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YCDT 12-02-2017 06:35 AM

So, I am trying to stop drinking, which is obviously why I am here. I enjoy going to restaurants, where there is often a bar and alcohol.

Should I avoid going to restaurants all together until I am 100% I have more control of myself? Or just go and dont let myself have a drink?

tomsteve 12-02-2017 06:46 AM

i think you answered yourself in your post:
until I am 100% I have more control of myself
it reads like at this time you dont have the power to keep yourself from drinking.

theres plenty of restaurants with awesome food that dont serve alcohol

Maudcat 12-02-2017 06:47 AM

We stopped going to restaurants for a while after my spouse and I stopped drinking.
We found that sitting in the bar whle we waited for a table was a bit awkward.
In our drinking lives, we would have had a glass of wine while we waited.
It’ s been four years, and we do occasionally go to a restaurant for dinner.
I now have no problem having a ginger ale if I find I have to wait to be seated.
In early sobriety, I found it bestto avoid places where alcohol is served.

YCDT 12-02-2017 06:53 AM

I think my issue is, I can go a while without drinking. This tricks me into thinking I can drink, because it's been a while. "It's been 2 weeks, I can have 1"...Then I get insanely black-out stupid drunk.

I havent actively tried quitting all together until now, so I might be able to just not drink?
I guess its better to not put myself in that situation. Bleh. This sucks.....My husband and I are big foodies and he will be disappointed our options are so limited.

Maudcat 12-02-2017 07:15 AM

I think acceptance is key here.
Accepting that you and alcohol are not a good mix and that it is better to just stay away from it all together makes things a lot clearer.
You dont have to stop being foodies. You just need to do it without alcohol.
Entirely possible.

YCDT 12-02-2017 07:41 AM

I think I finally do have acceptance. I am just angry with myself that because of my lack of willpower, now I cant go to many of our favorite restaurants. Like 90% seriously serve alcohol, its everywhere. I dont know if my husband will even fully understand why I cant go. He will be like "just go, and dont drink".

tekink 12-02-2017 08:22 AM

It makes me miserable to be places where I would have drank before. A part of me really feels like it's being punished and tortured. Bars and restaurants have always been a big part of my life to the point where I own and operate a wine bar with my wife. I'll rarely go in the dining room these days, if I'm helping out it's in the back or in the office only.

Maudcat 12-02-2017 09:40 AM

I would stay away from those places for a while.
Doesn’t have to be forever, just for a while as you grow strong sobriety muscles.

DontRemember 12-02-2017 09:59 AM

I didn't have too much trouble with eating out,but would watch the ice cold draft beers walking by my table from time to time. The upside is; how much cheaper my meals are without booze on my tab.

YCDT 12-02-2017 10:32 AM

See, I THINK I would be fine. I mean, you just dont order it, right? But, I dont know if I want to take the chance. How do you know when you are ready to give it a shot?

MindfulMan 12-02-2017 10:48 AM

I'm a huge foodie, and have been since I was a kid. Mom would find me cooking at 10pm because I didn't like her pasta sauce and wanted to make me own. When I was about 7.

For the first several months, I completely avoided places that served alcohol.

About 4 months in, I took a different route home from the gym in DTLA, and walked up a different street than usual. It was a Sunday. I saw a sign outside a restaurant and wondered what it was. "Bottomless mimosas." Looked inside and people were having brunch.

HUGE trigger. It felt like there was a hand pushing me into the place.

Kept walking. Next block was an Irish pub where we used to go when Downtown before shows and drink a ton of beer.

Keep walking. Next block was a brewpub that I loved and used to frequent.

Triple whammy. Practically ran to the train, resolved to call a sober friend when I got home if I weren't past it.

I was, but I brought it up to my group in IOP and we discussed it a lot.

About two weeks later the library was closed (where I usually cut through) and so had to walk down that same street. The first place was closed, and I remembered how crappy and loud that Irish pub actually was. At the third stop, the brewpub, I said eff it. It was happy hour. I walked in, sat at the bar, and had dinner with no alcohol, by myself.

I've managed to separate food and alcohol in my mind now. I went out with a friend last night. She drank wine, I drink iced tea. Great French bistro food. I like food too much to deny myself.

It helped immensely that I was in a group therapy and was able to work through the craving triggers. I'm now at the point where I can go and just don't drink.

You may be able to get to that point as well. I didn't push it too much, and in the first 4 months I'm not sure I would have been able to not drink in a situation like that.

The feeling of being drunk simply is not appealing to me any more.

DontRemember 12-02-2017 10:58 AM

I honestly enjoy food more now. Before I would have a few beers with my meal and not even finish it,because beer was taking up space. Now I get water or iced tea with my meals. I did avoid places that served booze when I got serious about my sobriety at first. I tried several times to 'test' myself and go to old bars,ect..but I would fail after a few tests,so I took that off the table for a couple of months and either cooked at home or grabbed something from a drive-thru(healthy!:lmao).

