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Old 08-29-2017, 03:46 AM
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Worried

Hi all. I am wondering if anyone can help me. On Friday I am off for a night to a hotel with my other half for his birthday. It's my first ' occasion ' not drinking. How do people handle this? I know I won't drink no matter what but how do people go about it. I feel like I'm very boring sober. All I want to do it is lay around and read up on sites about people being sober etc. help!!!
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:07 AM
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Hi, lola.
I think it's pretty common in early sobriety to feel that one is "boring" or "no fun."
You are still getting used to life without alcohol, and it's a process.
Fact is, you are far more interesting now that you are not slurring your words, picking fights, getting maudlin, or one of the many, many unattractive and damaging behaviors associated with overdrinking.
It is often recommended that we avoid triggering situations early on, like weddings, parties, hotel events, etc.
If you absolutely must go ahead with the birthday event, plan in your head how it's going to go, and where you might slip up.
Drink ginger ale or tomato juice. Have it in a wine glass if you feel self conscious.
I promise you that as you get more sober time, these events will become less fraught.
Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:16 PM
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I remember the first time I went to a social occasion without drinking. I was terrified! Honestly, I think that's GOOD. We SHOULD be afraid of things that could potentially hurt us. That fear helped me to prepare well, which made all the difference. Here are some things I did:

* I told everyone at my AA meeting about it. In fact, I let it be the topic one day. That way I had lots of accountability. People were going to ask me the next day how it had gone, and that's important! I do much better in pretty much every area of life when I let others in.

* I took my own beverage, which was a Diet Coke in a 20 oz bottle. Exciting, right? That's what I thought, too. But, I didn't want to inadvertently confuse my glass with someone else's, so I wanted it to look significantly different from theirs. I never set it down the whole night ... it was my security blanket.

* I had my husband with me, and he was and is my biggest supporter. He wanted me to live, too (and I know I would have died if I'd kept drinking). He not only provided more accountability, he was a huge part of my motivation. I love him completely and I didn't want to hurt him any longer. He needed his wife - the one he'd married who'd promised to be there for him and was only there in body for some time, not spirit. It wouldn't have been fair to him for me to drink.

* I know myself. I have a tendency to make it through visible situations with flying colors, then crumble when the event is over and no one is looking. It's kind of a "I did this hard thing and deserve a reward" kind of mentality. So, I bought a sweet treat to have that night when I got home. It was something pretty decadent that I don't eat often, so I looked forward to it.

* The party was across the street. So, if I started to struggle and needed to leave, I had an easy escape. I could just say I was tired, or whatever.

All those strategies paid off for me! I made it through it, and I was surprised to find I had a really nice time. And I made it through all the holidays, which were just as wonderful as I'd remembered. And the seasons. And my first year. And then the years started adding up. Now, I truly believe that I can do anything I used to do while drinking, but without drinking. I can sing karaoke. I can go to a party. I can sit at a restaurant while my husband has a beer. I can go to sleep at night. I can grieve losses and manage anxiety and cope with rejection. I can laugh and joke around and be silly. I can do it all without alcohol.

I've created a new normal. It would be pretty easy to slip back into that old normal, so I stay diligent with my program, working with lots of others because I do everything better in community.

Maybe consider trying some of those strategies? You can do this!
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