Sober Super Bowl Sunday
This weekend the Philadelphia Eagles will be battling the New England Patriots for the NFL Championship. Millions of people across the United States will gather to watch the game. Typical Super Bowl party essentials include chips, wings, pizza, and beer. Someone in recovery attending a party most likely has a go to response list prepared for when someone asks, “Why are you not drinking?” as if it is any of their business. With all of the temptation and looming triggers, some may opt out of attending Super Bowl parties. However, that is not necessary. There is no reason not to enjoy time with friends and family just because you are in recovery, you just have to do it wisely. However, if you feel you are unable to cope, do not attend until you are ready physically and mentally. Never put your sobriety at risk.
Before arriving at the party, call your sponsor. Discuss with them your reservations, and allow them to offer advice. Be conscious of your triggers. If you are aware parties will be too much, there are other options. In Chicago, a small group advertised a sober Super Bowl party and 300 people showed up. One dedicated LSU fan began a “recovery first” tailgate tent which has vastly expanded to other college campuses with wild popularity. You may feel alone, but plenty of other people have entered recovery before you and have established helpful alternatives. Stadiums now offer sober seating sections.
If attending a house party, stay occupied. Some tips are:
- Bring board games. Everyone loves competition.
- Bring other sober friends.
- Drive separately. Allow yourself an escape plan.
- Take over cooking/grilling responsibilities
- Accept position of designated driver
Aside from Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the largest day of food and alcohol consumption. This year, you will be able to appreciate the game and time spent with others at full value. You will remember the commercials, you will feel good when you wake up in the morning, and you will enjoy yourself without any assistance; and that is an amazing feeling.