I knew as soon as I started university my recovery would be stretched to its limits. University is known for its drinking culture, however like many other students, I am in recovery for alcoholism. Outside of uni I avoid conversations and environments involving alcohol but with a number of pubs on campus and it being the talking point for many students, this wasn’t something I could easily avoid. Luckily the friends I made were very supportive of my addiction and we chose to do activities that were not surrounded by drink, meaning I was never put in uncomfortable or tempting situations.
I was relieved to discover that Recovery Connections provided a support service within the university. I attended the weekly support sessions where we sat and chatted and sometimes worked on my assignments. It was great to be able to speak to like-minded people who understood the struggles and were able to laugh with each other about some of the situations we have been in over the years. I was also given a Recovery Coach who I could contact if I was having struggles and just have a chat with her to help.
My sobriety has had little impact on my social life around university. Although there wasn’t any societies available that weren’t focused around alcohol for their socials, meaning I didn’t join any, I was still able to do things with my new friendship group. However, after seeing this last week I have started a Sober Society where from September 2020, people are able to join us who want to be able to attend groups and socials that do not involve alcohol or drug use. My hope with this is that both new students and existing students can get together and enjoy time together. This helps me remember that there are other people around me in university who are in the same position and I am not alone. It is possible to avoid uncomfortable positions and still create new friendships.
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