Now what do I do? While in rehab I learned that I could never drink safely again and I am told to avoid people, places and things that may cause me to consider drinking at all costs. Well, I must work and going out for a drink after work with my coworkers is just part of the culture, isn’t it? In this study from Statitia, more than 75% of your coworkers are not going to happy hour. It’s hard to see the truth when your reality was blurred by alcohol.
Perhaps the truth is that up to this point, it was often your drinking prior to rehab that defined what you did after work, not your coworkers. Sure you had no trouble finding people to join you at the bar but the vast majority of employees after a shift go home, to the gym or explore other interests. Staying sober in any and all circumstances should be your new priority and that may require you to change the crowd you have been drinking with after work and on the weekends.
Sober Activities With Coworkers
So, our recommendation is to find other activities that interest you and are healthy for your sobriety. A great book for people entering early sobriety is Living Sober and chapter six is all about Getting Active. There are some great suggestions in there that stand the test of time. There were probably many more coworkers that were not going to the bar with you. Chat them up and start asking them what they are doing after work. Chance are you will uncover a team sports league that might interest you, volunteer opportunities you can participate in and other hobbies that may peak your interest. US News and World Report lists these 5 bonding activities with coworkers and none of them involve alcohol.
Things To Do Without Alcohol in our Region
A good way to meet non-drinking friends away from the office is through activities and hobbies where alcohol doesn’t come into play. I personally developed a passion for outdoor activities such as:
- Biking along rail trails, parks and towpaths
Did you know that one of America’s largest trail networks is right here is the Philadelphia region? Circuittrails.org highlights many of the regions trail ways that connect our communities. Grab a few new friends and start exploring!
Cultural activities are a great way to connect with new friends and broaden your horizons. VisitPhilly.com, Visitbuckscounty.com and Valleyforge.org are three great websites to find out what opportunities are available in our region like:
- Exploring Museums
- Watching Live Theater
- Performing Arts & Musical Events
- Special Events with a Twist of History
Many people in recovery find themselves at a crossroads academically. Perhaps you never completed college or find out a master’s degree is required for achieving the next threshold at work? This is a great opportunity for you to start attending classes after work and most universities, community colleges and technical schools in Bucks County and Philadelphia offer adult education courses. Explore a new interest or catapult your career by making a commitment to your future.
Most important is to make a commitment to your sobriety. Baked into most recovery programs is a need for service to your sober community. We recommend you get fully involved in your 12-step recovery program and surround yourself with other sober people. There is no shortage of recovery meetings in our region and every one of them needs volunteers. Spend quality time with your sponsor, choose a home group, take charge of your recovery with a consistent attendance at meetings.
You will discover that the people you drank with at the bar after work will still be there talking about the things they may want to do some day. You on the other hand will be doing the things you only talked about until now.