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Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 10:53
by joanneL
Mrs.Poodles

Ooooer that is going to be a test and a half. Our "old" life will dog and haunt our steps and friendships will test our resolve.
It is dreadful that we have all probably done that to someone, pushed them to drink seeing it as normal or fun. I spose you could say nothing and when you are there find a good excuse, health reasons etc or out yourself and see how that goes. It depends on the nature of your friendship, I know my not drinking has changed some relationships I have but my view of it is well if they only like me pissed then bugger them. I want to get my health back and if I was pissed up and jobless would they take me on holiday then...
You will sort it, reading your posts you seem to have your head screwed on <:)>

Jo xx

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 11:23
by Andy
If they want to put pressure on you they are not friends. nI dont know anyone who would put pressure on someone like that, OK when we're out and everyone is drinking you might get the odd extras drink bought, but not for anyone who has said they are noit drinking!!!

Wasnt the case when we were young and even more stupid than we are now!!!

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 11:35
by joanneL
We all have different experiences PHM, I work in an enviroment where there is a huge social pressure through business to entertain, play hard, work hard and often drink hard. To not drink may make you not part of the scene. Friends as Mrs.Poodles says and as so many others have openly said see us as less fun less interesting.
No one would do it with the intent to harm or damage but not drinking often makes drinkers uncomfortable.

You are very lucky to have never faced a situation where you are not cheered on into having that fun drink when you should not and you are very admirable in never having offered a drink to someone to join in the party, good for you.
So many others have posted about this awkward situation..you are fortunate to have never experienced it

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 12:29
by Andy
I wasnt saying I've never felt pressure to drink in the social situation, quite the reverse, I often did drink when I didnt really want to, because I felt people would think I was boring, not part of the group, not joining in etc if I didnt.

It wasnt until I actually went out and didnt drink and sometimes no one even commented on it, sometimes I might get a raised eyebrow others the odd comment of on doctors orders or trying to loose weight or something along those lines, that I realised most of it is pressure we put on ourselves, I know that is not always the case but often is.

As to work entertaining, I work for an investment bank (and no unfortunately I done get these bonuses you see palstered all over the media :-( ), the sales and trading guys spend a hell of a lot of time entertaining and yes most do drink rather a lot, but I know a few who dont drink at all, actually now I think about it the most successful salesman we ever had was completly Tee-total, he retired a couple of years ago after over 45 years in the business!!!

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 12:54
by joanneL
As I said PHM you are very fortunate in your experiences. A great many people feel alienated from friends and or even their families if they stop drinking.
Drinkers may not like to see a mate have an issue as then they may wonder how close they are sailing to the edge. Allen Carr makes some good points in his book on this scenario and much of the reading I have done delves into this social predicament.
If your friends, and you are indcredibly lucky to have a rugby orientated social life without drink being a mans thing to do, are not slightly perturbed by you abstaining then as I said all power to your elbow you are very fortunate.
If we have a history of drinking and being part of the fun gang then changing that can immediately change how we interact within a group, be it work or socially based. It may all be in our head and self induced but essentially that change in behaviour will fracture the ties and associations we previously had.
In our behaviour changing no matter what the cause the impact around us can be felt.
The real question is how we cope with it and how we manage it through to a life without booze. The industry I work within is not anything like banking so I can only comment on my own experience. some of the most successful are hard drinkers, drinking does not mean we are incapable or intellectually stunted against non drinkers, far from it. It means we have an issue to solve, nothing more. Being addicted is not the cornerstone for failure. If we lose control and go over that edge then of course it leads to failure as it naturally would.

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 15:04
by Bela
Poodles, just stick to your plan not to drink and your friends will come around.
At least I have found this to be the case.
You will be a good listener and everyone likes a good listener.
You will find yourself having fun (really!), and they will pick up on your fun vibes.

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 15:17
by Andy
and just think of the fun watching them make fools out of themselves while drinking ;-)

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 13 Mar 2010 18:04
by WendyinOz
Hi Mrs. Poodles

Could you be on "antibiotics or some medication" for that trip.
You know.. the ones you can't have alcohol with. ;)

Nobody would question that.
Mrs.H

BTW.. It's very likely that after a couple they won't care.
They will be more interested in their own drinking.

