How do you cope with invitations to the pub?

Old 10-20-2017, 04:40 PM
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How do you cope with invitations to the pub?

Hello again

Today, I got invited to go to a see a local band by a friend in one of the pubs. I agreed to join. The thing is, when faced with something like that, it's a dilemma of do I miss-out and be sat at home bored, or do I run the risk of temptation?

I must confess that tonight I had three pints. Fortunately the friend I was with who gave me a lift had to be home so he could get up early. After leaving, I was itching to stay out, or to carry on drinking when I got home.
The good news is that there was no alcohol in the house. When I got back I was climbing the walls for another drink, but fortunately the urge to drink more of that filth has since gone and I'm now drinking decaff tea.

The thing about pubs that are busy with loud music and people dancing is that I find them difficult environments to cope with and nerve-wracking (think cycling at rush hour in London between two streams of buses). The biggest sources of uneasiness are the pressure to be dancing, and that pressure to look like I'm 'being sociable' which only makes me feel more closed up and stiff. It's that pressure which also makes me see solace in a drink. 'Ah, you know you want to, drink this and all that will be gone'; logical me knows that in the long term, that's a complete load of bollocks. Anyway, that type of environment is the hardest of all to cope with being sober. The questions I have are, how can I cope with environments like that without drinking? What can I do instead of being sat at home?
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:45 PM
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I took a pass on all those types of outings in early sobriety - for all the reasons you mention.

I can go to them now without wanting to drink, but I don't really like pubs any more at all. I've found a quieter life is much more to my liking. I go to bed early, I'm up early. Life is no longer about alcohol and the people who use it on a regular basis.

I'm sorry you drank. Maybe make other types of plans for the nighttime. Take a class? Go to a movie? Go walk along the shore? Volunteer? Cook for some friends? There is plenty to do without hitting pubs.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:35 PM
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Do you want to be sober? More than you want anything else? I do, and my decisions started from there on 2/21/16 and they are now cemented in that.

I too was very limited and careful in creating my world at the beginning. I simply said no, or didn't look for, or even entertain going places or spending time with drinking friends or in places that rattled the growing stability in my mind and body.

I took this so seriously that I only went out to dinner with my parents for probably 3 months, I slowly started going out one on one with friends for lunch or dinner (and I shared that I was in recovery)....I did a family dinner/holiday together at 9 mo sober, I turned down Christmas at the beach for reasons connecting to emotional sobriety...I didn't go to a party til a friend's 40th at 13 mo and I didn't go to a wedding til 18 mo.

There is so much more to do in life than drink. Whatever it takes at the beginning to get you towards that point is what worked for me- and saying "no" - perhaps more often than you say yes- was excellent advice I got early on.

Working on me and learning how to live a new life was The Most Important Thing, period. Still is. Now, that life has bigger broader and amazing meaning and people in it.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:43 PM
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I drank again many times because I was unwilling to change my life.

This time around I stayed away from pubs and drinkers. I didn't stay at home tho - I caught up with people for coffee, movie dates, picnics, hobbies, sports...

My real friends - even those who drank like I did - supported my need for change. The rest just fell away.

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Old 10-20-2017, 05:46 PM
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I have been sober for almost one year. My wife still drinks everyday so liquor is always in my house.
I used to go to a bar with my wife about once a week - but lately I have been spending less and less time with drinkers.
I have changed all my friends, I hang around with sober people from AA.

I was never tempted to drink because I am done with it - I was drunk everyday for 27 long years and I don't want to go back to that life.

It sounds like you are not ready to change.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
The thing is, when faced with something like that, it's a dilemma of do I miss-out and be sat at home bored, or do I run the risk of temptation?
This is a very alcoholic line of thinking. It assumes that the only way to have fun is to go to a pub. In reality, most people don't spend the majority of their time hanging out in bars and drinking. Being "bored" is a state of mind, not a function of not drinking.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:37 PM
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I stayed away from bars and such for awhile, now I could care less if somebody is drinking around me. In fact it's more fun watching people get drunk and observing the resulting behavior and being the designated driver. The fact of the matter is nobody really cares if you drink or not I have found. Like Scott stated "bored" is state of mind.

Good luck to you, the only silver bullet I have found is not drinking, having one or two was not in the cards for me.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:44 PM
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Well, I would avoid the pubs.
When we are struggling with alcohol, there is a fair amount of fear of missing out.
So we say,
“If I don’t go, I will miss a good time.”
“I don’t want to make my friends feel weird by not drinking.”
“I’ll just have a couple of drinks. I won’t pile it on tonight.”
Then we know what happens.
Fact is, many people don’t drink.
Most people don’t go to pubs on a regular basis.
Accepting that drink is doing you in is key.
We live in a drinking culture, no question.
But it doesn’t define us.
One of the first things we learn in AA and other recovery programs: People, places, things.
Stay away from the people who drink and the places where they do it.
My friend, tomsteve, who may weigh in at some point says: “stay away from wet places and wet faces.”
Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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It was self regulating for me. When my behaviour got bad enough, I stopped being invited anywhere. Then I could sit at home bored and frightened and lonely and drink.

