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Socialising Sober

July 24, 2014 362 comments

What do we say to people who ask why we’re not drinking? What are some clever ways we deal with social events?

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  1. Day 2. Done 35 days before but always alone. This is the first time I have looked online for blogs and support. Only now do I realise I have a problem that needs tackling. Something needs to change. Will probably avoid social events for a bit. Haven’t figured out what I will say when the time comes. One hour at a time right now.

  2. I started with dry july…then abstain August….sober September….none for November…dry December. …juicy January…..fasting February. …masterful March. ..amazing April….magnificent May…jubilant June…etc

  3. I tried all sorts of things when asked by people at events why I’m not drinking but realised that in the end the best response for me actually was as a simple truthful answer “because it makes me feel better” this also helped me feel good and sub consciously reinforce my decision to give up drinking. It’s funny, most people drink because they think it makes them feel better but I found for me it’s actually the other way around. I stopped drinking over a year ago now and the would never go back to it.

  4. Hey, I have only just done dry July and I am considering rolling it out into August. But just thought I would post something that I found helpful – I am new here so it may have already been mentioned before so sorry if I am repeating a similar experience from someone else.
    About two days into dry July I won a bar tab at my tennis club. I turned it down. I found that once I had turned that down it was very easy to say no to everything else for the remainder of the month. It was very easy – if you can say no to a bar tab you can say no to anything right? Anytime I needed to explain to someone why I just pointed out turning down the bar tab, people understood immediately that they could not compete with a bar tab.
    I know that I will not get offered a bar tab to say no to at the start of every month. But it got me thinking that if you are ever feeling pressured into a drink it is worth reminding yourself that in the past you have turned down alcohol in more appetising situations.

  5. Here’s something else I’ve found is helpful. If you have a partner that is supporting your recovery and you are together at an event, I’ve found having a ‘code’ word or phrase to help. It signals to them that you are struggling without broadcasting it to the entire crowd, and they can help you. Whether it’s to leave permanently or just take a walk to catch your breath and sanity! I use “do you have any gum” with my husband. When we are at events and I go up to him with that question he will answer, not on me, but in the car, do you want me to get it for you? Or I’ll got with you….

  6. When I first gave up drinking I ordered pints of apple juice. Just looked like cider and that way I wouldn’t get asked constantly why I wasn’t drinking. It worked! No one noticed at all, it wasn’t until after a month of Tuesday darts nights that I felt I could say I wasn’t drinking and not cave in to peer pressure. But everyone was really supportive and it wasn’t an issue in the end.

    1. I was in my local pub yesterday all my, mates were there l was drinking diet coke, they asked me why I wasent drinking my usual cans of Strongbow cider, I said because I am going, to a fitness class, after I said this they joked around for a while, then we talked about other, subjects. After a few hours in there company I went home, to be honest the urge to have a drink was strong. I won’t go to the pub again until I’ve got more sober time, under my belt I am just glad I am sober.

  7. Today I will face my first real challenge lunch and dinner where drinking wine is expected because that is their normal. I think I got this!!! Wish me luck!

    1. For me most social events are a BYOB type of thing, so I find being prepared critical. I plan what ‘mocktail’ I’m going to bring and when people ask what I’m having I’ll say Moscow Mule, Raspberry Mint Julep, Mojito, etc. they don’t need to know its sans alcohol! I also steer clear of any ‘bar’ area at a function. For more intimate gatherings I let the host know ahead of time that I’m on the sober road. I offer to bring my own seltzer, etc. ‘Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter’, comes to mind. I did have someone say at one event when I confessed to a small group that I was living alcohol free that “that’s no fun”. Well, I think my definition of ‘fun’ has changed. I love being able to engage in conversations and actually remember them! I REALLY love waking up without that brain fog or worse, a hangover!

  8. 65 days…not a single drop has passed my lips. My friends and family are skeptical but have been supportive at the same time. A couple of my friends think Im just having a break and in due course I will succumb to having a glass of wine. In the last couple of months I have been to concerts, dinner and spent weekends with my booze loving friends, and I didnt feel the need to drink to have a good time with them, I asked them to just continue being themselves…and that they will soon realise that I am still my funny self. I am now the sober driver and get to laugh and enjoy their company…and actually remember a good time out and about.

    1. This is a very helpful post. I am only at day 3 but going out with friends is a huge fear. I know most will understand, but it’s still hard as I LOVE going out for a glass(wish that were the case, usually more) of wine with my friends!!!

  9. I am 7 days today and what usually gets me (besides emotional stressors) is the need to cut loose and with total abandon. Im hoping that riding bike or other physical activities can fulfill that need for a “fix”. That maybe adrenaline from exercise can replace the euphoric numbing of drinks with good friends

    1. If only that euphoric numbing of drinks with good friends wasn’t so fleeting, and didn’t turn into feeling so bad. I have felt what you are feeling. Those moments are hollow, although I admit they were momentarily fun. Can physical activities help? I think they help me some. Nice to see you again, Horsehead, and well done on getting that tough first week behind you.

