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Booze Culture and Peer Pressure - what is it doing to us? Weekenders 4th-6th August.

Old 08-03-2017, 12:03 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
saoutchik
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Welcome to Weekenders Behappy1, ghostgirl and RedBerryJuniper!

Red, you are absolutely right, there is no compulsion to have a reason not to drink. I minimise the amount of time I spend where alcohol is being consumed and because I have not drank for two and a half years I rarely get asked the why aren't you drinking question but when I do I still only say I stopped because I was scaring myself which is true but is not the whole truth. There are two reasons for this coyness, the first being that I still don't want it to be widely known that I am a recovering alcoholic, principally for work and secondly if you tell the truth and say I don't want to be drunk and hungover it is taken as a reproach by the people you say it to. A little white lie to avoid hurting peoples feelings is not so bad.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:27 PM
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Great OP and responses so far. I live in a smallish town in Wisconsin - the drinking cult is very much alive and well here. Going to the tavern to socialize and drink is just what we DO here. My town of about 15,000 has 14 bars. Disclaimer - we also have a college campus, which means a few more bars, but really, it's not much different than other Wisconsin towns. In this state, if there's a wide spot in the road, someone will put a bar there. So it's just part of the social fabric to drink. It was scary at first to leave that behind - I just could not imagine what in the world I would DO if I wasn't sitting in bars and drinking. Would I lose all my friends? Would I be a social outcast? Would I just sit at home, lonely and bored? Here's what I found out - there are lots of other things to do around here that I had no idea were going on when I was still drinking. We have beautiful scenery here, and lots of places to go hiking, fishing, kayaking, whatever. There is a vibrant local music scene - and not everyone plays in bars. There are many volunteer opportunities. There are towns nearby that have interesting things to do. I'm close enough to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, that I can go to a concert, show, or nice restaurant in the evening after work if I want to. Even with all of these things to do, I now prefer to keep things simple most of the time. I really enjoy my home time - reading, cooking, hanging out with my kids, grandkid, and pets. I don't miss the endless cycle of hanging out in bars, getting drunk, suffering through hangovers, and starting over again the next day. My social life is different, but so much better. Society and the liquor industry might try to convince us that life is dull and boring without alcohol, but it's a big, fat, lie - there's a big interesting world out there that's much better enjoyed sober.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:01 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the opener Sao, I am in!
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:38 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I live in the UK and thought that everything revolved around drinking. Until I stopped and found myself some non-drinking friends. I've never had such a hectic social calender as I do nowadays. Admittedly helped along by volunteering, going to different social and sports groups over time, involvement in church and AA.
I sometimes wonder how this side of social life in the UK managed to stay so well hidden from me all those years.

I've also realised that there are often some secret little end-of-term non-drink orientated celebrations happening as well as the Big, loud BE THERE OR BE SQUARE type alcohol fuelled events. Who'd have thought it. And it's not just the older folk either. Once I've said that I don't drink and am not interested in going to bars or discos, and prefer smaller social groups, other people seemed quick to agree and happy to go do our own things.

I'm not fussed if people think I'm boring anyway, I don't owe anyone interesting last time I noticed. They can go have their 'fun', as well as the cringey hangovers remembering the escapades that occurred. I feel very blessed for the life I lead now and the people I share it with socially. Best friends ever.

The whole drinking in Britain things is hardly new. Its always been there. The Victorian gin houses were real dens of iniquity and many people died of alcoholism in that era. Its just more blatant now perhaps, but hardly a new problem. Most people can opt in and out if it though, because most people are not alcoholics. I don't have that option. And nor would I even care for it now. My recovery has brought many gifts along the way that I would possibly never have got otherwise.

Looking forward to an exciting weekend. ��
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:42 PM
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I'll have a sober weekend.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:58 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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This weekend I am getting together with an old friend that I grew up with (many years ago). We went to HS together and EVERYONE belonged to "the cult" in my HS class! Ironically enough, we both discovered that we live less than 30 min away from each other now (we grew up in a different state in the US). It's been many years since I've seen her and I'm sure that she will be expecting for us to party, like we always did in our home town. No doubt, the question will arise "you're not drinking?" I like your explanation Sao "I was beginning to scare myself..." In fact, I've thought about using the same exact excuse before if I should be put in a situation where someone is questioning my sobriety. I've also thought about saying that I'm on a health kick. Either way, I know my friend will be shocked!