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 01 Apr 2010 23:43
by xxkellbellxx
Hi everyone, I have spoken to a few people on here before about this but I'm not sure why I am feeling this way. I havent arranged to meet any of my friends for the last 7 weeks as This is how long i havent had a drink for. I could of gone out tonight but I feel worried that I will give in. I have been looking at other threads and know i should put myself out there. Speaking to my cousin last night, she seems to think I can have one and be fine as she has seen me do this before but she has also seen me go completely off the rails and i have hurt her in the past.

I just dont know why I cant face anyone at the moment. I am really happy to not drink again, My life has had no stress over the last 7 weeks, no hangovers and no guilt. its been bliss but I keep putting pressure on myself and making excuses as to why im not going to socialise. I dont know why i doubt myself. Sorry to ramble its just i keep telling myself i have this problem and i think i will find it hard to relax around my drinking friends :(

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 02 Apr 2010 12:21
by hamster
Hi Bell

Its sounds like others are putting the pressure for you to socialise more than you are yourself. Are you happy not socialising the way you did? If so then carry on. There are other ways to have fun with friends. Meet for coffee or restaurants (less drinking on the whole) rather than pubs.

Time will sort this out. You will find your own way and it will be right for you.

I do know how you feel right now. I havnt seen my family in awhile and I dont want the usual scenario of thebottle being opened as soon as I drop my case. They are a drinking family who love wine and chat. Dont think I have seen my sister chat without wine.

Sometimes there needs to be a point where we seperate friends from drinking buddies. I wish it were that easy with family :roll:
Julie
x

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 02 Apr 2010 13:56
by Bela
Bell, it's early days so don't push yourself into any space that you are uncomfortable with, except for the absolutely necessary ones (like work, for example, taking care of immediate family). How about reintroducing friends one at a time in the order of who you really feel most comfortable with? Meeting over coffee, as Julie suggests, or a walk in the park are great are great alternatives. You need friends, but you likely need to be selective.

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 08 Apr 2010 17:30
by Andy
dont anymore

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 24 Oct 2010 00:23
by AlexT
Hey all,

Some really interesting posts in here. Having not spent more than 5 weeks off the booze in the last 20 years im very much looking forward to finally cracking it this time.

What I find the hardest time and time again when quitting is the reaction of friends and people you know. Yes I know true friends will not thing anything less but we all know how the alcohol demon is when we are around sober people to a degree it does make us feel uncomfortable ESPECIALLY if we are the heavy drinking type and well absolutely all the people I know in my life are. Friends ive known for 15-20 years all are, family members. The stock response is always 'What do you mean you're an alcoholic, you dont even drink during the week, dont be such a wally have a beer mate' etc etc Its amazing how everyone else seems to know the inner workings of you better than you do isnt it haha

Anyone got any good defensive gems for moments like these would be appreciated. I love all my friends dearly and yes of course the real ones will stick around to do nondrinking activities but its still good to be armed with knowledge and responses for these situations!

cheers ;)? :D

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 12:51
by Indigo
Hi all xx

I am an alcoholic and have been sober for a year now and I still really struggle to go out. I have developed such a confidence issue since stopping and I can't handle having to hold a conversation with anyone, whether they're drunk or not! I've lost so many of my friends because I know I have alienated myself in the last year, but I would just much rather be on my own than trying to be sociable.

I have recently been to one or two sit down dinners with a handful of friends, but even then I don't feel comfortable and never say a word. Going to a pub or to a party of sorts is impossible. I've tried, but I start panicking and I have to leave. My husband and I always used to be the social couple, but now he does all the socialising on his own. Needless to say this has caused problems in our marriage too as he frequently comes home drunk. He definitely doesn't have a drinking problem, but I just feel it's so insensitive of him. Am I right to say that? My friend told me I would have to get used to it because I can't expect him to stop just because I have... but I can't see why not?? He promised to support me and I don't see this as being very supportive at all! Maybe I am being harsh? It just really hurts me when he does this.. He knows I still find it difficult to be around drinking and yet he just carries on regardless...

What do you think? What has your partners' responses been?

