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How do I belong in a society that drinks all the time?

Old 05-09-2015, 02:43 PM
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Question How do I belong in a society that drinks all the time?

It's getting really awful now that the nice weather is finally here in Boston. I'm an extrovert and I like to party, and I feel alone and bored.

-Everyone always going out to dinner and then drinks
-Dancing with drinks
-Movies then drinks
-Baby showers with drinks
-Weddings with drinks

It's just really hard to meet anyone because I have to decline all these events because I am a problem drinker. So I am isolating myself and a few friends aren't really calling me because they know I will drink and drive.

Sometimes i wonder if everyone else around me has a problem, if it's the groups of people i mainly know, the family i come from (Irish catholic, every event has mountains of wine and beer), and if i just have to find a bunch of mormons. I'm at a loss. I can't become friends with AA people, because I think that would be too weird.... I'm just lost
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:48 PM
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How long have you been sober?

I go places where people are drinking and I don't drink. There are lots of people who are non-drinkers or who drink one or two maximum. You might just need to rethink the way you look at these things.

Are you able to go anywhere that has alcohol and not drink? It gets easier the longer you are sober.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:51 PM
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I think it has a lot to do with perspective Chiquen.

I didn't need to find Mormons (no offense to Mormons) - I just found normal everyday folks who drink sparingly or not at all.

They're not in bars and clubs tho

Someone will come along and say 'yeah Dee but you're old'...

and that's true LOL - but I wish I'd known that 'the whole world' doesn't drink when I was younger...

D
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:10 PM
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The whole world doesn't drink, just the company you're used to keeping. The longer you're sober, the more you'll notice that the world doesn't revolve around drinking.

After over five years, I don't miss it at all.


And why would it be 'too weird' to become friends with people in AA? They're not a different species, ya know, they're people with the same problem and they understand.
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:41 PM
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It felt like that in the beginning for me too, especially getting sober at 23, but eventually my hang outs changed, my groups of friends change, and my interests change. I think nature abhors a Vaccuum and empty spaces get filled- *just not as quickly as I'd like them to.
have you looked into meetup.com or asking close Friends if they'd like to do something sober sometime?
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:45 PM
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One revelation in my new sobriety - 11 months - has been how much I really like undrunk drunks. I mean when I am around these people even for the first time there is a kinship. These are my people - screwed up, ego driven, lonely, poor self esteem , obsessive - with a story to tell!

Give me a room full of recovering drunks any day of the week - I am right at home. We even have a Mormon or two - weird!

Keep coming back
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:35 PM
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So friendships with people who are trying put their lives back together and live a sober, healthy lifestyle are....weird? Okay I guess .

The observation that "everybody drinks" is just confirmation bias; observing people and the world to fit a certain preconceived mold of how the world works.

There's a whole different world beyond the barstool, of people living, dreaming, and doing. When I ride by my old haunts on errands, I see the same regulars slouched over beers day after day, week after week, year after.... I think I can leave that world behind myself.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:36 PM
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Majority of my coworkers jaws drop when they hear a person drinks 4 to 5 beers nightly. Really! My jaw drops seeing their jaws drop. The world is full of nondrinkers.

(church, fundraisers, charities, art clubs, fitness clubs, libraries, coffee shops, book clubs, there's a membership somewhere out there just waiting to give you your very own ID card)
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:56 PM
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I struggle with those feelings too. If they would stop all the alcohol advertising, it wouldn't seem so "all prevalent" in our society and we might actually see that "everyone isn't drinking." Meetup.com was a great idea. I like the room full of ex-drinkers comment, too.

I look forward to the day when I can be in a social setting with many people drinking all around and for me to not for one instant wish I were one of them.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:59 PM
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I'm 4 months and have attended a few events where alcohol was served. I survived by walking around with a ginger ale, noone asked questions. They offered a drink and my reply is usually "Thank you, I'm good'. And you know what? I am good. I actually listen to people and talk back in a lot more relaxed manner than in my old drinking days.

Events that are too focused on drinking (like bar meetups) I just skip. It's little sacrifice for knowing what I said or done the next morning.

It's just a perception that alcohol is ubiquitous. It's not and it's a relief to see that with sober eyes.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:31 PM
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You don't have to isolate yourself and not everyone drinks. Why not initiate some of these activities, sober, with people you trust not to go out of their way to get hammered? A movie and ice cream? Dinner and then coffee and dessert?

You kind of pointed up your dilemma in your post. Some of your friends aren't calling because they know you. Will drink and drive. How about calling them for some non alcoholic fun?

I was going to attend an AA sponsored dance this evening but I'm sick and im disappointed that im missing it. AA people aren't just a bunch of drunks. Two of my close friends are members whom I met through meetings and we clicked. One has 8 years and the other 13. And they're not boring.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:00 PM
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Although AA people come in all varieties most of them are people who know how to have a good time. They just have fun sober

I find the majority of the world drinks normally or not at all. I had surrounded myself with drinkers for so long I thought the whole world were partiers which is just not true
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:21 PM
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I believe 30 percent of the population drinks no alcohol and another 30 percent drinks so little it's negligible, like a drink a week or month. It has helped me greatly to realize how little most people drink.

