One of the biggest things we have to get used to when quitting alcohol is mixing with other people in a social setting. It’s bloody hard at first socialising without our former best friend booze. This tip video gives you some strategies and ideas to help you when you’re adjusting to a social life without booze.
If you are feeling nervous before you head out, it can really help to focus on all the things inherent in the event ahead that make it good – things that aren’t about what liquid is going to be in your glass. Make a mental list of everything that makes your social event fun or worthwhile. Is it that you are seeing old friends? Do you have a new outfit on? Are you going to get to dance? Is it a milestone celebration? Think hard and come up with at least three good reasons that the social event ahead is fun.
If you can’t think of anything, it’s probably a good sign that you should stay home, and there’s certainly no shame in that! If you do decide to snuggle up on your sofa, drink tea and watch tele instead of putting on your glad rags and heading out – do not beat yourself up about it. I always like to picture all the other people staying home and cosy at the same time as I am, it helps to know that not everyone is partying up large, there are many, many of us doing the exact opposite.
If you have no choice and have to go out and show your face somewhere, then do just that. Show your face – then slip away. Have an exit plan, or as one of our guest posters puts it, ‘know when to back out’. You’re in charge of yourself, do what you feel comfortable with.
If you are heading out, make sure to take ownership of your non-alcoholic drink. Purchase a bottle of something yummy beforehand, or be ready with what you’re going to order from the waiter. Again – you’re in charge so don’t feel shy to be prescriptive about what you want to drink.
Try not to care what others might be thinking about your non-drinking status. What other people think is none of our business, and most people don’t give a toss whether you’re drinking or not anyway. So don’t waste a bunch of energy projecting thoughts into other people’s minds.
If you’re the one hosting the event, there are some great tips here on how to stay sane and sober while welcoming people into your space.
And finally, as always, connect with others who know what it’s like to socialise sober. You can obviously do that through our community here, or through other sober connections you may have. You may get some great tips and advice, or just support for what you are doing, all of which is very welcome when stepping out socially as a sober person is still a new thing.