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quite comical, really

Old 01-26-2015, 07:32 AM
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quite comical, really

Jason Vale is right...people just are not comfortable when YOU quit drinking! I was at a family gathering recently, and the host insisted I have a shot of rum...in my coffee! He could not get his mind wrapped around the idea I chose to not indulge. Why would it bother him?
Then this weekend we are out visiting friends from the lake. Out comes a 40 (Canadian-ism) of rye- I quietly say no thanks and have a Coke Zero- then nobody else drinks! I could tell they were not at all comfortable??
I'm not sure if they are facing their own drinking patterns, or what! I have no problem quitting. I have not announced it to the world that I have an "issue" with booze. I just quietly decided to quit (and I am not changing my mind). Even my dear wife is not quite yet on board- thinking this too shall pass, I guess.
But- I marvel at the reaction of people to those of us who have placed a cork in it. What do they care? If one was struggling with shakes, DT's and some serious withdrawal concerns, I could understand.
But, the more I get out and about and observe their reactions to my very quietly saying "no thanks", the more I wonder...why?
Surely (don't call me Shirley) others have noticed this?
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:37 AM
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I was mostly impervious to others' opinions and reactions to my drinking, so that probably explains why I am impervious still to their responses to my not drinking. I can see how it could affect a person though.

I know that it always challenges those who know you when you make any sort of significant change in your lifestyle or behavior, because that forces them in a sense to reckon with their own.

Power on.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:47 AM
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I haven't yet been in a situation where anyone would notice I'm not drinking- I'm on Day 8 today and I have a zero social life so I'm seeing that as an advantage for me. But I do recall an afternoon out in a pub one day last year when I wasn't drinking and it was so awkward! Everyone kept trying to buy me drinks and I felt so conspicuous! It made me feel resentful towards everyone for wanting me to drink with them so badly. It was like no one could understand what was going on- it was inexcusable that I was drinking water! I found I couldn't relax properly or fully enjoy myself either; and I must admit that I'm worried about that for the future when I next get invited out somewhere. I can't imagine going anywhere socially and staying sober. In fact, the thought quite literally horrifies me. So, I'm staying home for the foreseeable!

You're very strong- keep at it. More power to ya.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:52 AM
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My experience is that it's mostly drunks who keep tabs on whether I've had a drink or not. These people are no longer in my life.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:55 AM
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Oh Gabrielle- don't hide out at home! Once you have decided to not drink- the pressure is totally off you! It amuses me to no end watching the reactions of others- as if they now have to face some personal habits they do not want to examine.
You walk the high road, and be proud of your positive change. Congrats on 8 days!! You are very strong, and can persevere!
Get out there and enjoy life!
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:11 AM
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The only people I have noticed that take note of my drink orders are the waitresses and bar service people whose livelyhood is tied to my bill and most are very polite , just a little disappointed.
It's been well over a year of near daily visits to my local package/deli /neighborhood store , and I must say the owner was more persistent than my AV, lol, but now that I think about it he hasn't asked if I was sure that was "all" in awhile, He finally must get it too.
Gabrielle I hope you find it comfortable to 'go out' unselfconsciously sooner rather than later, it will happen, don't think it can't, and I am sure you will be fine. wish you well
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:42 AM
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I agree...I was anxious about going out and not ordering alcohol....very few even noticed, and the few that did notice....made a comment, like "oh, not drinking tonight?" and went back to talking....
Or even, "oh iced tea sounds really good, me too!"

I made a huge deal of it in my head, and it really didn't matter at all....
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the messages, peeps.
In response to your suggestions about going out again, well I'm a member of a theatre group and purposely got involved in the Christmas panto and now the Spring production. It serves several purposes-

1)I have to be sober in order to learn lines, attend rehearsals and actually be in the play
2) It gets me out of the house
3) It keeps me busy and occupies my mind
4) It's something I love
5) All the dancing in the panto kept me fit!
6) These people aren't a part of my personal life so I don't have to answer any awkward questions about drinking or anything

So- not every social event has to involve being anywhere near booze!

EDIT- And I absolutely no matter what have Tuesdays and Thursdays for rehearsals which mean that no matter how much I crave a drink I absolutely will not be having one on those days!
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:39 PM
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Mostly no one notices or cares. I have gotten a few comments from people I used to drink with.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:39 PM
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I do think its quite funny too when I tell people I don't drink and have not done for nearly 3 years.

I want to scream 'I am not hurting anyone, endangering wild breeds of animals, trying to change the world, smuggling rare breeds, trying to other throw the government, solve international crimes, setting the world on fire or threatening world peace....I'm just choosing to have a diet coke for goodness sake!!!!!'
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:22 AM
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Personally I could care less what someone else thinks. There are still a few people that I am avoiding because I don't want to put myself in a situation where I have to explain myself but it's not because of their feelings it's because I don't feel like I owe them any explanation. They are active in their addiction and I don't want to go there with them. I'm just fine with carrying on without them.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GabrielleSolis1 View Post
So- not every social event has to involve being anywhere near booze!
Well said!

One book made the assertion that how people react is often a reflection of how they think about you. I think this is especially true in early sobriety.

I avoid trying to make the negative judgement that my not drinking has ANY impact on other people's behavior or thoughts (e.g. my sobriety brings their own problem into light.) I find it is a subtle way my AV attempts to sneak the alternate thought into my consciousness (...but, I'd like to join them.)

That said, I think many people are relieved when someone sets the not drinking tonight precedent.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:51 PM
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It is interesting to see others reactions to someones sobriety, but can I suggest some other possibilities. And in doing so also I suggest that there can be some dangers in making assumptions about what it all means. I am also prepared to say the concerned observation of others could also be a reflection of our own obsession of sobriety, we at times can be unnecessarily imagining things and seeing conspiracies that are not there.

Firstly it probably makes sense that people who once drank with you and got drunk are going to be confronted by your sobriety. I can see that these relationships often had alcohol as a centerpiece and if one person stops then the other may feel all sorts of things from resentment, anger, fear and a feeling that that they may not even know the sober you. Who knows you may even inspire their sobriety.

Family members and non alcoholic (occasional drinkers) could behave strangely for all sorts of reasons, they may be wary if they drink it will compromise your sobriety, they may not be used to the new social sober you, they may not know that you even had a big drinking problem, they may not understand what addiction is, they may think you will proselytise your sobriety as a mission, the list could go on......

At the end of the day does it really matter? From my own experience it can send you crazy looking for outside meaning to things, it chips away at you own personal sober life and tends to shift blame and erode responsibility.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:00 PM
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I think real drinkers get uncomfortable with a quitter because on some level they know they are hurting themselves/behaving foolishly/being dominated by an addiction and your presence kind of makes them have to confront all that. Whereas if you at a party or bar with all drinkers then there is no cognitive dissonance thing caused by the contrast. But I can tell you that you will find out pretty soon who were your real friends that are glad for you and who were your drinking buddies who could care less about your health and can't conceal their own psychological issues with your sobriety.
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