Many cities and rural places are difficult to be around because they remind a person of their addictive tendencies. It may be triggering to go past old haunts, places they frequented when using substances, or where they have memories attached to addiction. Romanticizing addiction is the last place a person wants to go if they want to stay sober. Living in a vibrant city may seem more triggering, but not necessarily. Depending on the person’s history, almost anything can be triggering, but most places they used to go that remind them of using drugs or alcohol. Learn some tips for how to live drug-free and clean around other people (and places) without feeling triggered.
One of the hardest things about going out exploring in a place is staying clean and sober. Exploration makes life interesting, but it can also bring painful memories tumbling back. Being clean is just about not drinking or using drugs. To live drug-free, however, people in recovery have to learn how to live around drugs and alcohol while living their own lives. It is worth the time to explore different jobs, different experiences, and sober fun to see what works. Playing guitar, writing, acting, or anything else can be a fun hobby, but it may not bring peace or joy to a person’s life. A good way to find people is to try online event planning sites, social media, or meetup websites that promote social gatherings. It may just be the place to find fun that is sober and less triggering.
Social lives are difficult because they revolve around people, and they are all flawed. Meeting friends, then finding out they drink can be too much for someone in recovery. If they are willing to not drink around an individual in recovery if it is triggering, that may be okay, but perhaps they have not confronted their own addiction. In that case, it can lead to huge issues in the friendship or relationship down the road. Sober meetups, gatherings, and community groups are one of the best ways to connect with others who are like-minded and may become long-term friends without the drama of worrying about their sober status. Friends are those people who are there no matter what. Sometimes old friends go away when an individual sobers up, but sometimes old pals stick around. The transition out of addiction might mean leaving old friends behind, but new friends are just on the horizon.
When going out and about, it is helpful, to be honest with both yourself and others. You cannot control what is happening around you if the bar is full of people drinking. You can control whether you walk into that environment in the first place. You cannot control if people drink at an outdoor festival, but be honest about the intention behind going if you put yourself at risk. It is helpful to gather sober friends and find a corner to hang out and be sober together while having fun than to not go at all. However, be honest and decide if it is too much right now (or ever) and don’t put sobriety last. Have fun, but be courageous and unafraid to put sobriety ahead of everything else if you want to stay sober for the long haul.
Being sober in real life (IRL) is tough, but not impossible. We provide you with the tools and resources to navigate recovery and heal. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295