My other dilemma is where we should meet. My DH suggested having her come to our home for dinner. When I spoke with her on the phone the other night she mentioned that we meet her at her house. Then, there's also the possibility of meeting at a restaurant. She actually works at a restaurant in her town and suggested that my DH and I stop in while she's working. Problem is, she's a bartender!!! I'm not really sure how to handle this. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:58 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I think that's great that you have chanelled some of your recovery activities into volunteering Berrybean. I wish I had the courage to commit to something like that. As it is at 10.58pm a cannot keep my eyes open. Goodnight Weekenders.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:18 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by saoutchik View Post
I think that's great that you have chanelled some of your recovery activities into volunteering Berrybean. I wish I had the courage to commit to something like that. As it is at 10.58pm a cannot keep my eyes open. Goodnight Weekenders.
My volunteering tends to be for occasional events rather than on going regular volunteering. My work and study schedule is too heavy for that. I've marshalled for the local running club, helped at firework displays, served Christmas lunches at the cathedral (best Christmas day ever), took charge of the donkey for our Living Nativity at the Christmas light switch on. Fun stuff to be honest. And while there I got to meet other folk who want to get on with life rather than prop a bar up all weekend. Most areas have a local volunteer listing where you can find out about opportunities. All good fun so far. If I try something and don't like it then I don't have to do it again.

BB
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:04 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Thanks for another great thread, Sao

Speaking of advertisements, they sure worked on me! I remember being at a friends house, where there was almost always a party going on....we must've been recovering from the night before and the movie "28 Days" with Sandra Bullock was on....then a commercial for Bailey's came on....we did a complete 180 from "Why would they play this commercial during a movie like this?" - to two seconds later - "Oooh, that looks good!"..... so we shut off the tv and went to the liquor store.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:30 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Some great posts today, lots of good reading.

My long weekend is ruined. A person at another division quit and I was asked to go lend my support because they are going live with a huge system change. I'll be booking my tickets to Ottawa first thing in the morning and will be flying on Monday instead of sitting at the beach. :-(
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:31 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Ugh! I'm so sorry, Dragon!
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:06 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:42 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Morning everyone,

CreativeThinker we posted at the same time so I did not see your post before I went to bed. I would say that you are really looking forward to having a long talk with your friend and catching up on things so you could say it would be better to meet at another restaurant where she has no distractions. You could suggest that it be in her town and offer to drive over which gives you the chance to mention that you won't be drinking. Since she is an old friend you can probably tell her a that you had been drinking too much without being too explicit. I'm sure she will understand.

Dragon i'm sorry your long weekend was messed up, hopefully it can be next weekend instead.

My own boss is away next week which is always a bit stressful but we are not busy at this time of the year so it will be fine.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:47 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I had a drinking dream last night. I'm sure it was because of my upcoming business trip. I'm going with a couple of local co-workers and a few people from head office too. One of which is an old double-fisted drinking buddy. Usually these kinds of projects culminate in a celebration. Like a reality show, I'm going to be trying to figure out who my allies will be.

I'm not at all worried about my sobriety. I think I'm well prepared to protect it. I'm just feeling some anxiety over "coming out".
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:02 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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interesting Wiki on prohibition in Canada. According to the article, Manitoba still has a dry community, tho I'm unable to find corroborating information.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_Canada
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:36 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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At least you have restrictions in Canada. Personally, even though I am a recovering alcoholic myself I am not in favour of Prohibition and other country's experiences of do not support it. Sensible restrictions, on availability and advertising, pricing and education would seem the best way.

This is the Wiki entry for the UKs Temperance movement.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temp...United_Kingdom
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:43 AM
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Morning all. I'm late getting around for work...catch you later.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:37 AM
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I don't know if this link will work if you don't have facebook, but thought it quite interesting that this video came up on my feed as this conversation is going on. It's about having to give a reason why you aren't drinking. Good stuff! Need more of this ok-to-not-drink-propaganda! (I don't know anything about the person on the interview.)

https://www.facebook.com/TonyBakerCo...4854916418106/
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:57 AM
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:25 AM
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Great post. My drinking started in college, then to dance clubs, then graduated to chic, expensive and sophisticated city lounges. The final stage was alone on my couch with netflix so I could control the amount and not worry about driving or embarrassing myself.
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