Sober Super Bowl?!

Tips for the big game

Game day is upon us! With millions of viewers, many Americans treat it like a holiday event (even costing employers a lot of money the day after!). No matter if you’re an avid football fan or not, chances are you’ll know someone hosting a watch party or be invited to one. The Super Bowl is not just about football, there’s laugh-out-loud commercials, an exciting half-time show, high energy atmosphere, tons of food and most likely alcohol. It’s natural for everyone to want to enjoy the festivities. Being mindful of either your own recovery or the possibility of a guests sobriety can help ensure an enjoyable time by all.

Respecting the Sober Lifestyle

If you’re hosting a party this Sunday there’s a good chance someone living in recovery will be attending whether it’s known or not. With 10% of the American population identifying as having had a drug or alcohol use problem at some point in their life, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Yet, living a sober lifestyle doesn’t mean not attending social events and having fun with friends and loved ones.

What does this mean for the average Super Bowl party event? Nothing out of the ordinary that wouldn’t be considered for other guests whether it’s accounting for dietary restrictions with a variety of food choices or keeping pets away. You want people to feel comfortable.

Some tips for hosting a lively event while being respectful of non-drinkers:

  • Make the party about the company, the game and the food
  • Avoid any offering of beverages, just allow your crowd to help themselves
  • Remove the drink & alcohol table as the focal point
  • Have a variety of non-alcoholic drinks available beyond water & soda (i.e juices, sparkling water, etc…)
  • Enjoy the fun & camaraderie of the event!

“living a sober lifestyle doesn’t mean not attending social events and having fun with friends and loved ones”

Creating a Game Plan

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It’s natural to want to celebrate with friends and family, but for those in recovery it’s crucial to have your wits about you. Plan a party strategy before going out.

  • Offense There’s no shame in ‘bring-your-own-clean-drink’. You remove the option of alcohol by having your own healthy drink of choice with you.
  • Defense Implement the buddy system.  Have a friend with you that is supportive of your sober lifestyle and will hold you accountable to your goals.
  • Special Teams. Create an exit-plan to excuse yourself should things get intense. Have a 12-step meeting lined up if triggers arise so you have immediate help available.
  • “Do Your Job”. We all know Coach Belichiks adage. If you are unsure how you are going to feel around alcohol including dealing with those who are actively drinking, say no to attending. Self-care is a priority.  Find a safe place to enjoy the game with friends who are also in recovery.
  • Listen to your Coach. 30 days, 6 months, 5 years…no matter where you are in your sobriety do not hesitate to reach out to a sponsor or a professional if you have concerns about your behavior BEFORE risking your recovery.