Sane and Sober Super Bowl Sunday

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and for many Americans that is just another excuse to consume too much alcohol and eat way too many chicken wings. If you are like me and in early recovery, this might be the first Super Bowl you have celebrated sober in a long time! Events like the Super Bowl, open bar weddings, and holidays with family are most likely events that you are struggling to deal with in sobriety. Just the idea of going to a Super Bowl party might be triggering a great deal of anxiety in you, or maybe the thought of being around a bunch of people drinking and carrying on is a cause for depression. I don’t even care about the Falcons or the Patriots, but yet I am still bummed about this year’s Super Bowl, because it is just another reminder that I cannot go to the bar and behave like “normal” people.

“Bummed” is a good word to sum up how I have been feeling the last few days, and it is in large part because I have not yet completely transitioned my thinking from “alcoholic thinking” to “sober thinking”. If you read any passages from the Twenty Four Hours a Day book you will notice that this is a common theme in the daily thoughts. I realize that this will not happen overnight and as an addict, and as an anxiety sufferer, this realization is not easy to accept. Not only do I want satisfaction, but also I want it NOW! Weekends are especially tough in early recovery because our minds associate Friday and Saturday nights with being able to drink excessively without dealing with the repercussions at work the next morning. Events like the Super Bowl, weddings, and parties are also tough in the early days, because we are so used to using alcohol as either a social lubricant or a way to make something mundane seem a bit more exciting.

However, those of us that suffer from the diseases of addiction/anxiety/depression/etc., must change the way we think… Going to a Super Bowl party should not be a cause for anxiety or feeling depressed; we just need to find new ways to make it fun and get over our fear. If you are still early in recovery and feel it is too much to be around alcohol and others consuming it, then by all means throw your own sober party at home, but don’t do it alone and definitely do not us it as an excuse to isolate.

My plans for the big day are to make some great game day snacks; Onion Dip, Pigs in a Blanket, Buffalo Chicken Dip, and some mini wedge salads. You know, to make sure it is healthy and add something green! Mix up some of my favorite Mocktails (see below) and enjoy the commercials and hope for another scandalous half time show! If you are invited to a Super Bowl party, there is no reason you cannot take a Mocktail to the party, or if you are heading out to a bar or restaurant, then ask the bartender for a creative non-alcoholic drink. Being sober doesn’t have to be an excuse to be boring or to shy away from friends and events. We must learn how to think soberly and in turn figure out how to make it fun. Trust me you will be much happier on Monday morning than most people, and you will only have to burn off the calories from the fried food, and not the fried food AND alcohol!

***Apologies for my terrible names!***

For the Patriot’s fans try this Red and Blue mocktail, I’ll call it a “Patriotic Smash”.

Ingredients (1 serving):

7-8 Blueberries

1 Rosemary Sprig, stripped

1oz Honey

1oz fresh lemon juice

4oz sparkling water

Gently muddle blueberries, rosemary leaves and honey in a cocktail strainer. Add lemon juice and water and shake. Strain into a glass of ice and garnish with blueberries!

For the Falcon’s fans give this deep red black cherry mocktail a try, lets call it a “Fiery Falcon”.

Ingredients I4 Servings):

1 cup of Pitted Cherries

¼ cup of fresh mint leaves – plus sprigs for garnish

8 tsp sugar

¾ cups of coke or diet coke

¼ cup lime juice

3 cups of cherry or black cherry flavored seltzer

Divide cherries, mint, lime juice, and sugar into 4 cups and muddle together. Add ice then top with coke and seltzer and stir. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime.

Please feel free to leave other mocktails and food ideas in the comments section.

Here’s to a Sane and Sober Super Bowl Sunday.

Cheers!

-A.S.

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