If 75% of people were heavy drinkers I think stopping would've been harder for me. It was a nice surprise to discover how little my friends actually drink. I fit in better socially as a non-drinker than in active alcoholism.

I went to a wedding sober and was shocked how little people drank. In the past, I was too drunk to notice.

For example, let's say I meet them for happy hour and a movie on a Friday. They have a beer at happy hour and one at the movie. I drink coke. I could go to their apartment afterwards and sit on their couch and chat for five hours and they wouldn't be drinking. The vast majority of people leave it at one or two and don't "after party" it like we did.

I don't know about you, but I can eat a piece of cheesecake and think I have died and gone to heaven with every bite. Literally. If I indulge myself in a second piece it is still good but not nearly as great as the first. If I went for a third, I would feel ill and disgusted with myself. That's how normal people drink.

I guess my point is that it helps me to realize that the vast majority of people lead good lives without much alcohol if any, so I can too.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:29 PM
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I was amazed how little most people drank when I first quit. When I was 3 months sober I went to my sister in laws wedding and was bracing myself to be around relatives that I considered " hard core" heavy drinkers who drank far more than I ever did. Well, these hardened drinkers probably had 3 drinks the whole night, no one was outrageously drunk or sick in the toilet like I would have been. It really demonstrated to me how skewed my thinking was and since that night I have been to several family celebrations and witnessed the same thing. The other thing I noticed is that no one cares if you don't drink , they really don't. I hope the wedding goes well. Xx
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:41 PM
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Hi Chiquen, I know what you mean about advertising.

Everyone's drinking when you want to stop! It's not fair!

I noticed too how they're advertising cream cakes and chocolate and ice cream because I'm cutting down! It's everywhere. But that's my look on it,because I notice it more.

And not to be too weird, when my mum died I noticed death everywhere, on TV, life insurances, everywhere.

Strangely enough, if I don't have carrots for a month I don't think about it or notice carrots in food in a restaurant or on TV.

Learning to deal with the triggers and your social life can be......
Dinners, dancing, movies, baby showers, weddings and having a great time.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:00 PM
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I guess I'm lost as to why being friends with some of you AA members is weird.If you find the right group you're likely to find party going people who used to like to drink just as much as you did.
Someone in one of my AA meetings said it best that, we aren't there because we don't want to drink we are there because we LOVE to drink, but can't function in our lives that way.
It is hard in the beginning to be around others that drink. My husband BREWS HIS OWN BEER for goodness sake. But he isn't the one with the drinking problem I am. If I could stop at two or even three beers then I could sit in the backyard and drink and enjoy all of his hard work. I'm not wired that way, one beer leads to the next then the next then I'm dying for something stronger. Anyways this is really long and drawn out to say, yes refraining from drinking right now seems like you are missing out on all the fun and excitement but what I have read from others is that it gets easier and you start to enjoy other things just as much. If your friends aren't calling you because they are worried that you might drink and drive, then maybe that's the reward you focus on is being alive and quitting before getting into an accident.
Like others said try and change your prospective and find other things that interest you that you wouldn't have been able to do during your drinking days.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MelindaFlowers View Post

I don't know about you, but I can eat a piece of cheesecake and think I have died and gone to heaven with every bite. Literally. If I indulge myself in a second piece it is still good but not nearly as great as the first. If I went for a third, I would feel ill and disgusted with myself. That's how normal people drink.
Love that Cheesecake analogy. Yes, that's how most people drink. I used to be the other way round though. The first was 'okay' the second reminded me of why I needed MORE, and the rest were non-negotiable.

I went to a hen night meal last night. The bride had 2 lagers, and three of the others had a few glasses of wine then switched to water so they'd be okay for their kids later in the night, and the others didn't drink. In my first few months sober I'd have just seen the drinkers and felt left out and sorry for myself. I used to think everyone drank like me, because I chose to surround myself with other people that did (and do).

There is life beyond the booze. Honest
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chiquen81 View Post
It's getting really awful now that the nice weather is finally here...
Do you think everyone feels this way, too?

Seems unlikely.

A great way to stop obsessing about alcohol is to find things you enjoy doing without it.

I used to quit drinking and then sit around feeling sorry for myself because everyone was drinking except me and I was missing all the fun. That's probably why I had to quit drinking again and again and again.

One day I quit drinking and started building a sober life for myself. What a remarkable difference!

Best of Luck on Your Journey.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chiquen81 View Post
Sometimes i wonder if everyone else around me has a problem
Originally Posted by chiquen81 View Post
I can't become friends with AA people, because I think that would be too weird.... I'm just lost
The people that have the same problem are the people in AA.

Whether I drink or I am sober, I am going to be around other alcoholics. Today I choose to be around the ones that are sober. I can relate to them, they have become my friends.

You might be amazed at the bonds that can be created if you reach out to other members in AA. They will not think being friends with you is weird at all.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:27 AM
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You don't have to just find a bunch of Mormons....

You just have to find within you the awareness that you need not drink poison to express and experience life.

Alcohol indeed is infused throughout the world.

Far far too much, if you ask me.

I have found that living fully, with Joy and sincerity, doesn't really need alcohol.

For me, embracing sobriety as a blessing has made the difference.
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