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Re: social situations; what to do?

Since I'm on the road tor recovery and drinking doesn't appear to be an option; what are your views regarding social situations where alcohol is served?  Basically I'm very weak if everyone is looped having a good time and of course I'll want to jump in on the fun.  Since I'm new to the whole sober scene, I really fear how to act or what to say.  I mean, I don't want to stay home all my life, but believe this will be my biggest challenge.  I can get caught up in the excitement quite easily which could be very depressing in the aftermath.
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Avatar universal
I felt this way at first. I had a wedding to attend after one month of sobriety and I thought this was impossible to be sober at a wedding. I got through that, it was not a big deal. I beleive we alchoholics like to make 'mountains out of molehills'  I also didn;t like being around alchohol that was served at social functions, now it does not bother me.

If you honestly feel that you will end up drinking then don't go but bring along a recovery book and also find people who aren't drinkers and hang out with them. It may pay to go to a meeting the morning of the event.

This whole thing does get easier over time, and it is very worth it. I am blessed with sobriety myself and I don't forget this.

Good luck D69M, I've been in those shoes :)

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Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind words / comments.  I have to remember alcohol free is socially acceptable more than ever for 2007.  There's nothing wrong having  bottled water of coke and used to envy people who could go without, even thou I was getting smashed, especially at a wedding where champaign is served.  I swear that stuff really kicked my ***, because I rarely drank it.

Your message is good and glad to know it does get easier, I just haven't ventured out as "the new me" and a little self-conscious and apprehensive.  Strange, when I was drunk I never worried a thing what people thought; that's what's disturbing in hindsight.  

Thanks shomneg!
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
I did not frequent bars or rock concerts newly sober.I used to love the smell/euphoria of pot and a voided concerts for this reason.At two years sober with more assurance under my belt i went to concert and some drunken fool next to me was falling outta his chair and smoking stinky skunkweed.smelled like manure!I'm not a social butterfly so don't attend many events where there is alcohol.Mainly wedding receptions which i try to avoid like the plague for weddings r not my gig...all the pomp/circumstance and LONG drawn out affairs....can we speed this up eat and go home?Last wedding reception i went too all were smashed b4 the food was served the food was served 2 hrs.after getting there...i was bored hungry and went home to eat!Rule of thumb i think.....don't go in 2 bar to drink pepsi..like going into whorehouse to lissen to music.If a social event for biz or family....go..if ur feeling uncomfy and the BEAST is spewing his sweet nothings in ur ears......get up and leave!
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318928 tn?1248177416
Social situations suck when you are getting sober. Guess what?  You have choices now! I didn't attend a family christmas party one year.  My brother called me and asked why, I told him because everyone was going to be drinking.  His response was, so you don't drink!  I realized how ignorant people really are even if they love you.  They have no concept of what its like and its really a shame.  The best defense is a good offense when it comes to committing to social outings.  This is how I handle it: Plan to stay a predetermined amount of time (no longer); Have a polite excuse ready before you arrive (I have to be somewhere, I have something going on the next day etc); Know a sober friend's phone number and tell them what is going on before the event, make sure you check in with them on your way home to talk about how things went.  If allowed, bring a sober person with you.  They are the best excuse, they are either your ride home and you can blame everything on them. And if they are in recovery with you, they are game for most events like these since they have no personal connection. Lastly, SMILE!  anxiety sucks but it is amusing.  My friend and I used to crack up looking at each other when we were out in public.  Both of us had major anxiety issues.  Even walking into a grocery store was a challenge.  Good luck in everything and let me know what happens
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Avatar universal
What I also did was tell a good friend that I was in recovery, so that as such events, if he is there, we can talk about the situation. I picked him, because I overheard his wife asking him not to drink, so much as this wedding, so I thought he might be into AA, but this is not the case so far.

But it is good to have someone to share this with. When offered a drink, some people say they are 'retired'. this is a sort of code word that another AA person will get and then you can bond with that person.

At work, there is alot of talk of alchohol and I will mention that I no longer drink anymore to the right person. In work, I feel you have to be careful bec. they will suspect that u drnk at work, which I did in all my other jobs, except for the current one, altho I did eat MJ muffins there a few times. So
I have paranoia about telling them at work about AA.

