R2R crew: The hardest part about not drinking…

…is the pressure from others. I don’t really need advice here, but I figured it’d help some others too.

I’ve got an opportunity for an IT job, but like anything hands-on, I’d have to be available 24/7 ready to roll. I figured this is a good chance to take the next step in cutting back drinking, and go from my weekend 6-pack, down to nearly nothing. Besides, when I don’t drink for a few weeks at a time, I lose weight, I’m in a way better mood, less anxiety, have a ton more energy, and I could use that right now.

Of course some of my friends who do drink, we seldom get to spend time together during the week, so on the weekend it’s traditionally "wanna go get a few drinks?" I have no problem telling them what’s up, but I don’t always feel they understand.

Plus, some dude at work is flying in this week, and again in 2 weeks, and he scolded me last time for not coming out for dinner & drinks 3 nights in a row with him.

I’m thinking of telling work people that I’m taking at least a month off alcohol for a friend who needs to have someone else in it with him. I’ve actually done that before for a friend oddly enough.

Anyone else have tips on dealing with the peer pressure as you get older? When I was young, it was just "no not drinking." But as I get older, it eliminates social time with old pals, and gets you dirty looks & comments at work. Oh well.

what do you need to do
how do you do it

‘why’ doesn’t matter

I’m in a somewhat similar situation. I’m single and the go-to date for guys is "let’s grab a drink". Since I’m meeting some of these guys in establishments that serve drinks it makes it hard to explain that I want to steer away from dates involving alcohol. I’d like coffee. I’d like to go to a juice bar. Ironically men (generally speaking) want women who "take care of themselves" but then don’t want to go to a juice bar for a date or they’re trying to fill me full of beer or drinks all night?

I don’t go into details with them as to why … which, by the way, is I’m a super duper light weight and don’t care to be accidentally slurring on a date I really only drink in situations where I’m completely at ease and know my surroundings and trust the people I’m drinking with. Sometimes I can drink 1 beer and be buzzed. Sometimes 3. I just never know and I don’t risk it.

As a result I’ve had to steer the establishments or activities to be something I’m interested in doing. Pubs, pool halls and bowling alleys are a good compromise because then they can still drink and I’m not bored.

I think it’s appropriate to vocalize up front you might like to join them for the evening but can it involve something you’re interested in too? And fill in that blank. Your part in the situation is speaking up and being clear with what you’d like to do.

I’m in a somewhat similar situation. I’m single and the go-to date for guys is "let’s grab a drink". Since I’m meeting some of these guys in establishments that serve drinks it makes it hard to explain that I want to steer away from dates involving alcohol. I’d like coffee. I’d like to go to a juice bar. Ironically men (generally speaking) want women who "take care of themselves" but then don’t want to go to a juice bar for a date or they’re trying to fill me full of beer or drinks all night?

I don’t go into details with them as to why … which, by the way, is I’m a super duper light weight and don’t care to be accidentally slurring on a date I really only drink in situations where I’m completely at ease and know my surroundings and trust the people I’m drinking with. Sometimes I can drink 1 beer and be buzzed. Sometimes 3. I just never know and I don’t risk it.

As a result I’ve had to steer the establishments or activities to be something I’m interested in doing. Pubs, pool halls and bowling alleys are a good compromise because then they can still drink and I’m not bored.

I think it’s appropriate to vocalize up front you might like to join them for the evening but can it involve something you’re interested in too? And fill in that blank. Your part in the situation is speaking up and being clear with what you’d like to do.

Coming from a guy’s perspective, I’d be fine if a girl was confident in not wanting to go for drinks. If anything, "I don’t drink" with a friendly shrug would add a little mystery – and reassure me that she’s not just certain bad things happen when she does drink. Or, going to a restaurant and getting food without drink would be fine too. But that’s coming from someone who started a thread about avoiding alcohol in dinner situations

It’s no different than the opposite, a girl who says she likes to drink would be more appealing than the one who just buckles and gets loaded because her friends do.

what do you need to do
how do you do it

‘why’ doesn’t matter

Objective. I like it.

