how to not drink when your friends still areOne of the biggest difficulties people face when they’re trying to stop drinking is what to do when other people are drinking alcohol around them.

The temptation to have a drink yourself is one aspect of it – “they can do it, so why can’t I?” Seeing them getting merry, and desperately wanting a taste too. How are you supposed to resist the urge?

The other aspect is, you begin to realise your drunk friends are actually quite tiresome, their sense of humour doesn’t quite match yours anymore, you feel left behind. Suddenly you’re the odd one out, when you’ve been so used to being part of the crowd, one of the party. This can feel very isolating if you’re the only one who’s not drinking.

Then of course there’s the concerned advice from your inebriated companions:

  • “what’s wrong with you?”,
  • “go on, just one won’t hurt…”,
  • “don’t be such a _____ ” (insert a likely derogatory label).

This makes it even harder, and what should be a fun evening can turn into an endurance test.

This all depends on the company you’re with of course, if you’re just with your family or your partner in a restaurant then obviously the pressure won’t be so awkward, but pubs, bars and clubs with your old ‘drinking buddies’ will take some getting used to.

What really helps here is to enlist an ally – a close friend (or your partner perhaps), who’s not that bothered about drinking either and is prepared to be sober for a night to keep you company. That way you won’t feel quite so different, and you’ll have somebody who’s on your level, someone you can chat to comfortably (make sure you sit next to them of course). You won’t need to do this forever, but just until you get used to not drinking when your friends are.