We see alcohol everywhere: in advertisements, many restaurants, sometimes even at work. Alcohol is often considered a social lubricant; for some, it makes socializing easier. Words flow, conversations are funnier and livelier, it might be easier to approach another person. Others might have a co-morbid disorder, such as anxiety or depression, and alcohol helps to mask the effects. Feeling anxious in social situations might make you feel forced to drink.
But what do you do when you stop drinking, and you feel as though your social life has disappeared because of it?
Try Meet-up. If you didn’t already know, there’s a group out there waiting for you to join at meetup.com. The “Meetup” website features thousands of groups across the country—exercise groups, language speaking groups, mental health support groups, art groups, and perhaps most importantly—addiction recovery support groups.
AA. Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great place for fellowship and friendship. Maybe you’d want to try a meeting or two just to see how you feel about it. There are also “open” AA meetings without some of the more traditional elements of AA—where you can simply go, experience what AA is like, and find fellowship and friendship.
Go to the bar. This tip isn’t for anyone who is still feeling tempted by being in locations with alcohol. But, for some it’s still entirely possible to spend time at the bar sans alcohol. Many bars also serve food; distracting yourself with a plate of french fries and friendship is another way to enjoy time at the bar.
Try OKCupid. No, this website isn’t necessarily for romantic relationships. You can specifically indicate that you’re searching for friendship, rather than romance. We live in a digital era; it can be hard to make new friends. There’s no shame in looking online. There’s likely someone with a similar story to you out there, looking to make friends, too.