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The social life of a non-drinker...

Old 06-24-2018, 08:08 AM
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It's a life adjustment more than anything. Just because you don't do all the things you normally used to do doesn't mean those are the only social activities out there.

I didn't worry about any of this in my first year of sobriety, I kept it simple and just worried about not drinking alcohol. I figured I'd sort this out in the second year. Now that I'm in that second year I'm finding I've forgotten about what was even fun about sitting at a table in a bar for three hours or more and fun activities just present themselves to me.

Note "normal" people don't actually drink the day away on Sunday. If they are actually normal it's a once or twice a year thing tops and you are not missing out on much. Drinking Sunday away tends to be the people who are heavy drinkers.

I get it, I was a bar person. I've spent my entire adult life hanging out in one bar or another.

Normal people don't hang out in bars everyday, that's activity for drinking folks.

"Normal" people are doing other things like going outdoors, maybe rafting down a river, hiking, picnic in the park, movies or shows without booze. Comedy tends to be boozy that way people will laugh if it's not that funny.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
Feeling sorry for ourselves/self-pity is quite common for those who quit drinking at some point. And I think you hit the nail on the head that that's really what this thread is all about. We want to be "part of the fun" and we assume the we need to be drinking to have fun. It's utter BS though being fed to us by our addiction. There are entire societies and cultures, even here in the USA that thrive socially/economically in complete abstinence. And they don't do so because the are alcoholics - they do so because their religion or other societal values prohibit or strongly discourage the use of alcohol.

The solution of course is to do other things. While alcohol seems to be "everywhere", there are a myriad of things that you can do that don't have a focus on drinking. Sure if you want to hang out a bars or clubs that's not likely going to work well. But even at a social BBQ's or weddings or parties, there are plenty of people that aren't drinking.
This entirely misunderstands my recent post.

I'm not interested in having a theoretical discussion about societies or corners of our culture who abstain.

I wasn't even wistfully and foolishly missing being able to drink.

The party I missed out on was not my ex-drinking buddies or some wasted booze ridden event. It was a pretty great gathering of professionals where I would have had a really fun night. I was unable to hang out because although I was not tempted to drink, I was anxious and uncomfortable with the drinking. It's that simple. I missed out on a life event, a fun one because of my issues with alcohol.

Am I swimming in a sea of self pity? I don't think so. I went home, was sweet to my wife and kids, made dinner, watched some Netflix.

I'm strong and sure in my sobriety. But it does not benefit my sobriety to pretend there aren't real life sacrifices to my not drinking. I look forward to the place that Dee speaks about - being able to stay and enjoy an event like last night's. But I am not there yet. Admitting the reality of these things is not whining and I am never giving up my sobriety. But I'm bummed I missed out on meeting some new people and engaging in worthwhile conversations with close friends.

And yes Dee - a pound is a social greeting. Lol.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:57 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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Less,

I appreciate your willingness to be frank. I get that is pitiful right now to be a non drinker in a sea of drinkers. You understand part of it is just that it's still early for you. But I sense a couple other things going on too:

You seem to have a chip on your shoulder. That you are pissed off about having your alcohol taken away from you (even though it's your choice) and you are asking for us here to knock it off, so you can take it out on us. Knock down our arguments. Say we are kidding ourselves about human social life. That alcohol is this gift that makes life better that you can't have anymore.

That is fine.. but realize how much power you are giving to this substance. This beverage. Do you really want to defend it that much? For whatever reason, physical or psychological, it has not been a good thing in your life. I submit that it's actually not a good thing in any of your friends' and colleagues' lives. It may not be devastatingly damaging in their case, but it's objectively NOT a good thing.

Is it really worth the aggravation, energy, wistfulness, resentment you are indulging in (which I think you are, even though you say you are not)? Maybe this is what you need to do to get through these early days. But I urge you to let it go.

I am in the same sort of social circle you are in. Professionals in their 40s and 50s with alcohol part of just about every event: golf, beach, book clubs, dinners, girls nights out, concerts. But I have gotten to the point where the alcohol part of that leaves me totally cold. In fact to me, it is gross. If I had friends who smoked, I would have no interest in lighting up with them. I have no interest in that, or in pouring alcohol through my liver. You don't have to miss out being with those people.

