Addiction strikes in all sorts of ways. What is usually most devastating is that it is a repetitive habit or substance that may be triggered or tied closely to a social event. Drinking alcohol and going to bars is now synonymous, but what if there was a social nightlife “bar” without the temptations of drugs or alcohol? There is a new sober bar, The Other Side, which provides an opportunity for those in recovery to have the social benefits of a neighborhood bar, without the temptation to drink or use drugs. The “bar” started as a place where people would meet and talk after the 12 step meetings, and eventually developed into what it is today.
Patrons of The Other Side can enjoy non-alcoholic drinks, playing darts, ping pong, or watching sports events. Monthly special events give the benefits of a music venue or show without the culture of drug and alcohol use present at most music performances. Relearning habits and retraining your body and life to live without your addiction is hard, but doing so with support and social alternatives can help give you the jump-start you need. Replacing old habits or routines with new healthy habits is an important part of recovery. Breaking old associations and creating new ones help solidify your new normal.
You may not have a sober bar in your community, but you have other options to develop sober habits. Talk to your therapist or sponsor about triggers or old habits that made using part of your routine. Then make a plan to develop a new routine. Think about the late night cafes, family friendly restaurants, bookstores, and coffee shops. There are more and more opportunities to play pool, or have a late night chat out and about in a social non-tempting environment. Better yet, you may make friends or supportive mentors in the process.