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 15:16
by Bela
Indigo, I have to weigh in with your friend. This is about changing you not changing your husband changing.
Try your best not to make it about him. I think that is a distraction. His coming home drunk alot doesn't sound ideal, but you yourself say he doesn't have a drinking problem. So maybe it's a bit insensitive, although would be more so if he leaves alcohol readily available to you or is trying to entice you to drink. Your success in not drinking must not require everyone else not to drink. That is not going to happen. It's about YOU not drinking and being comfortable in your own skin. Can you try to build social times around something other than parties and pub? How about a just getting together for coffee or tea with someone? Go to a movie together where you don't need to talk. Take a class of some sort? Volunteer for a good cause? Try to build new relationships that don't involve drinking. Must say that you have done extremely well! Just believe is your self and keep the focus where in belongs. <:)> Bela

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 15:33
by Indigo
Thanks Bela, I know you're right, I just sometimes think it would be easier if I had a sober partner.. But you really are right. This is about me and conquering my own demons and I need to stay focussed on that.

I have an engagement party to go to tonight, so that'll be a bit of a tough one, but I'm taking some clients to a spa day tomorrow, so I have that to look forward to at least :-D It's just what I need!

I hope you have a great weekend, take care <:)>

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 15:39
by Bela
Yeah, it's tough. I have been big into the focusing on changing my husband, so I am not trying to be preachy about this. It's so easy to transfer our struggles to someone conveniently near. And I believe others see it before we recognize it ourselves. Sounds like yours may indeed have a bit of a problem in the making, but he has to face that on his own first. I think the being the silent example can work, but it takes time and patience. Good luck, life can be demanding of us at time, but I beliive we can find the resources if we dig deep inside. <:)> Bela

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 17:37
by Yorkie
I've been a be'er for 15 months now, and have never noticed this board before, so it was a nice suprise to find it here: it is one that I can certainly make good use of. Thankyou Mike for setting it up.
In my normal every day walk of life, I am the only one who has made the choice to abstain for reasons of spiritual sanity...not that my friends are spiritually bereft, I would say that most of them are on the path, but we are at varying points along the way....however, could say that Im the one that does the most damage to my spiritual/mental/emotional progress when I drink into the realms of excess.

I can see that this board will provide an excellant canvas for thashing out why it is that I am vulnerable to suggestion when with my peers....Love and light, Yorkie

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 25 Feb 2011 10:45
by Guinevere
This post really struck home with me. One of the reasons why I find it so hard to committ to sobriety is because I feel that it will isolate me. I have no close friends to speak of and I have been single for years and I feel like the only way that is going to change is if I can be 'normal'. I once turned down a perfectly nice guy because he didn't drink and I thought him booring. I have a feeling the same is going to happen to me to and loneliness scares me terribly.
The stupid thing is that right now I am lonely and drunk as opposed to just lonely so it doesn't really seem to work either way. The honest truth is that I have always found people who don't drink tend to be a little booring. Not specifically because they don't drink but because for a large part they seem to be rather geeky. So here I am trying to stay sober but terrified of this condemning me to a life on the borderline of society, I don't want the only people who talk to me to be the crazy religious people and the old men in the local AA. I just want a normal life, I want to be like everyone else or at least be able to pretend that I am.
I used to love alcohol, but since I've realised that I have a problem with it I have come to hate it. Our society glorifies it so much that to be a non drinker is almost as large a stigma as being an alcoholic...

Re: interacting with people who drink

Posted: 15 Mar 2011 16:19
by Suzy77
This thread is really interesting and contains so many valid points. I dated an alcoholic in the past. Of course not realizing that back then. We would go out every night. We knew all bartenders in town and were "friends" with all the regulars. I left him after 3 years because he didnt want to get married and I think some voice inside me told me to run....I of course thought my leaving might wake him up and change him... He died at the age of 40 only a few years after we seperated. He was all alone. His funeral was at a bar..... Our so called friends all pretended his death was not alcohol related.....

The other extreme was me living with my new partner. The nice guy. I would stay sober all week. Did really well at work and got promoted. But every Friday I would down wine..... At the end it was more than 1 bottle. I didnt really admit it. I would get so drunk at parties despite my good job and have the worse blackouts. All my friends looked away.

Then I became a manager and drinking that after work wine was socially so acceptable. To be honest I had to change my circle of friends to break the cycle. I joined a business club and allthough some drank that one glass of wine this is the first place where I met many interesting and cool people who dont always drink. There we have dinner and many just drink cranberry juice. Most of these women have happy relationships, do a lot of sports, have great careers and are generally very focused. Since going there I realized I was the only one ordering my 3rd glas of red blaming it on my long day at work.

Besides dealing with my past and my spirituality meeting sober "normal" people has been the key to becoming sober. It didnt change me over night, but it helped a long the way.


suzy