Last weekend, I attended a lot of events sober that had previously been centered around drinking… well, they were still mostly about drinking for everyone else but me.
My friend from college was visiting me, and we went out Friday night to a bar/restaurant to re-connect with our friends. Right from the beginning, the first thing that happens is my friends order a drink from the bar while we wait for a table. I decide not to order anything and plan to order a ginger ale later.
Later on, two more of our friends joined us. After a while, my friends are on to the their third glasses of wine and some rounds of shooters. For the most part, I was doing OK, since all of my friends were acting relatively normal.
My friend Amanda kept ordering shooters, but since I had told her I didn’t drink anymore, she never ordered me one. This was one of those situations where I was relieved I had filled my friends in, since it saved me from having to come up with an excuse or talk about drinking.
Although I had fun, I still wished that drinking was just out of the equation. My dad told me that it takes time for you to start making positive memories in your sober life. That night I wasn’t quite there, but I made sure to be confident in myself, that I could still be funny and interesting without alcohol.
I’m not going to lie though, it was draining. That night, it wasn’t because I was with people being drunk, it was more being in a setting where alcohol is glamourized and staring at your from every corner .
I’m glad I went, I think it’s a step in the right direction. I genuinely believe that I would not have had a better time if I was drinking… I would have been so focused on the next drink rather than the people I was with.
Going to a first step meeting earlier that day definitely made it possible. Even then, I made sure to leave by 11, when I was feeling tired. I will say it felt good to pay for a bill less than $20! 😉
Here are my tips if you’re planning to go out this weekend with friends where drinking will be involved:
#1 Ask yourself is going is in YOUR best interest.
Usually when I feel stressed about an upcoming event or outing, I find talking to my dad helps me to figure out why. For example, it may be better to skip the night at the bar and set up a time to go for coffee the next morning.
On Friday, I still decided to go but I knew I was there because I wanted to spend time with close friends who I normally didn’t see in a restaurant setting where we could sit down and hear each other.
#2 Order something to drink and/or eat that you enjoy
I find ordering something sweet, like a Ginger Ale or a Coke helps me feel satisfied around friends who are drinking. Not ordering alcohol saves you a lot of $$$ which can be spent on buying an appetizer for the table or leaving a nice tip for the server.
#3 Plan to leave when you feel tired
When you start to feel tired, end your night there. Continuing to be somewhere when you’re tired is far from fun. Really want to stay? Order a coffee or an energy drink, but stay in tune with how you’re really feeling.
I’m just taking it one day a time and am grateful for every day I have sober.