So, you’re sober and damn proud of it. Or maybe you’re trying your very best to get back on the straight and narrow. Perhaps you have a buddy that needs to be. Whatever the case, you may be finding yourself with a less than desirable social life, because guess what, alcohol is everywhere. Literally everywhere. At work events, at bars, at college parties, at brunch.

It may seem like an extreme declaration, but for a recovering alcoholic, parties can be straight up nightmares. In this article, we will discuss how to have fun at a party without drinking. Though it seems easy enough to imagine, for many alcoholics, this is an incredible feat to overcome.

Make Mine a Virgin

Here’s the deal — people drink, and they like to keep the same company. After all, who wants to drink alone?

This doesn’t mean you have to hang out in a corner by yourself. It just means you need something else to sip on — something virgin. And honestly, who doesn’t like a good mocktail? In the end, you get to enjoy a great tasting beverage without the painful hangover. If you’re not into an elaborate mocktail, try sipping on some ginger ale and lime.

Don’t Play It Risky

It might seem like a good idea to play drinking games with water, or some other non-alcoholic beverage, but this is risky. If you’re serious about staying sober, it might not be the best idea to put yourself in the way of temptation. Try standing back as a spectator or starting a conversation with another person at the party.

The Buddy System

This is perhaps the best piece of advice we can give. Remember those friends who love to drink with other drinkers? Okay, well now it’s time for you to find a buddy who is NOT going to drink. Together, you can hold one another accountable. The buddy system is also a great way to enjoy a party or gathering with someone who has the same intentions. Less peer pressure and more relaxed fun.

How To Party Sober

Keep It to Yourself

Sometimes, it’s better to keep your intentions to yourself. It will cut down on the peer pressure if your friends don’t know there’s something worth pressuring.

Of course, this all depends on the circumstance. If you are going into an unfamiliar situation with lots of strangers, keep your sobriety to yourself. If you are among friends, especially those you trust, you may find it prudent to let them know where you stand. They may be excited about supporting your goal.

Host the Party and Make the Rules

Honestly, it may best if you host the party yourself. You’ll get to make the rules and control more of the situation. In fact, you could even plan a party that doesn’t involve any alcohol! You could very easily host a fun themed party that completely deviates from any drunken debauchery.

Know When to Walk Away

Know when and how to leave. Sometimes, it’s good to have an escape route planned for when things go south. You might even take part in the ‘ol Irish goodbye — dipping out without letting anyone know. Just make sure you aren’t someone else’s sober ride home. And if you are, let them know.

How to Party Sober — Just Be Proud

You can party without alcohol. It feels like a trite remark, but it’s true what they say — you can have just as much fun sober. You just need to embrace your decision and wear that badge with honor. There’s nothing shameful in your sobriety. Be proud of yourself. You can do this!

Need more advice? Reach out to United Recovery Project, or learn more about sober living.