’t feel like the only one “missing out”.
- See How You Can Help
Weddings are hectic events! There are usually things you can do, even if you aren’t in the bridal party, to help out. I have been to several weddings where I asked how I could help prior to the wedding, and was able to do everything from making gift bags/centerpieces, doing table settings at the venue, picking up the cake, helping with decorations, and helping to break down the wedding/load up the decorations after the wedding was over. This helped me to feel like I was making a positive contribution, as well as made me much more comfortable since I had things to do. The busier you are, the less time you have to focus on the fact that you aren’t drinking! And your friends/family will be so grateful.
- Catch Up with Family and Friends
Oftentimes, weddings are a rare opportunity to see friends or family that might live far away, or even just that you may not see often because of busy lives. This is a great opportunity to catch up with them, and take an active interest in their lives! Asking others how they have been, what is going on with them, and telling them what is going on in your life, makes you feel more connected and comfortable. It also helps in the road to making amends for your past behaviors, by showing others that you are a different person, and actually care about them and their lives.
- Have a Way Out
One key tip is to have a way out. Sometimes, weddings get a little crazy towards the end, and there will likely come a point when you want or need to head out. While it is important to show up for people, you also don’t want to put yourself in a position where you can’t head home if you need to. I always drive my own car to weddings- relying on others for transportation can be risky, especially if they are drinking and may want to stay late or go to an afterparty. Your sobriety needs to come first, and if you become too uncomfortable around the alcohol, or find yourself tempted to break your sobriety, you want to have a way to leave.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that this day is not about you! It is about the bride and groom, and the celebration they have invited you to. Don’t take it lightly- suit up, show up, and try to do something different, and you will get through it no problem!
Help is Available
If you or someone you know needs help with drugs or alcohol, call Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment: 1-800-203-2024.