By Brent Botros Tree House Staff
Going out for a night on the town can seem daunting for some individuals recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism. Many of us would use substances to mask insecurities while going out with friends or a new group of people. Socializing in general can be very uncomfortable without drugs and/or alcohol. What I’ve come to find to be true is that I have all the substance I need already inside of me to turn myself into the life of the party and have fun in sobriety. It’s an energy that we hold inside of us, that when harnessed and embraced, can truly be all we need in these settings. When entering a social setting, with alcohol and maybe even drugs present, it is easy to feel the need to reach out to those substances to give us a sense of ease and comfort and allow us to let loose and have fun. But what if we could tap into that energy we hold inside of us, and turn up harder than anyone in the club? I call that empowerment.
The value of this idea is that it allows us to be us; it allows us to understand and realize the fact that we all have the gift of choice, and that energy inside of us… and if we dig down deep enough, we can find that all the substance we will ever need is right there inside of us, waiting to be released.
Isolation is one of the most destructive effects of addiction. Those who suffer from addiction have grown accustomed to removing themselves from society, as it is much more comfortable to be away from people who might be judging us. Entering a social setting like a club or party completely transcends what the individual who suffers from this disease is comfortable with. By transcending isolation and becoming more social, the individual who suffers from this disease begins forming new connections in their brain, and more importantly, discovers the truth behind what they can choose.
Some individuals who suffer from addiction might wonder how harnessing this ability could be possible. Here is a list of steps that might be appropriate to consider to help you have fun in sobriety:
- Set a goal to enter a vulnerable social environment
- Define your motives:
- Why do you want to enter this social environment? Maybe you want to experience entering settings that you used to enjoy, but doing so in a healthy way
- Make it to the event and check your reality
- Grounding techniques could be useful here (remind yourself where you are and hone in to your senses: what do you see, hear, feel, smell, and/or taste)
- Remind yourself that you are safe, and that all irrational or negative thoughts that come up are your own creation, which means that all positive and pleasant thoughts are the same
- Test the water
- Start engaging and tap into the life of your own mind…see what happens
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474