This is a mental switch you are capable of making.

You are a good writer. If you truly think life is not as meaningful without alcohol, try to defend that.

I'm not usually this argumentative and confrontational, but I am just trying to help.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
Less,

I appreciate your willingness to be frank. I get that is pitiful right now to be a non drinker in a sea of drinkers. You understand part of it is just that it's still early for you. But I sense a couple other things going on too:

You seem to have a chip on your shoulder. That you are pissed off about having your alcohol taken away from you (even though it's your choice) and you are asking for us here to knock it off, so you can take it out on us. Knock down our arguments. Say we are kidding ourselves about human social life. That alcohol is this gift that makes life better that you can't have anymore.

That is fine.. but realize how much power you are giving to this substance. This beverage. Do you really want to defend it that much? For whatever reason, physical or psychological, it has not been a good thing in your life. I submit that it's actually not a good thing in any of your friends' and colleagues' lives. It may not be devastatingly damaging in their case, but it's objectively NOT a good thing.

Is it really worth the aggravation, energy, wistfulness, resentment you are indulging in (which I think you are, even though you say you are not)? Maybe this is what you need to do to get through these early days. But I urge you to let it go.

I am in the same sort of social circle you are in. Professionals in their 40s and 50s with alcohol part of just about every event: golf, beach, book clubs, dinners, girls nights out, concerts. But I have gotten to the point where the alcohol part of that leaves me totally cold. In fact to me, it is gross. If I had friends who smoked, I would have no interest in lighting up with them. I have no interest in that, or in pouring alcohol through my liver. You don't have to miss out being with those people.

This is a mental switch you are capable of making.

You are a good writer. If you truly think life is not as meaningful without alcohol, try to defend that.

I'm not usually this argumentative and confrontational, but I am just trying to help.
Always appreciate the back and forth, but honestly not sure you read my last response.

And the idea of not being bothered by missing out on being with my closest friends at a meaningful and fun event - sorry, I just am.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:09 AM
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What I am hearing from Less is that he is keeping a strong resolve, for himself, doing his sobriety his way as he sees fit. Remember everyone reading this that there is No One Size Fits All.

Less, thank you for posting. I appreciate where you are coming from and that your path is confirmed by your willingness to put your sobriety first. That is coming from a position of strength and I commend you, Sir!
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:14 AM
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I did read it.
Just trying to help, as are we all.

You said you were bummed about missing meeting new people and talking because you ďhad toĒ leave because not drinking bothered you. What Iím saying is you can turn that corner of feeling you had to leave. Why couldnít you meet these people and talk to them? Because you let alcohol be the controlling issue.

You have a group of people here who are trying to help you. This isnít a contest on who read your mind the most accurately. You can take bits of wisdom from each reply that may help you, or you can find fault.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:34 AM
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Ugh I don't know why I let this post get under my skin.
Please just ignore.

I was trying to help but ended up scolding. So just forget it. I don't think I've ever done this in all my year and half of posting here.

I apologize and will stay out of it.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:42 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
I did read it.
Just trying to help, as are we all.

You said you were bummed about missing meeting new people and talking because you ďhad toĒ leave because not drinking bothered you. What Iím saying is you can turn that corner of feeling you had to leave. Why couldnít you meet these people and talk to them? Because you let alcohol be the controlling issue.

You have a group of people here who are trying to help you. This isnít a contest on who read your mind the most accurately. You can take bits of wisdom from each reply that may help you, or you can find fault.
Absolutely appreciate it, sorry if it came off otherwise.

I could have stayed and I have been around friends who are drinking. But my anxiety overwhelmed me and I couldn't stay. Bummer!

I know I will be able to stay in the future and not miss out. And I really appreciate your thoughts
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:42 PM
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I have 2 children with anaphylaxis to peanuts and tree nuts. They both get about 5 birthday party invites a year. Each time, I remind or let the parents know, make sure they can handle an epi pen. Many times the cakes are not safe for my kids to eat. They never miss a party, they just don't eat the cake. They love Halloween and have awesome costumes, I have to take over half their candy away. (I take candy from children lol)
It will take time to deal with the anxiety. I hope it happens soon for you.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lessgravity View Post
Absolutely appreciate it, sorry if it came off otherwise.

