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Socialising Sober

July 24, 2014 371 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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371 comments

  1. I am having a terrible time at staying sober. I go for 2 weeks and then I am back at it again. I HATE it! I really need a friend to help me stay on track. Please help

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    1. You can do this. Be proud of those 2 weeks. It doesn’t make you a failure, it’s a blip, jump back though. Been there done it and now on day 3. We can do this .

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  2. Not sure why it was ‘obviously’ non-alcoholic, but I too struggle with those comments about ‘being good’. I’ve spent a good deal of my life trying to be the ‘good girl’. Most of the social events I go to are BYOB so I always have my AF cocktails. When anyone asks “what are you drinking” I can respond, honestly, oh…Moscow Mule, or Mojito or ‘Gin” and tonic….they don’t need to know it’s AF! In fact I mixed a friend an AF ‘gin’ and tonic this summer and he had NO CLUE it wasn’t alcohol!!!

    It DOES get easier! And your response should most definitely be “YES I AM!”.

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  3. Not sure how long you have been on the sober road, but you should find that not ‘everyone’ you know drinks. I found it very interesting to be at social gatherings and seeing how many didn’t drink. If you go out after work for ‘drinks’ you just need to find the best AF substitute for you. For me it’s ginger beer, and if they don’t have that, I ask for a virgin Mojito or just club soda with lime and cranberry juice – everyone assumes its vodka and cranberry anyway! I found in a work situation, if I got to the bar ahead of everyone else and clued the bartender into my AF path, and tipped them well, he/she would just refill my drink without me having to explain that it’s AF. Not ready to come ‘clean’ with the work folk just yet. Most were just really impressed that the bartender knew my order without having to be reminded! :)

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  4. I usually just order a ginger beer. I don’t find it as fizzy as colas. I’m not a cola fan either. Most places stock them now with the popularity of the Mule drinks. I’ll also do club soda with lime and cranberry juice. Sometimes if it’s a place I know, I’ll take my green smoothie powder and ask the bartender to make it into something that looks incredibly good but AF. If only bars would stock AF spirits!

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  5. Looking for ideas on alternative drinks when at pubs. I don’t like coca cola, most other splits nor orange juice. I find that I feel totally bloated after 2 drinks of fizzy like ginger ale or soda and lime, and water and lime just gets boring.
    I’m totally ok with not drinking at home, at friends and family – as can take my own flavours or just drink tea/coffee but find the pubs a different story. I play pool in the winter so find it really hard to remain sober with nothing very good as an alternative.

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  6. Just a quick update on my AF life. 72 days and counting, and today have at last recovered my old running form. On average, I’ve run about three times a week, totalling about 24 miles. I’ve done this for years, booze being the only thing that prevented any progression. I’ve even stopped running altogether for long periods of up to a whole year, due to my booze and ganja intake. On February 2018 I decided to put a stop to that and started running again, that is until the good weather was back! I spent about 5 weeks drinking as if there was no tomorrow, during the summer. It was the last time I drank, by the way, and coming back to training has been slow and painful. I even doubted at some point that I could have the energy or the faith in myself to train the way I used to, but now I know I’m back. The session of today (a five miler), has been wonderful, and I felt the power return to my legs and lungs. Being sober is the best thing ever! Big hugs to all of you and kudos to @kitten. Congrats for your 72th day of freedom, buddy! :) xxx

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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

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    1. Mmmmm…..what can we say for ‘October’….how about: Off Limit October, Omission October, One-Way October, Overhaul October……

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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….

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  12. 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.

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    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.

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  13. 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!

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    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!

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  14. 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.

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    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!!!

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  15. 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

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    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.

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  16. 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…

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  17. 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 :-)

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  18. 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

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    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!

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