Sober Bars: The New Trend of Sober Spaces
From relaxing at home to going out for dinner, you can’t escape alcohol. Tv commercials, bars, billboards, and liquor stores – alcohol is everywhere. Recently, there have been sober bars, substance-free areas at concerts, and even sober raves to combat the highly prevalent alcohol-soaked lifestyle many are leading. These sober spaces are a haven for those in recovery, and those who want to enjoy alcohol-free social environments. Having these new sober social spaces opening up allows for people in recovery to have fun again. One of the hardest things for people in recovery to do is to learn how to have fun still. Most of our fun revolved around drinking or using, and the longing for a “normal” life can lead to seeking out old haunts and not drinking, but that can be dangerous. Sober bars are beginning to pop-up all over the country, especially in metropolitan areas.
What is a Sober Bar?
Sober bars offer all of the amenities of a bar, except the alcohol. Many have live music, trivia, and have specials just as regular bars do. Dry bars offer a plethora of non-alcoholic beverages including soft drinks, mock-tails, to non-alcoholic beers. Chris Marshall, who founded the Sans Bar in Austin, Texas said: “If you closed your eyes, on a Friday night, you’d think you were in a regular bar.” A lot of people who are in recovery enjoy thriving social scenes and like to make friends, sober bars are a perfect place to do this.
What to Be Careful of When Going to Sober Bars
The biggest thing in recovery is having balance. If you find that you’re beginning to skip your Friday night meeting in favor of playing pool at your local sober bar, you may want to revaluate. If you’ve never been to a sober bar before, take some of your support group with you instead of hitting the local diner after a meeting, try something new. Being in a bar atmosphere may be triggering for some of us in recovery. If you have strong sober supports with you, it will make it easier to leave and not go to an actual bar afterward. Being in such a familiar environment can cause you to recall the good times you had drinking and using, referred to as euphoric recall.
The upside of going to a sober bar is that you may find other sober people in your area also hang out there. It’s a great way to network with other sober people who are a part of the sober bar scene. If you’re unsure of trying out the sober bar scene, talk to your sponsor about it, bounce the idea around at your homegroup. There is strength in numbers, and many times, we need to get other opinions.
If you ever feel concerned about your mental state or sobriety trying out new sober environments, hit a meeting. They are the original sober environments and you can share and find out about events in your local sober community.
How to Have Fun in Recovery
When first coming into recovery, many of us didn’t know how to have fun healthily. Recovery is about buildings a life that you want to live. Find ways to incorporate old hobbies into your life again, get out of your comfort zone (within reason,) and most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously. If you need more resources to expand your sober community, call us at 855-448-3638. We’re here for you.