When you make a choice, you change the future.― Deepak Chopra
Here are some of the tips I’ve developed over the years of not drinking, to keep at bay any feelings that may develop to risk taking a drink and dealing with those who want you to drink in their company.
Keeping a social life, while sober
It’s tough trying to give up drinking and maintain your social life with your friends and family. There were so many times that you felt you had to go along with the crowd and drink even when you didn’t feel like it, but felt you had to, to appease them.
Inventing an excuse and arriving late. I’d arrive so late that I not only missed out on the early beers, but I’d had to drive otherwise I would have missed the evening. This gave me the perfect excuse not to drink at all.
Tips that can help you
My Tips to avoid drinking alcohol when you go out
- Avoid rounds at all costs because you can control what you buy and drink
- Try and drink with friends who don’t drink so much to reduce your exposure to bars and clubs
- Find new hobbies, people to hang out with who don’t drink
- Learn how to dance because you won’t need ‘Dutch Courage’ to hit the dance-floor
- Say you’re on medication and cannot drink
- You’ve given it up for lent or Dry January or Sober October
Before I successfully gave up drink, when I did go out with the lads, I’d try to avoid getting into rounds and try to form a smaller group with those who like me didn’t want to drink so much, or were maybe out for just part of the evening and didn’t want to be in the main round.
Rounds are basically the worst place to be. You have to move at the pace of the fastest drinker, which often meant I’d be holding several drinks. I just couldn’t keep up and the more I drank the more completely drunk I became.
I’d also alternate drinks with water and this helped. I’d quench my thirst on iced water rather than on beer, which just went to my head. Also it would fill me up and dilute the alcohol in my system further.
I used to binge drink, which basically means drinking a large number of beers on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night, often to excess and end up in a drunken stupor. In the early days it was OK, but as I got older I got bored of this and wanted a new direction for my life.
Gradually finding a new group of friends who drank less or not at all helped even more.