The decision to live a clean and sober life is one that often comes after years of bad habits. Many people who make the decision to give up drugs and alcohol do so only after spending the majority of their lives in denial of how serious their habits truly are. But, once you do decide that you are going to live a sober life, you should realize that you still have to live life. Sure, you may find yourself cutting back on socializing a bit, as that can be an aspect of channeling your former addictive behaviors into more productive outlets. But you still need to socialize, and that means learning how to navigate the holidays – especially party-heavy ones like Halloween – while maintaining your sobriety.
Look for Sober Parties
On the road to recovery, most people find themselves at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and possibly both. These meetings are full of other people who understand what you have been through, what you are going through on a daily basis, and what you face going forward. And, as is the case in Toledo, you may find that the local AA or NA groups may host Halloween parties catered to people just like you. Research your local groups, contact other members, and find out if one of these parties can be an option for your sober Halloween.
Even if you can’t find or don’t want to attend a party hosted by a local sober community, hopefully you have befriended some individuals through local meetings. These should be the first people you call to invite to a sober party hosted by none other than yourself.
Hosting Your Own Party
Staying sober on Halloween definitely means planning ahead. This is especially true if you are going to throw a sober Halloween bash that is worth its pumpkins. Begin by inviting friends who are well-aware of your own sobriety. Having to explain why there is no booze around is not only a temptation to yourself, it definitely kills the vibe. Sober and/or supportive friends should be the only ones on the guest list.
Plan non-alcohol based activities that will let you and your guests relax. Elite Daily suggests costume contests, seeing who can tell the scariest story, bobbing for apples, and that’s just where their list starts. Her Campus-Chapel Hill suggests some more activities catered more toward a college-age crowd, including pumpkin carving, horror movie marathons, and some classic pranking.
If you are going to be hosting, the onus for preparing drinks and food are on you. Life Hack offers up 10 Halloween-related snacks that your guests will eat right up. Meanwhile, Bustle details some recipes for non-alcoholic drinks that follow the Halloween theme. With these tips, there’s no reason you can’t host an awesome Halloween-themed party.
If You Can’t Host and Still Want to Go Out…
For one, try to bring a sober friend along with you. If this is your wife, girlfriend, partner, or significant other, awesome. If you don’t have a sober friend to go along with you, prepare yourself in several ways.
Know what you will say to people who offer you a drink and/or ask why you would turn it down. Whether it is the need to get up early, serving as the designated driver, or otherwise, consider what you will say if this situation arises.
Founder, Recovery Hope
Further, if you feel that the environment you chose to spend the night in becomes too overwhelming to your sober-self, have an exit plan. Children are a great excuse. Maybe the babysitter had an emergency and you have to head home. You can always say that you aren’t feeling well. Whatever the excuse, remember that staying sober is the number one priority, even if that means leaving the party a bit early.
Halloween and sobriety can seem mutually exclusive for those who have lived most of their lives in the throes of addiction. Know that they are not mutually exclusive. It’s not always easy, but having fun while remaining sober on Halloween is possible. Whether you’re hosting a party or not, heed the advice of others and put your own sobriety above everything else. If, at this stage in your sobriety that means just staying home, there’s no shame in that, either.