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Old 10-01-2013, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Questions about my non-drinking from colleagues?


Hi All,

I'm new in the office, and drinking is common in my line of work. I'm not ashamed of being in recovery, but would like to keep that private from my work colleagues. In most cases, nobody cares if I'm not drinking, but I'm almost certain my new colleagues will inquire about my non-drinking (I'll probably have a diet coke instead). It'll likely happen today, since there's a semi-mandatory happy hour in 30 minutes.

I don't want to flat out lie when asked about my non-drinking (i.e. not that I'm on medication or for religious reasons). I also don't want to respond with a sarcastic and self deprecating comment that reveals that at one time in my life, my drinking was so bad that I no longer am able to drink without consequence. For example, the response "I break out in handcuffs" would not be one that would sit well. My supervisor, however, is aware that I'm in recovery, is supportive, and has assured me confidentiality.

How do I respond when asked?
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can just say that alcohol doesn't agree with you and you're abstinent due to your health.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you are just meeting them or this is the first social gathering, just say you don't drink,there are some people like that in the world, maybe they will think you are one of them

or.. which do most think you can pull off, Mormon or Muslim
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What about a simple: Drinking doesn't agree with me or I don't like drinking ?
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As Carlotta said.also keep it brief,long explanations show you're lying/hiding something
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What they said.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If they inquire, say, "I don't drink."

If they inquire further, and ask why not, say, "I just don't."

If they inquire still further, stop going to the happy hour.

There should be nothing mandatory or semi-mandatory about social drinking. I imagine you are feeling some pressure about being the new person, but they can't make you drink, they sure as heck shouldn't be making you go to happy hour.

Good luck, be strong, and stick to your line, "I don't drink. Period."
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't want to give the impression that I don't drink alcohol for the same reason someone might not like sushi. Peer-pressure around drinking (i.e. "Oh, come on, just try one sip! I'm sure you'll like X) is common in my field.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How about 'I'm allergic to alcohol' ?
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWL1983 View Post
I don't want to give the impression that I don't drink alcohol for the same reason someone might not like sushi. Peer-pressure around drinking (i.e. "Oh, come on, just try one sip! I'm sure you'll like X) is common in my field.
"Thanks, but I don't drink."
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"I dont drink" should suffice. If they persist. "Its not exactly good for you yknow" if they carry on " hey, you know, you should try (whatever your drinking) no hangover for me tmro"
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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well so you don't feel weird , tell them its because you found it interferes with your sexual fetishes, that'll shut em up and if not watch out!
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So, from the other side, looking on. I have a neighbor who does not drink. I have known that as long as I have known him, or at least since the first time I offered him a drink or invited him to a party. That would have been when I was drinking regularly.

His answer was, or maybe his wife mentioned to me beforehand, "Joe doesn't drink." My next thought? Oh, what does he like to drink, so we can get some for the party? I am sure MOST people just shrug it off much the same. You just figure when someone says it so definitvely, they have a good reason, whatever it is. Health, personal preference, bad history with it. whatever.

I think we fret about it more than they do! and in a new group, all the better. Easier than changing in the group you used to drink with. They will just get it and offer you a diet coke.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies and advice. I think I'll just stick with the simple response of "Thanks, I don't drink" or just "I don't drink".

I did appreciate the "I don't drink because it interferes with my sexual fetishes." comment. Right up my ally for sarcasm.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I worked in an office where I was the only smoker.

When they would hound me about why I don't drink (people can be so rude), I would reply, "for the same reasons that you don't smoke." They would try to argue, "but smoking is unhealthy for you and it smells so bad on people, it's disgusting." Well, there ya go.

It's nobody's damn business why you do or don't do something. You don't owe anyone a detailed explanation for your preferences.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I, for one, am curious as to how this turns out for you, MWL1983. I have a feeling that you might be getting a little ahead of yourself. Let us know what happens. I'm pretty proud of my sobriety - I don't mean that I shout it from the mountain tops, but I actually sorta WANT people to ask why I don't drink. And you know what? No one ever does! Ha!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Still at work, and still waiting for the "happy hour". I'll post afterwards or this evening to let everyone know what comes of it, if anything.

I have a habit of getting ahead of myself...
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Here goes.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Why do you need to go to the happy hour anyway MWL?

D
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