Facing Friends and Colleagues as Non Drinker

Old 04-29-2013, 12:30 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I just interviewed for a position that I know all of my coworkers are going to be drinkers and its part of the culture, and someone at the end of the interview said, "make sure you drink a lot of water here, especially after a night of drinking!" I simply smiled and said, " I'm not a big drinker" , to this one replied, "geez, that may be a problem" , he was kidding of coarse, but I just assured everyone in the room that it was because when I go into work I want to make sure I can give them 100% of ME! ... I got the job! We are the ones that can turn it into a positive, I love myself sober, and it shows
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:04 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by toomuchtoolose View Post
I know my decision is right....but does anyone have any advice about how to 'come out' to people as a non drinker but not have to share your inner demons with them all..........?
This whole question drove me crazy, so I hope my experience will help prevent that with you

The one thing I learnt was don't explain! I went around armed with excuses/explanations as to why I wasn't drinking, and I felt like I needed that in the early days because I wasn't ready to say that I just quit, to myself more than to anyone else. That was the major factor in all this, how I felt about it. I can't tell you how good it felt to just say 'I gave it up' to someone who asked why I wasn't drinking. No explanation necessary, I just don't drink anymore.

My experience hasn't been that no one else cares or notices either. In the early days there was definitely an element of me being hyper sensitive and much more paranoid about it than was necessary, but there has been a number of people who have given me a hard time about it, and say things like 'you're still not drinking?'. I have had a lot of 'whys' and 'why don't you just drink less' comments too. Part of the solution to this is has been to prioritise my friendships. Those annoying people has slipped way down the list. But a couple of them are people I have to deal with on a regular basis and can't simply cut out of my life. The only way round that has been confidence in my sobriety. And there is something about that they just can't cut through. I have noticed that the less I let it bother me the less they bug me about it.

Time is a great healer with this I think. I used to feel like I was going to burst into tears if someone asked me why I wasn't drinking in the first 6 months. I remember after 8 months going to a party and not even feeling uneasy around all the booze and drunk people. I had suddenly become comfortable with my sobriety and didn't even notice. I also put myself in situations where I would have to explain myself far too much in the early days. Staying away from bars and office parties isn't a bad idea.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:16 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I am known by colleagues and family as 'life of the party drunk' at every occasion. so being sober around them will provoke questions. I will simply say I got bored drinking. It is the truth.
Remember that some of these people will also be questioning their own drinking in much the same way you have.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:20 AM
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I understand your concern. Over time i came to see that how people feel about me not drinking is about them not me. It can be hard and i have used everything from white lies about medications, fitness and health reasons and some i have told i do not drink. Only the odd person who are usually also heavy drinkers have issues. Most normal people don,t think that 'not drinking' is a big deal. It gets easier but i used to agonise over these things.

Also remember 'no' is a complete sentence.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:50 AM
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Or just say you have started breastfeeding.......

The look of horror on their faces if you are a man or have no baby is priceless!

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:07 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Well I just had to post an update on this. Since my post last week, one of the people I was most worried about accepting me as a non drinker confided in me, totally unprompted, that she had been battling with alcohol herself and her fiance had been asking her to curb her drinking as it was getting out of control.

It really reminded me that you never know what other people are thinking!!!

She was really pleased I offered her some advice and suggested we go out for a meal, sans alcohol. Amazing! :-)
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:49 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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That is so great to hear, I love when things work out!
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:51 PM
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With such people I remind them that it takes a much stronger person to say 'no' than to accept.......thats for the people who go on and on about 'not dinking'. I also say its a lifestyle change......if they keep going on about it I challenge the person to stop drinkng for a month. Chances are they will fail miserably or the person will say that its their 'choice to drink'......If they say that you have them...,say its your 'choice not to drink'.

I think afew people could be feeling that they were that strong they could stop.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:48 AM
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I am very similar to you and go through periods of not drinking. This time, I have made a commitment to be sober.

I always used to go out with people for a 'drink'. After they left, I would go find another group of people to have a 'drink' with. I was a party animal but hated it..

When I dont drink - I just tell people - dont feel like it and change the subject OR my doctor told me not to drink OR that I am on some pain killers ( I play a few sports and am on pain killers when I hurt myself) OR that I have a game at 6 AM tomorrow morning and dont want to mess it up.

In reality, it is more in our head than anywhere else. People are consumed with their life/issues/problems and dont really care a whole lot if you drink or not. The people are there to satisfy their needs/cravings which in reality have no true bearing on what you (or I) are doing
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:12 AM
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This was also a touchy thing for me during my previous ten-year period of sobriety. After a while, when asked why I didn't drink, I began to just say, "Because I choose not to." Then I let them draw their own conclusions. People rarely pushed for a more detailed explanation after that response.
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