How to Party - Part 1
OK, we're giggling over here. Like our readers don't know how to party?
Now that we have your attention, it is an excellent time to release part 1 in a series of party tips that can be reviewed before action turns into regret. -- Simple things to do and not to do when attending get-togethers (sometimes disguised as “parties”).
Some of what we share here seems like straightforward logic but bears mentioning, and all things we share here we've gently stolen from the rooms of AA from our brothers and sisters in sobriety.
As always, if one is working the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, these suggestions will be natural and normal responses. Still, we throw them out as reminders or teaching tools for people new to the program. Presented in no particular order here is a “starter list” (we will post more in this series in the future) :
Consider bowing out!
“I don't let people rule me - when I become assertive and when I care more about my sobriety than what other people think of me; At that point, I own my sobriety” anonymous.
If sobriety is the most important thing in your life, then the party you're considering going to can’t be the most important thing in your life. That is a fact. You can't have two “most important.” Get it? If there is even the slightest possibility that this event would jeopardize your sobriety, then it's a no-brainer that you don't attend. Remember, the good life slips away with the first sip.
Have a Plan
If you decide to proceed, move forward with a plan in place; How long will I stay? How will I respond when somebody hands me a drink – or calls for “shots for everyone”? What if somebody pisses me off? How will I know when it's time to leave?
Failing to have a plan could set you up to fail.
Remember that you don't HAVE to stay. You HAVE to stay sober. Don't confuse one with the other.
Try to avoid entering a situation you have unrealistically painted in your head. People will be people and will not change their behavior because it is a party - so don't over-expect. Only a few, if any, groups are flawless. We like to remember that we bring our flaws to the occasion, so leave some leeway for others.
Grab a Drink!
Wait? What? You heard us. Grab a drink as soon as you walk in; grab a water, a cola, or a coffee. Have something in your hand for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you. They will be less likely to hand you a cold beer if you already have a mug in your hand.
Don’t Rush the Steps
This is a biggie that we will expound on in a later post. But sometimes, an overzealous personality might want to make amends prematurely. Said a different way, the gathering might not be the perfect opportunity to jump to step 9 and apologize for some drunken behavior in the past. We will discuss these decisions in more depth later. These rulings are to be made between you and your sponsor and on you and your sponsor’s time frame.
Rarely have we seen a person succeed who has knee-jerked and fast-forwarded through the steps because the opportunity seemed to be there. BIG red caution flags on this one.
Stay Connected … to the Solution
Keep AA close in mind when you walk through those doors. Consider your accomplishments and your commitments. Consider the step work. Consider the costs.
And remember communication.
AA is a WE program, and you should bring “we” to the party. Fire off texts to AA friends before you walk through the door and continue chattering with them until you are good or it is time to leave. This may seem like overkill, but it is a technique that has worked well for us time and again. There may come a day when this would be considered anti-social, but for the most part, it is so natural for people to have their phones in their hands texting …. Consider using it to your advantage.
May the Holidays bring you all blessings possible.
May the promises unfold for you one party at a time!
Ideas and thoughts for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #87 Titled: “Thanksgiving” The podcast dropped on 11/23/2022 click here to hear the podcast
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be thought of as a substitute for advice of healthcare professionals. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.