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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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  1. 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. :)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Going to the pub to have dinner with friends
    & kids. Usually I would sink a bottle at pub and then walk home but Carry on until 12 or 1 in morning… tonight I’m not. Tonight I will get thru moments & come home without drinking. I’m feeling ok just wary & weary.

  7. “Oh, no thanks!. I don’t drink”. 9 times out of 10 that’s the end of it. Not everybody drinks. Not everybody is obsessed with alcohol… that’s just us. Most people won’t even ask why you don’t drink, they’ll just hear what you said and move on. If someone gets pushy about you having a drink then they probably heading into drinking problems themselves… but that’s their problem. Mine is to fix me, not them. Feel sorry for them, and move away. You know something they don’t. If I want problems in my life then the surest way I know to bring me to my knees is to drink again. They don’t know that yet. Most people don’t care if you don’t drink… it’s not a big deal. We make it one. We make up a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

  8. 28 days. Tomorrow it’s my turn to host a gathering of wine swilling Mum’s! Needless to say last time I was the last to leave! Very nervous about how this will go. Any advice appreciated.

  9. Hang in there, if you can think about all of the amazing things to look forward to about a trip to Europe, will it help balance the sense of dread with excitement? In the meantime, however many days between now & then, will help with your confidence & resilience of relaxing & enjoying yourself without alcohol. Be kind to yourself in your thoughts & self-talk, you can have a blast, and think of how much more fun it will be by travelling with all of your senses sharp. And you will remember all of the great experiences

  10. Hello! This is my first post here-i just joined! I am newly sober (again-lost count of how many times I have relapsed), and I am very nervous about my upcoming trip to Europe with my mother and sister who both drink daily and do not believe I am an alcoholic….. I DO NOT want to cave in and drink….

  11. What your not drinking ?
    Hmm no thanks !
    how come ?
    I was rapidly becoming a Pisshead,
    Oh hows that then ?
    Do you know when you go out and you always see a gang of the same people getting drunk.
    Well I realised ! I was one of them ,and I thought time to stop ,and I did simple as that !

  12. Put a positive spin on it: “yes, I’d love a drink!” “I’ll have 3/4 club soda, 1/4 cranberry juice, on the rocks with a twist of lemon! Thank you!”

  13. I’m just honest and say I don’t drink alcohol anymore and I feel so much better since I gave it up. It’s a personal response and no one can question how I feel. Good friends will be pleased for you, drinkers will go on the defensive because it makes them question their habits. I know what to expect now and feel more confident each time I am asked why I’m not drinking.

  14. I just say “no thanks” when someone offers me a drink. If they ask why, i say I don’t drink. If they ask why again, I tell them I used to drink too much so I quit. It’s not that it’s impolite, offensive or insensitive for people to pry as to the reason you won’t accept a drink or shot–it used to weird me out when people wouldn’t drink in social situations–BUT, I think it’s an easy, simple way to let someone know 1) The truth 2) Sometimes people don’t drink because…they’re alcoholics. It’s not always cool to insist someone have a drink with you or to ask a million follow up questions as to why they chose to abstain.
    If someone keeps pushing you or making you uncomfortable, it’s time to remove yourself from the situation and sometimes even remove yourself permanently from a group of friends. Kinda sucks, but not nearly as much as sticking around and having a crappy time–or worse, relapsing.

  15. Some comebacks … I have developed an allergic reaction to hangovers… I choose life! Saving money to buy a mansion. Starting a retirement fund. Tired of being broke and living month to month….

  16. I am yet to deal with this one. My Dad drinks and all we have ever done is drink together when i go to visit him. This weekend I will be telling him I’ve knocked booze on the head.
    All of my social situations involve alcohol so i also am asking this question of myself. I have a session at CADS next week so will be good to run it past the councellor.

  17. This is a tough one for me. Most of my friends are drinkers and the main thing we did together was drink… So when I say “no” to alcohol they treat it like a very temporary thing. Like, “Okay, well let me know when you’re done with this non-drinking thing.” My friends unknowingly minimize what I’m trying to do and my accomplishments to date. Just writing this makes me realize I may have to let these types of friends go. I need to seek out those friends that still support and form real, richer relationships. It’s a challenge I’m not ready to face. Need to focus on me right now – worrying about socializing and friends will need to be put on the back burner. At least it’s cold and getting dark early. I tend to hibernate in the winter anyhow so I guess good timing!

  18. I have been saying that I’m not drinking for my health and alcohol is a little like chocolate for me, it’s just much easier for me to not have any than it is to just have one. Almost everyone I said that to nodded in agreement.

  19. I need some help with this one. It’s early days yet and I’ve only had 1 occasion that I’ve been offered a drink. I said I was on antibiotics, and that worked fine. But the holidays are coming up and I want to have a few other valid sounding excuses. Not quite ready to get into detail with people about the real reason I’m not drinking. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

  20. ALWAYS having someone hold my drink when I go out to smoke or go to the restroom at concerts & other public events. Don’t want to pick up the “wrong” drink by mistake or take the chance (and I’ve heard this before) of somebody tainting my beverage.

  21. Hi Pipi, I am not proud to admit that I was once over zealous in wanting others to drink with me. Now that I have embarked on an alcohol free life style I realize how it was my own need to feel affirmed in my own drinking that motivated me to try to be persuasive.