MindfulMan 12-02-2017 11:14 AM

I can't say I don't miss beer and wine with food. Beer with Asian food, wine with most everything else.

THAT is my biggest sacrifice in sobriety, actually. But it's either give that up or not go out to eat much.

Maudcat 12-02-2017 11:50 AM

Me, too, Mindful.
I found that I didn’t miss wine at all, which was kind of ironic because we had wine with dinner pretty much every evening.
I did and do miss beer and hard cider, but it’s a passing thing at this point.
I don’t really remember when we started going to restaurants again. We have never been big on eating out.
I want to say, maybe 6 or 7 months in?
My spouse and I stopped drinking at the same time, which made the eating out decision pretty straightforward.

Meraviglioso 12-02-2017 12:02 PM

I am a huge foodie too and had a hard time when I quit thinking that alcohol, particularly wine, was essential to this part of my lifestyle. I enjoy food just fine now and love going to restaurants for a special treat. However, in the beginning I was very careful. I didn't completely stop going out to eat, but there were certain foods that I definitely avoided because they were too too intertwined with wine for me to deal with while new in my sobriety. For example, I avoided cheese plates because, well, cheese and wine. I couldn't deal with sushi because I just couldn't imagine it without an ice cold white wine. A bloody rare steak also no, because red wine. I also avoided a few particular restaurants, ones right on the seaside, because sitting with my toes in the sand, watching the sun go down and dining on fresh fish was just too intertwined with a glass of prosecco or white wine.
Other restaurants and other foods I could handle, but those were big ones for me and I just had to avoid them.
It passed though. I now eat sushi all the time, steaks, seafood, any restaurant. Thinking about it now I suppose I don't really eat cheese plates as much in restaurants because that really appealed to me for the wine pairings. However, I do still eat cheese in the summer at home when it is too damn hot to cook and I do a fruit and cheese plate outside for dinner. I usually make one of my special (and now known among friends as my specialTY) herb waters. I use ice cold sparkling water and put in fresh herbs from my garden- lavender, basil, rosemary, mint, etc.

I don't know that you have to avoid going out all together. If you feel you can handle it, then you shouldn't have to give up something that gives you so much pleasure. But, I would suggest really thinking about what foods or restaurants might be difficult for you to handle and avoiding those. Then think about what foods and restaurants would not be an issue. For example, pizza was a definite go-to for me when I was still having trouble. I was never much of a beer drinker and to me pizza goes with beer, so that was a non-issue food for me, having water there was no struggle or didn't give me any feelings of missing out or being let down. Beer I could take it or leave it. Wheras with sushi or certain fish, at the beginning I had very strong feelings/ideas that something was missing by not drinking.

tekink 12-02-2017 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by YCDT (Post 6693724)
See, I THINK I would be fine. I mean, you just dont order it, right? But, I dont know if I want to take the chance. How do you know when you are ready to give it a shot?

The thing to keep in mind is that seeing other people drink (in my case) makes me feel like I'm depriving myself of something (a reward). I can go out now but didn't go to a place that served alcohol until I was past 6 months.

My prior relapses got me to a point where I realized I needed to isolate myself from alcohol for awhile.

I went out with my wife when we were out of town, she ordered one drink and drank half of it. I remarked that I used to finish all her drinks off, she replied "yup".

And yes, the bill is much much smaller without those drinks.

FenwayFaithful 12-02-2017 01:40 PM

If you're going to be there thinking about how you want to drink all night and how it's so unfair that you cant and envy the people who are etc you will

A. Drink
B. Be miserable all night because you didn't drink.

Over time you'll be able to go to restaurants that have a bar and not be bothered. Big Book even says people can have liquor in their house and not be tempted once the obsesion is removed. But in early sobreity its better to be safe than sorry.

There are still days in my sobriety where I know I can't be in certain places bc I am feeling some type of way. Or I am in an situation where I am at risk so I get out. I missed 2 family weddings in sobriety bc they have open bars and I knew if I went I'd just be pissed off the whole time because I couldn't drink. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are perfectly fine at functions like this with alcohol I personally just did not feel ready for this yet

Horn95 12-02-2017 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by tomsteve (Post 6693589)
i think you answered yourself in your post:
until I am 100% I have more control of myself
it reads like at this time you dont have the power to keep yourself from drinking.

theres plenty of restaurants with awesome food that dont serve alcohol

Oh yeah?! Like where? 😉

MindfulMan 12-02-2017 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by Horn95 (Post 6693953)
Oh yeah?! Like where? 😉

My thought exactly!

YCDT 12-02-2017 05:18 PM

Thank you for everyones input. I feel terrible asking the question and then went to a restaurant and had 3 glasses of Sangria. I feel like I asked this stupid question because I knew I was going to do it. Although I am far from drunk, as I am not a lightweight by any means, I feel angry at myself and I want more. I know my problem is excess. I am not going to get any, but this has shown me that I need to just stay away from it completely. ****. Why do I suck so much?

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