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Old 06-29-2014, 07:25 AM
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Success?

Hello guys!

Just went to my first social function involving alcohol last night. Have about 30 days sober after 20 years of drinking.

Happy to report it went well. No one cared that I didn't drink and I really had a wonderful time. How refreshing to participate in good conversation SOBER. I loved it!

However, I had so much panic and worry leading up to this event. I even considered cancelling even though these are dear friends of mine. I experienced quite a bit of mental torture RE: what will people think that I am not drinking; will I be able to resist temptation, etc.

Of course, no one cared I wasn't drinking because normal, well-adjusted people who don't have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol don't monitor the alcohol consumption of others, LOL! I suppose I had to see it in action to believe it.

Was this just my AV torturing me? Visualizing myself drinking and answering awkward questions? It makes me feel less confident about how I am truly doing. Has anyone else experienced this after making their Final Decision? Any suggestions for dealing with this in future? Insights?

Thanks for listening.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:46 AM
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"RE: what will people think that I am not drinking?"

I'd wager that some were glad. That sounds like a healthy group of people to be around.

Unlike some of my old drugging friends that were not happy when I quit smoking pot. And I've lost a few alcohol abusers since I started trying to quit last year.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:18 AM
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Yes, I had that same revelation when I quit drinking. I thought it would be extremely obvious to everyone that I wasn't holding a drink. Or that I would (god forbid) REFUSE a FREE DRINK!

Years later, I can now say with confidence that very few, if any, events do not accommodate those who do not drink. And I can't recall EVER being the only non-drinker, and that was when I used to pay attention to what everyone else was drinking.

What I DO notice is how sloppy, incoherent, and silly many drinkers become as they hold conversations they seem convinced are fascinating to others. I'm sure I looked like that a LOT. It also amazes me how little alcohol it takes to change the average person's demeanor. And drinkers really do not smell very good, to me anyway. At first, they smelled "enticing" to me. Now, they just remind me of the odor of the carpet in an old bar that should have been replaced many years ago.

So BOUDICCA -- CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU PASSED A REAL MILESTONE THERE!!!!
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:28 PM
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Was this just my AV torturing me? Visualizing myself drinking and answering awkward questions? It makes me feel less confident about how I am truly doing. Has anyone else experienced this after making their Final Decision? Any suggestions for dealing with this in future? Insights?
The AV definition definitely includes those thoughts about self doubt and less-than-full confidence in your ability to get and stay sober. You deal with it in the same way you do with the AV drinking thoughts. Recognize, separate, and accept.

So, set your self confidence to all the way up to 11. You got this, Boudicca. Onward!
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies all. I appreciate the support and insight.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:13 PM
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I think it's natural to feel anxious in a situation like that, especially since it was your first function with alcohol since you've been sober. I think our chatty minds always come up with negative scenarios for us to worry about, and that would be true whether it's about alcohol or not, so I don't think it's necessarily an AV or something like that. Although I do think that because alcohol is something we struggle with, our minds give it the most attention. We begin to doubt ourselves. We imagine the worst case scenario. We anticipate judgement from others. This ability to project into the future and imagine scenarios that aren't actually happening helped us survive as a species, but it also brings a darker side, which is the anticipation of failure. Give yourself a break and know that you are on the path, and that is what matters. Know that you can keep going despite all the inevitable anxieties that will crop up. Not think it. Know it.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
Of course, no one cared I wasn't drinking because normal, well-adjusted people who don't have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol don't monitor the alcohol consumption of others, LOL! I suppose I had to see it in action to believe it.
Bingo! That's the heart of it right there. Normal people don't much notice or care if others are drinking unless the ones they see are making fools of themselves. The ones that are super concerned about your drinking are mostly other drunks.
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