The life that you were used to living is not the life you can go back to after treatment. You will find that the places you may have frequented, the friends you may have associated with, and your ideas of fun are no longer positive additions to your life. But, don’t let that get you down. There are many things that you can do to remain social while being sober.  After all, a healthy and sober life is a life worth living. So, grab your sober buddies, get out there, and check out these new and exciting things to do.

Explore your city

Before you were sober, your life likely consisted of going to your favorite watering hole or spending time with your small, gathering of heavy drinkers. These were people who made you feel comfortable to be around and enjoyed the same things you did. However, as a sober individual, you will likely feel awkward – or tested – around these same people.  Plus, while you had spent time in this little bubble, you were missing a whole world going on around you, believe it or not.

Do some research on your city and discover new places to explore. You will eventually see all the neat things that your city has to offer that you previously missed. For instance, check out touristy attractions – science museum, the zoo, art museums, etc. Or, if the weather is nice, you can grab a Frisbee or just a blanket, and visit one of your local parks.

Prepare an alcohol-free dinner party

If you feel like you can’t get out without facing temptation or if you just feel like having a low-pressure evening, why not throw your own dinner party? You could invite your friends and let them know that it is a sober gathering so they know what to expect when they get there. Sure, you may feel that you don’t need – or want – to necessarily specify the whole sober thing, but having your co-worker show up with a bottle of Jack as a nice gesture may feel a bit awkward all the way around when the dry festivities are discovered.

Keep in mind that having your own dinner party does not have to be lame just because it doesn’t include alcohol. In fact, you could make neat seltzer and fruit beverages and plan for some games and entertainment so that you and your clients don’t find yourselves staring at each other while twiddling your thumbs.

Use coffee shops – rather than bars –as your preferred hangout spot

If you spend time in a bar, you are likely to drink alcohol. So, if you spend time in a coffee shop, you will be likely to drink coffee, right? Coffee shops provide a mellow atmosphere to catch up with friends, check your email, catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip, read, etc. When your friends say, “Let’s get together sometime for a drink.” Well, make that drink a coffee! The best part is that you don’t even have to explain your reasoning or that you are in recovery. Perhaps you just want a cup o’ joe. Coffee shops also make a great spot for getting to know someone on a date – rather than the bar scene.

But, what do sober people do?

Stay active. Avoid meeting friends to just “hang out” (unless it’s at a coffee shop, or the like). You know what they say about idle minds. Instead, do something. Believe it or not, there are a ton of regular ol’ things to do that will not bore you or make you wish for your old life. In fact, these things can make you feel good – and fulfilled. Just to give you an example of the ordinary activities you may have never really thought you would enjoy…but, as soon as your new sober-self tries them, you will love them:

  • Go bowling. Challenge your new friends to a game and combine it with some pizza and a pitcher of soda!
  • Go see a movie. You can either visit the movie theater or rent movies at home. Grab some friends, some popcorn, Sno Caps, and settle in.
  • Join a community art class. It doesn’t have to be art – you can choose anything. Just sign up to learn something new. After all, a positive, new hobby cannot be a bad thing to add to your growing repertoire.
  • Miniature golf. Why not challenge your friends to a round to miniature golf? Show them how you are a hole-in-one kinda person these days.
  • When is the last time you went skating? Whether ice skating, inline skating, or rolling around on the old 4-wheelers, skating is a great time to get outdoors or listen to some awesome tunes in the rink. Busting through the air can provide you with such an exhilarating feeling.

And last – find new friends

New friends – sober friends – can show you how they get through life, both happily and successfully, while remaining sober. It is like that old adage that says “you are who you hang out with.” Finding sober friends can make it easier to remain on the straight path. In fact, it is like surrounding yourself with a group of real-life examples: it is possible to life a full life without being under the influence of any substance.

Not sure where to find sober friends? Try joining specific social groups such as a book club, crafts corner, cycling club, fitness clubs, etc. Or perhaps you can volunteer and meet new people looking to make a positive difference in the world – and in your life.

Being social does not have to require drinking. However, it does require making changes to how you live your life. Find a new circle and surround yourself with goodness. Give your life a chance to start blooming with goodness, too.