Was doing some reading online and that’s common advice – "I’m not going" "Why???" "I’m not going, you guys have fun."

Objective. I like it.

Was doing some reading online and that’s common advice – "I’m not going" "Why???" "I’m not going, you guys have fun."

I decided to cut way back on drinking a whole ago. The next time I went out with friends they got beer and I got a dirt coke. One by one at different points they each asked why I wasn’t having a beer and I told them the same reasons you did…lose weight, more energy, etc.

They asked once, it never came up again.

I decided to cut way back on drinking a whole ago. The next time I went out with friends they got beer and I got a dirt coke. One by one at different points they each asked why I wasn’t having a beer and I told them the same reasons you did…lose weight, more energy, etc.

They asked once, it never came up again.

I feel like I can tell my close friends that. The few close friends I spend time with I’ve known since childhood, so it’s not a big deal.

My few work buddies I actually associate with I don’t mind saying "I’m taking it easy for a while" (I have before) or just like you did, give them the benefits being sought.

The other folks who are merely acquaintances or coworkers are the tricky ones, especially working in a place littered with proud alcoholics. Hearing things like "I don’t know anybody in this place who doesn’t know how to drink!" or "I poured a few shots in my coffee here, want some?" are not uncommon at all. I will say being around this attitude has aided me even more in hating drinking – it’s trashed that image of enjoying a well-made cocktail on a Friday night, and shown me a much more pathetic side of drinking.

I’ve been clean for over twelve years now and this still creeps up as an issue for me from time to time. When I first got clean, I had to avoid those types of situations because the pressure was too much for me. Now, I can be around it and "get drinks" with people if I want (I order fruit juice), but usually I still choose not to go simply because I don’t appreciate the environment. If my friends want to go out to eat and order a drink there, that’s fine, but if they want to go to a bar for drinks, I always pass. At the end of the day, you just have to do what is comfortable for you. If being around it makes you uncomfortable, you are making the right decision by staying away.

At the same time, it’s okay to tell people you don’t drink. You don’t have to go into why. You can say you’re driving or something. My one friend has a saying that I like – he always tells people that he can’t drink because he’s allergic and he’ll break out in handcuffs. It’s a joke but it’s true.

As far as office politics and drinking… I would say I don’t give a shit enough for it to be an issue. I just don’t go. If it was a situation that would really benefit me, I would either go and drink tonic water and juice or I would simply tell them straight up that I’m in recovery. That’s your call though. Different people react differently to that information so you have to be careful who you tell it to, especially in work-related situations. My experience has been that people tend to be very supportive though. I find that most people have been affected by addiction somewhere in their families and so they tend to see being in recovery as a good thing. Most, but not all.

Anyway, keep coming back and thanks for sharing!

Why would you give a shit about them?

Tell them "I’m not drinking tonight" and leave it at that. After a few nights of that they’ll either stop asking or confront you. If they confront you, tell them whatever is comfortable for you.

Objective. I like it.

Was doing some reading online and that’s common advice – "I’m not going" "Why???" "I’m not going, you guys have fun."

internally too

"what do I need to do" – stay sober
"how do I do it" – new people new playgrounds
"why" – if you can’t remember now you will later

You don’t owe anyone any details about why you’re not drinking. It comes up for me a lot since all everyone my age does socially revolves around it. My friends all know I’m sober and know how bad things were and are super supportive, and for anyone else if they ask I just smile and say I used to be a little out of control and am taking it easier now. It’s always been fine.

And what ikt said above this post is true. Keep not drinking the priority, work around it. If you don’t want to slip, don’t go walking where it’s slippery. And chances usually are that whatever you think people are thinking about you not drinking, in reality is way more overboard than what they actually think. "Social time with old pals" shouldn’t really change with you not drinking, yes you have to give up being able to get bombed with friends, but otherwise the people you keep around you and stay in touch with should never be people that harass you about not drinking. They can fuck off, there’s no friendship in something like that.

I know people who still get uncomfortable about telling others, and have heard a few things they like to say. I’m on antibiotics; I’ve made a commitment this month to working out hard and dieting; I’ve started to get allergic reactions to it; etc.

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