When I had been sober a while, I started to get invitations again. I followed the guidelines on page 101 of the big book, and never had any trouble.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:08 AM
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When I was drinking I used to think of the pubs as , in themselves, my Community. The people I drank with as like my 'Family'. It was very, very hard to wrench myself away from that evironment.

Then when I stopped drinking, my perception of The Pub (well, pubs) altered. I like you suddenly, to my suprise, found them: Too busy; Too loud; Generally difficult environments to cope with; Nerve-wracking. They held for me, like you, an uneasiness from feeling under pressure to do something, or be something I was not. The pressure to maintain some appearance of 'being sociable'. I especially relate to your description of feeling 'closed up and stiff'.

You are absolutely right in that this type of environment is the hardest of all to cope with being sober.

You ask "how can I cope with environments like that without drinking?"
I counter your question with one to you Vulcan. Reading through your description of how you experience the pub environment sober, why would you WANT to 'cope with' (an easily avoided) envirionment like the pub now you are not drinking? If it's not pleasant sober, as a sober person you don't need to go. You don't even need an excuse. I promise.

One thing I made a decision to do is allow myself to be that quiet person I am. I realised, actually I LIKE other people who are quiet. People who exercise self-restraint. Who are thoughtful and peaceful. People who prefer to have 'proper conversations' (by which I mean sober, can rememer what they said so they don't keep repeating or altering it, and don't have to shout it in my ear with an obligatory sprinkling of spittle). I don't judge anyones elses worth by whether they can confidently get up and gyrate on the dance floor, so why should I use that as a measure for my own worth? That realisation of what I do (and do not) value in others led me to allowing myself to just BE that quieter and sometimes shy and self-conscious person. That there is nothing wrong with being that person. Goodness, when I first decided that it was like a massive weight being lited. I felt very free. Basically the pub meant that I either conformed to the norm (hoping to fit in and be liked by others) or be myself and behave in ways that I was comfortable doing and risk others not liking me / judging me. I decided that as it was ME that lived with me, I'd go with the person I really was. If others didn't like it, well, they didn't have to.

What can we do instead of sitting at home? Well, nowadays my daytimes are so busy that actually in the evening I'm ready to hit the sack. I wouldn't want to be up and about to the early hours like I used to be. Sometimes I do go out. Sometimes a more foodie pub is involved if I'm going for a meal, although it took a while to get comfortable with that. There are all kinds of things we can do and enjoy once we're a bit further down the recovery line. Perhaps for now though it's worth just accepting that things will feel a little strange and uncomfortable while you get sober and learn how to Live Sober.

Do you have any friends or family who aren't fussed about drinking who you could hook up with? Maybe old friends who got left behind (like my sober ones did) because they couldn't compete with alcohol for your weekend entertainment? If so, maybe you could reach out to them.

I explored 'Meet Up' because they do all sorts of things. Thing is, that was a bit rubbish because they still abways tend to make the pub a part of it (!!??)

I have made a number of good friends at AA who I enjoy meeting up with for walks, outings, chat coffee, dinner, activities generally. I have tried lots of different activities since getting sober - one of the more rewarding being volunteering. This helped me meet other people who weren't soley 'pub people'.

What kind of things did you used to like before drinking took over Vulcan? As a child maybe? Maybe you can explore some of those idea.

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Old 10-21-2017, 12:59 AM
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I decided that being sober was my top priority. Everything else was second. I felt without my sobriety, everything else in my life would fall apart. No good for me and no good for my family.

So in early quit I said no thanks to trips like you describe. Later on I found I could easily attend without being tempted. However my personality changed and I wasn't interested in the old stuff anyway. So that kind of took care of itself.

I moved on to different people and activities.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:31 AM
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How do you cope with invitations to the pub?

Thought for the Day
Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life. The most important decision I ever made was my decision to give up drinking. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink. Nothing in the world is as important to me as my own sobriety. Everything I have, my whole life, depends on that one thing.

Can I afford ever to forget this, even for one minute?

I will discipline myself. I will do this disciplining now. I will turn out all useless thoughts. I know that the goodness of my life is a necessary foundation for its usefulness. I will welcome this training, for without it God cannot give me this power. I believe that this power is a mighty power when it is used in the right way.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
The thing about pubs that are busy with loud music and people dancing is that I find them difficult environments to cope with and nerve-wracking (think cycling at rush hour in London between two streams of buses). The biggest sources of uneasiness are the pressure to be dancing, and that pressure to look like I'm 'being sociable' which only makes me feel more closed up and stiff.
It sounds as if you do not enjoy pubs.

The question it makes me ask is why do you go some place you clearly find stressful in the first place?
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:22 AM
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Posted again by mistake
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:01 AM
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If you want to stop drinking you have to separate yourself from the drinking scene until your strong enough.Also concentrate on why you wanted to keep drinking when you left.I don't want to sound preachy I have been in the same situations and had to learn the hard way.
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:03 PM
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People, Places and Things. If you go to a pub you'll drink. If you don't want to drink, then don't go.
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