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Old 06-12-2017, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Telling your buddies

How does one go about telling your friends you stopped drinking?

I mean the obvious answer seems like it would be to just tell them and go about your business...

But it seems like the logistics of everything offer up some more complicated situations. How do you avoid the awkwardness? How do you deal with that feeling of seclusion when you're the only one amongst a group of people that is refraining from drinking? How do you handle responding to an invitation to go have drinks with a group when you don't plan on drinking?

There were very few instances, at least in the recent past, where I was around a group of friends and I was really drunk. So I feel like telling them "I have a problem, so I'm not drinking anymore" is going to induce some "wtf" reactions. I also fear that the sincerity will be questioned and the immediate thought is going to be that some external influence is driving my decision (ie my wife won't let me drink anymore). I want people to understand where I'm coming from and I most certainly don't want them to look down on my spouse.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I found that true friends understood why my marriage and family were falling apart and they either supported me in my decision, or I needed to consider whether they valued my friendship or considered me just a drinking buddy. In sobriety, I'm surrounded by close friends who would do anything for me.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming---*WOW-What a ride*!"
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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" How do you avoid the awkwardness? "
i didnt. i allowed it to happen. in order to learn how to feel while sober, i had to feel while sober.
eventually, as i worked on myself and my self esteem started rising, i didnt care what people thought about me.

"How do you deal with that feeling of seclusion when you're the only one amongst a group of people that is refraining from drinking? "
same as above and found new,non drinking friends. i dodnt go out to events where alcohol was the main focus. that would have been insane.

"How do you handle responding to an invitation to go have drinks with a group when you don't plan on drinking? "
i didnt go.
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?
all big book quotes from 1st edition
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use various responses, depending on the situation.

When with friends I used to drink with, and they want me to join them with 'a' drink:

"No thanks, I'm giving my liver a break and trying out how I feel not drinking for a while."
"No thanks, I've quit drinking! You should try it and see how you feel."

*Note: my son, in college, doesn't drink, and just out of the blue said he had quit caffeine & sodas. He said I should try it.

With workers from our jobs, that I seldom see or have just met, when we are having dinner and drinks after the job, I might say:

"No Thanks, I don't drink anymore."
"You can have a drink, but I used to drink and it got out of control (or started to get out of control), so I quit."

Or, in some situations, when appropriate, I fully explain my condition, that my drinking got to a place where I couldn't control it, so I worked a program that got me free from it, and I maintain that program. I'm doing well, committed to my Sobriety.

A quick story: I was on a fishing trip with a bunch of contractors, invited by a sales rep of a company we all bought from. Everybody was 'having a good time' the night before we went fishing (we were out of town), and the next morning one of the guys said to a sales rep he didn't know, "you sure looked like you were having a good time last night, you must have quite a few drinks". The other sales rep replied, "he doesn't drink, he has a medical condition and he can't drink or it will kill him." Point is, sometimes we overplay in our minds the 'importance to others' if we're drinking or not. Also, the ones that have to insist you drink too, most likely have issues they 'need' to drink to 'cope with life on life's terms'.

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Old 06-20-2017, 09:29 PM   #5 (permalink)

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All great responses to Gerbel's questions. In the early days of my sobriety, I was concerned that I would lose my (our) friends if I wasn't a drinker. By month 3, it was obvious the difference between drinking buddies and friends. I also quickly got past the shame stage and headed to the proud of myself stage. My family was proud of me and that gave me more incentive to stay sober. It has been 3 years and 7 months now. I don't talk about it much anymore, but if I come across someone that wants to know my story, I am happy to share. As we all know, drunks know drunks, so I know that people that are very interested in knowing my story very often have a problem themselves. If we had another type of disease and through proper medical attention, lifestyle change etc, we beat that disease, we would talk about it. Why are some of us reluctant to talk about our drinking disease. My disease started when I was 15. I started the cure at 59. That is a lifetime of feeding the bugger. It will take time to recover from it. That I know. Gerbel, don't be as concerned about your friends as you should be about your health. One old wise drunk from this site told me to build a plan. That plan will include how you react to the inevitable questions and wisecracks. You and your family are the only really important ones on this train. Don't worry about the others that aren't on the ride with you.
Best wishes to you and post often on this site. It helps
Peace begins with me!


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Old 06-29-2017, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I simply don't care what anyone thinks of my not drinking.

If someone pushes the issue, I tell them I'm a recovering alcoholic.

When it comes to alcohol and me, I make the rules - no friends, former drinking buddies, cocktail party hosts, etc.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:36 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Just say I stopped drinking for health reasons and don't say another word. Or say what my Dad said when he quit smoking. I don't enjoy it anymore.
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