There is a point where it's out of your life. Of course, the beast always lurks, I would never say that it can't get at me, because one never knows how depressed one can get. but for now, not an issue in social situations.

THe issue here for me unfortunately, is that I feel superior to the drinkers sometimes, like the guys who can't sit on a train ride home with out a beer. this actually bothers me.

I am the last person who should feel superior like that. I was once vomiting from booze on my bed and didn't even get up to clean up, just went to sleep.
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
ur right on uber..i agree with 150% and have practiced what u have in these situations!Very good advice to dark!
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Avatar universal
ibizan - I guess from what you're telling the best course of action is to avoid social events where booze is served and it pains me to say that.  Why?  It's not the drinking I seem to be missing (or hang-overs) but there's things out there I want to do... i.e. music concerts.  We'll see how this goes, but I think for now there's absolutely no reason to be at a bar; that's obvious.  I don't mind wedding receptions, but always seems like an excuse for people to get smashed.  I love drinking in the middle of the day too and with champagne, that warm glow can be quite powerful.  Nope. Pepsi and water it is!

uberadtx  - Ulcome and congratulations on the pregnancy!  You are right, it's all about choices and lets face your family or friends don't really care, they just want you to get messed up with them.  I was the same way, if someone wasn't drinking (with me) it's like I took it offensively..."come on man, join the fun"... With the meeting and support, it all comes down to ME and control.  We can't have a babysitter 24/7.  Yes to "anxiety issues" and good idea bring a friend who also doesn't drink, excellent idea!  Yes smile and congratulations on 6 years sobriety, I'm on day 18!  Wee!

shomneg - I never did the 'vomiting from booze', maybe that would have been better and wake up call.  My wife would say, "damn - you have a iron stomach".  The dynamics with wife and fiends at weddings or otherwise can get strange if the word gets out if someone all of a sudden doesn't drink.  The thing I hate, people will ASSUME you got an DUI or lost your job.  That is not the case with me, and no offensive to others where this has happened.  I just don't want people to make a big deal about it, but know they will.  There's a work party already planned next week where I know alcohol will be served and main feature!  I've already declined.  I'm just not ready to sit there with my bottle of water acting like a narc.

In regards to marijuana -  I did smoke the stit about everyday from age 18-32 (and LOVED IT) then went CT,  I don't know how I really did it, maybe shear determination and tired being a slave, but booze has been more of a challenge because of the social aspects.  I've never actually tried quitting booze, but it's working so far and nice without the bloody hang-over in the morning.  The depression is gone too!

Thanks again for all your comments guys!  

    
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
uber u pregnant?i though u a guy......and dark....no i'm not saying u should avoid events with booze....i'm telling u what i did!u'll hafta make up ur own mind and ur doing a good job!i go to very few social events these days with alcohol,went to Puerto Rican dance club with x and the alcohol there didn't bother me...those folks were in2 the dancing not the drinking!and shom-- ur coming along....keep the booze outta ur head...the mj 2!its a better way..it really is!
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318928 tn?1248177416
Let us know about any pending social engagements.  Thanks for your response.  I never thought I would be able to go to a social event for the rest of my life. hahahaha Take care
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
i think the bottom line here is......not wise to put self in a situation u b-leive will b difficult 4 u.If u attend a function,and b-gin to feel uncomfy or BEAST/urge descends upon u pick thy buns UP and proceed towards door!Remeber the robot in Lost in Space?WARNING WARNING WARNING!
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Avatar universal
I'm actually SCARED with forthcoming "pending social engagements".  I really don't know what to do because I'm doing so well; only if you knew how weak I am with this environment.

ibizan - ."Puerto Rican dance club with x and the alcohol there didn't bother me."... sounds like a blast  and  you sound strong, I am not in this regard.  Maybe folks won't make a big deal out of it... but it's really going to be awkward after so many years partaking.  People won't understand and I really don't want to explain and be a downer / narc for everyone.  I know this sounds lame, but I don't know if I can handle it.

uberadtx  - Maybe it will get easier and yes, might as well smile and try not to look uptight!