I could have stayed and I have been around friends who are drinking. But my anxiety overwhelmed me and I couldn't stay. Bummer!

I know I will be able to stay in the future and not miss out. And I really appreciate your thoughts
After a while that anxiety around people drinking lessens. I think it was wise of you to leave when you did. Like I said: I would test myself around drinking activities in the past with only a handful of sober days,then eventually cave to the "just one". Nowadays I still don't really test myself that often,but I'm OK around people drinking.
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
Ugh I don't know why I let this post get under my skin.
Please just ignore.

I was trying to help but ended up scolding. So just forget it. I don't think I've ever done this in all my year and half of posting here.

I apologize and will stay out of it.
tea - I hope you aren't upset and there is no need at all to apologize. I didn't think you scolded me - I rather appreciate the straight talk.

Just a sober person here trying to sort out early sobriety in this unsober world.

Thank you for your posts.
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:56 PM
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This is an anxiety story rather than a drinking one but...

I meet up with buds every sunday night for a meal.

Last night a guy I hadn't seen for 25 years was coming. I was anxious about that because a lot of the last 25 years I don't want to recap lol.

He came. We chatted, we laughed. It was great. Time fell away. My past never even came up.

No drinking by any of us either - its an unlicensed restaurant

D
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:00 PM
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My experience, some nights or gatherings I can deal with , sometimes I canít. The bottles havenít winked at me for a couple of months. But there have been anxious , pre occupied and just not feeling right moments at events. Usually get out of there , itís bittersweet but there will be other nights, again my experience and Iím a lousy writer.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:15 AM
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lg - I just read an article in the Food and Drink section in our local weekly newspaper. The article discussed the high demand now for booze-free cocktails and how bartenders were being creative in coming up with Mocktails.

The article goes on to discuss the reasons why people seem to be cutting back on their alcohol intake (more mindful lifestyles, alcohol losing its appeal to a more health conscious individuals) and the need for restaurants and bars to provide a way for "..nonimbibers to participate in the bar experience".

A new trend perhaps?
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:40 AM
  # 95 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ClearPath64 View Post
Pretty sure lg is referring to a fist pound, which is akin to a high five, back in our day. Not to be mistaken with a bro hug. You know, the way guys show affection and still retain their man card. I might have just exceeded my quota of weird American guy terms.

Or, a Southern fave - "tell someone to go pound sand" - basically, to F-off in that uniquely *polite* yet often code worded Southern-ese.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:16 AM
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Excellent thought provoking thread. I really appreciate the constructive back and forth going on here. We are not all the same in recovery and understanding that is important to me. The different perspectives here have helped me a lot.

FWIW For me it has gotten easier to be sober at drinking events. YMMV.

Have a great day everyone.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by StellaBlu View Post
lg - I just read an article in the Food and Drink section in our local weekly newspaper. The article discussed the high demand now for booze-free cocktails and how bartenders were being creative in coming up with Mocktails.

The article goes on to discuss the reasons why people seem to be cutting back on their alcohol intake (more mindful lifestyles, alcohol losing its appeal to a more health conscious individuals) and the need for restaurants and bars to provide a way for "..nonimbibers to participate in the bar experience".

A new trend perhaps?
I'm noticing it more and more here in La La Land. Also sobriety has a certain trendiness to it now. Because celebrities, etc.

If I'm at a good restaurant and their only non-alcoholic beverage choices are soda or lemonade, I generally won't return. I really don't want a coke with my truffle pasta. If they can't even manage to have a good brewed ice tea. Fortunately I'm off keto at the moment, which made it REALLY tough, as I couldn't have sugar either.

One of my go-to's is ginger beer, which I'm also noticing is more and more common. One place I went to even made their own. Sometimes I'll have them mix it with club soda and a splash of fruit juice. If I'm sitting at the bar, the "mixologist" is usually game to come up with a mocktail for me.

I am a certified sommelier, and am really good at identifying and pairing wine with food. This is a frustration that I have with eating out sometimes, I know how enhanced certain dishes would be with a wine or beer that they have on the menu.