  10. Its daunting, but doable. Im 21 days sober. I have survived a 4th of July party, a birthday party, camping, 2 days at the beach, and a gathering at a friends. Everyone was drinking and smoking weed…it was hard but I did it. Too much at stake if I slip, even once…

  11. Well done on 4 years! I know how you feel, I really do. That you have this problem but still have 4 years sober gives me hope. I messed up a 15 month quit for this reason. On 2 months now, and very glad, and need advice myself. I would be very grateful if other introverts or socially awkward people would post and say how they deal with this.
    I am not religious either, but I do find meditating helps me feel a lot more benevolent. I’m having an Asperger’s assessment soon, I’m so socially confused it might be the explanation, I always have been.
    I live in a small town and there are lots of things to do without alcohol, it’s just feeling so socially awkward is my problem. I go to a creative writing group and that’s it, nearly all members are women, so maybe you could try one, and I try golf :-)

  12. Yes you beauty this is day 3for me and I am so pleased with myself. Now I have to get myself through today. Last night I made myself a mock tail from peach and mango ice tea with a drop of ginger whilst I couldn’t taste the ginger it was refreshing. I poured my drink into my trusty ole wine glass and it worked a treat.

    Played cards during the wine o’clock time. I am proud of myself! Good luck to us all here

    1. Congratulations you! After day 4 you are going to feel amazing. You will sleep better, pee longer, your brain and liver will be starting to heal and you will feel so energetic and proud when you get up in the morning. Just remember, alcohol is poison, and you do not need or want it in your blood stream any more!

  13. Since this is new for me, and I’m not ready to tell my friends, I just say that I’m taking a break from it.
    Earlier this week, I filled my glass with what looked like it could be anything, but it was just crystal light. :)

  14. Here’s the deal. I’m close to 4 years sober. Since quitting drinking I no longer have people ask me why I’m not drinking. They don’t ask me because I am never around them. I am never around anyone in a social setting where there is drinking. I play golf, but my golfing buddies that drink know I went to rehab (and needed to!)

    I drank to fit in socially. I am an introvert. Since quitting drinking I have no social life. I am 53 years old, widowed and alone. No more bars, parties. Nothing. I am a musician, and I loved to play and sing for people at parties. But parties are no fun sober. I don’t really like people that much. I got drunk so I could put up with their stupid, boring small talk. I HATE small talk. I hate sports and shallow conversations.
    I simply don’t fit in. When sober I get bored and can’t wait to leave. When drunk I am an idiot without a care in the world. (Just like the people who bore me when I’m sober.)
    I don’t want to go back to drinking. But I know that if I ever plan to find a companion I will have to.
    There is nothing to do, and nowhere to go that I can meet new (interesting) people that doesn’t involve drinking.
    I don’t go to church as I’m an Atheist. I don’t go to sporting events as I hate sports. What does that leave?

    Quitting drinking saved my life.. No doubt about it. But what kind of life is a life alone?
    I really don’t know.
    I don’t miss alcohell. I don’t miss being drunk, sick and stupid. I still fear how dark life got at my lowest point. Trust me, there is no place darker than the bottom of a bottle.
    But I do miss drinking. I really do. It was fun. It really was.

    1. Oh Dear. You are never going to avoid people or places where alcohol is not somehow present. That’s the hold it has on people and society and how much it is being pushed on us. When starting AF it is often good to avoid situations where we may be temped, but Jason Vale in his book Kick the drink-easily, made a good point that we still have to live our lives and he did all the things, and saw all the people he did before quitting drinking. He just concentrated on the people he was with, the music and the atmosphere, and found he enjoyed it even better sober. I am 64 and 129 days AF. I am still learning to socialize AF and do have some down periods, but I make an effort to get out and about and see my friends and family. Good luck to you. You really don’t need to drink to have fun with people you like.

    2. There’s more out there than church, sporting events, and bars. In my little town there is the community players; you’re into performing arts, why not try acting? There is volunteerism. Not all volunteer groups operate through churches, but they are staffed with good people. And there is online dating. Start reaching out a little, and you’ll likely find a hand or two that reach back. And that’s all it takes.

  15. I just went through a couples weekend at a rented cottage, something I was dreading as a real test of my sobriety (Day 10 for me). They’re all drinkers, as I was, and they were all surprised. I know my own drinking patterns; deep and often. So I needed a substitute. I brought a case of Fresca pop, and drank that like a fiend. It provided that liquid, sweet in the mouth sensation, calorie free, and when diluted with Soda water and squeezes of lime so I didn’t get sweeted out, it helped me get through the weekend. In fact, whenever I get that late afternoon urge to drink, that’s what I have now.

  16. That can be a tough one, depending on who asks the question. But some things I say is that drinking doesn’t make me feel good, I’m training for a 1/2 marathon, I feel better when I don’t drink.

  17. Gave permission for my teen girl to attend grad. party. Know alcohol will be around. Know she’s vulnerable. She came up with a system to help. I’ve added time limits, will get her 2 to 3 hours in. She opened up to friends who don’t drink. Other protective methods. Praying and hoping she makes it. Comforted that if she doesn’t she will try again tomorrow.