Thanks for all your comments and support, I feel like staying at home and not even bothering going out quite frankly.  I don't want to fail after 18 days!  No ******* way!


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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
being scared is healthy sign.....i c many who aren't and do drink!u owe NO ONE any xplanations....NADA ONE!so play it by ear...if u wanna go go and if not don't......everything ur feeling i felt.....and know a few have here too.the only person u owe anything 2 foremost is urself!u r the one who looks in the mirror in the morn!
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Avatar universal
Something that might work in the short term, for one or two social events where there is not a cross over of ppl - tell them you are on antibiotics (might have to do a bit of research for a plausible reason) and therefore you can't drink. This would take care of "what to tell them part" - the other part, of how you would feel and manage, are another story. My dad has been on antibiotics for three months, that's what made me think of this idea.

Will think about the other side of the equation, and get back to you later :-)
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
ya know all?most people at social occasions r more concrned with their OWN buzz if their boozers and could care a fiddle if ur not drinking...that is of course if ur not standing in a cluster with them!ginger ale in glass or tonic water with twist of lime staves them off......and it really NTB!
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Avatar universal
I don't think 'scared' is the appropriate word; maybe 'apprehensive' and not having a plan.  It's easier not going, but I do occasionally like to mingle with folks.  Getting out is part of the process of recovery and an opportunity - I just don't want to fail, my biggest fear.  I can't go back now, sober is the way for me now.  I think the depression in the aftermath would destroy me if I were to get wasted.

Alex - The antibiotics idea is a good one, and since I take 'medication' for cholesterol, if wouldn't  technically be lying; now would it?  Looking forward to the other side of the equation (after exams).  Hope dad is fine.

Thanks everyone again for all your comments!  This is a huge life-style change.
-dark

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318928 tn?1248177416
One more thing..Now that you are sober, you have choices.  Imagine that.  And guess what?  You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. :)
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COMMUNITY LEADER
ya never know until u try...ur a social guy....and smart too...u will know what to do if BEAST starts the whispering....ur sober voice will drown him out....and its ALWAYS a choice!
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Still going strong for day 20; think I'll pass on the work part this week.  Yes, we all have choices, but it might be still hard to say no at this point and don't want slip-up this early.  I've come too far and don't want to get depressed with the hypothetical of failing.

I'll mingle later,,, not sure when yet.
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* work party
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COMMUNITY LEADER
its a play it by ear situation by situation.....ur being wise......work party's can be real trips...people can and do usually make donkeys butts of themselves!r they having a dinner?i usually go for the food if its good.good friend of mine used to have big xmas party.Major foodfest potluck..it was divine! i went for the eating,then when it was done...all the boozers would start...and i went home!these people would come toasted,drunk...skinny bloodshot eyes..u know...not eat a thing!sure sign there!i don't have many alcohol sits to deal with anymore after 23 yrs.sober....have developed friends who don't drink or if so so rare!
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Avatar universal
Day 21 clean, I don't want to to places where alcohol is served.  I'm doing so well and don't want to blow it.
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
trust ur intuition..it is telling u to not attend for a reason.no need 2 place self in situations ur anxious about...uncertain..uncomfortable.No need a'tall!day 21 is sober fun!yeehah!
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318928 tn?1248177416
Congratulations on 21 days!  Imagine that!  I'm so glad you are passing up on your work party.  I admire your healthy fear, some people don't have that.  When I was first sober, I was petrified of all things normal.  I was starting to find out what my triggers were and I couldn't believe it.  I was an equal opportunity drinker, that is I drank because I was happy and I drank because I was upset. I knew no boundaries when it came to alcohol.  I suddenly realized that I didn't want to be on my knees in the middle of the day in some shopping center parking lot in tears.  That was my last drunk.  Classy right?  So what is your reward for all your hard work?  You need to nourish your spirit with something fun. You should plan on treating yourself.  I love movies and books and video games.  silly right?  But it lets my inner child come out and play. I hope you let your child come out and celebrate with you its soo important.  
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Not silly dear!i 2 love good movies,books,second addiction wearable art clothing....it is SO GOOD/HEALTHY 2 have that fear of alcohol early in the game and for as long as ur inner voice says don't need 2 go there!gr8t comments to dark who is doing good!
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