My drinking was generally bifurcated. I'd sip wine and beer out with friends, then come home and pound vodka shots. Sometimes I tell myself that I could just do the wine part. Or taste wine and spit it out. But that is mostly just AV. I love my sober life so much that it's simply not worth the risk, even if I COULD separate the enjoyment of wine from the alcoholic isolated drinking. Which is NOTHING I would ever want to test, because the data indicates that glass of wine would lead to daily drinking and then blotto oblivion sooner or later.

Also, more tellingly, I DON'T miss the feeling of alcohol inebriation. At all. If I visualize the feeling of being tipsy, it's dysphoric, not euphoric. A bit sleepy, sluggish, and removed from the moment. No thanks!

These realizations didn't come on Day 1 of sobriety. I think the most important thing mentioned in many of these posts is sobriety time. I feel very differently now about not having wine with dinner than I did a year ago, when I was brand spanking new to sobriety. I've had a year of enjoying the presence, mental clarity, physical well-being, and peace of mind that I have in sobriety that was missing when I drank or drugged, even during periods of near or complete abstinence.

My social life is pretty much what it was when I drank. I see nearly all of the same people and do nearly all of the same things. I've even gone wine-smelling twice, I end up being the designated driver and it's good to see some of the people at the vineyards that I'd gotten to know over the years...the business of wine still fascinates me. The only thing I'd turn down is something where getting obliterated is part of the point of the occasion...like bachelor parties in Vegas. The point there is to get as wasted as possible with the groom, take him to strip clubs, and hit the slots or cards. I'm gay, don't gamble, and don't drink, so there's kinda no point to any of that! Time has also allowed observation, the most telling is that most other people don't focus obsessively on drinking at social events. Normies can take it or leave it. I've become a normie that just always leaves it.

Everybody's journey is different, there are some that simply cannot be around alcohol and drinking at all, ever. I respect that. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and to an addict, NOT using has to be the primary focus of happiness and well being, however you do it. For myself, it's a pretty easy decision to attend functions and not drink. I've made the decision that I am no longer a drinker under any circumstances, and when I look at what drinking feels like, I don't feel deprived not doing it, other than in very rare occasions like bachelor parties (also drunk people, REALLY drunk people, are extremely annoying to me if I'm not drinking myself...almost as bad as a bunch of people doing coke!). Those are occasions that would ONLY be fun if I'm drinking, and those are pretty easy to say no to, and are really rare.

LG, I think you'll get to the point where it just won't matter to you. Interestingly enough I found eventually that not having alcohol to fall back on if I felt nervous at a social function actually helped with any social anxiety that I might have had. Sober dating is the new challenge for me!

Time made it pretty easy for me, and will do so for you.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:07 PM
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Top top post, Mindful Man!

Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
I'm noticing it more and more here in La La Land. Also sobriety has a certain trendiness to it now. Because celebrities, etc.
Yep, sobriety is getting real trendy especially with the young folk. Sober raves are a new phenomenon. Doing yoga and drinking green juice until dawn instead of getting high and clubbing!

Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
Interestingly enough I found eventually that not having alcohol to fall back on if I felt nervous at a social function actually helped with any social anxiety that I might have had. Sober dating is the new challenge for me!
I like sober dating because I have way better judgment. Less likely to end up doing something I regret. If the date does go well, I find that everything about relationships is better sober. Fact.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:12 PM
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I find it hard for me to socialize when others are drinking. Especially when my husband is drinking. For me I would rather not go and let him enjoy himself. This is the only way for me not to be board or get mad at the social event.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by StellaBlu View Post
lg - I just read an article in the Food and Drink section in our local weekly newspaper. The article discussed the high demand now for booze-free cocktails and how bartenders were being creative in coming up with Mocktails.

The article goes on to discuss the reasons why people seem to be cutting back on their alcohol intake (more mindful lifestyles, alcohol losing its appeal to a more health conscious individuals) and the need for restaurants and bars to provide a way for "..nonimbibers to participate in the bar experience".

A new trend perhaps?
This would be great! I posted a while back about being at a Disney affiliated place, "Disney Springs". My daughter and husband ordered alcoholic beverages and I asked for a virgin margarita. There were NO non alcoholic beverages sold at that kiosk, except bottled water. Who would think a Disney affiliated place would not offer non alcoholic beverages?
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