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interacting with people who drink

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
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Jaxom
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Jaxom » 24 Dec 2012 11:26

Of course you did mark. This is a serious site dealing with real problems. We really are not interested in links to commercial products as per the links in your signature. Maybe you think we are a sad old bunch of alkies who can be duped into anything. Wrong! We are people changing our lives. Go get one.
An Inuit story. An old man is talking to his grandson: 'Inside me are two dogs fighting: a black one and a white one.` `Which one will win?' asks the boy. 'The one I feed'

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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Lottie38 » 24 Dec 2012 11:31

The text is a copy of an earlier post. It's not a link to kitchens is it? There was one on the PAWS thread a while back. My legs hurt so much at that point I was willing to try anything so nealy bought one ! :D
You can't pour from an empty cup.

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Chiffon
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Chiffon » 05 Jan 2015 00:25

I'm surprised that this thread hasn't been used for over 2 years. I think it could be really helpful, for tips and advice :)

Kevinm
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Kevinm » 20 Mar 2018 23:35

Haven't had a drink since March 5.

On Saturday (St paddys day) I went to an old school pals reunion in a pub to watch the rugby. I felt obliged to go as I had suggested the idea when drunk one time some weeks ago.

I didn't tell anyone that id given up alcohol but made an excuse on the day about not drinking. I said our babysitter had let us down and my wife was out that day too.

I arrived at 2pm, a bit after some of the other guys who were well oiled by that time and had 3 zero alcohol beers. I left at 5pm so managed to set for 3 hours. This is the first time in my life, I'm 47, that I've ever been the non drinker in a pub group.

I must admit it felt great to be in control as usually I'm the drunkest person there and by 5pm I would have been in blackout stage.

Don't get me wrong I was glad to leave at 5pm because people were becoming annoyingly drunk. Overall it wasn't as hard as I thought but I did need a plan and had to steel myself to carry it out.

I had always thought I would be ridiculed or something but no-one actually cared. Just being there was enough for them it seems. I've got two social events in April where I'm planning to attend and not drink.

Fingers crossed.

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SueDenim
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by SueDenim » 21 Mar 2018 00:44

Well done, Kevin - it can be difficult to stay dry when others are drinking.

I decided when I first gave up that I would live my life as I had before, just without alcohol (doesn't that sound easier than it really is :D). My social life is important to me, and I figured that if I stopped visiting licensed premises and stopped seeing people who drank alcohol it would disappear PDQ. I have been out this evening with a friend who drank wine (we used to share a couple of bottles) and I had a soft drink, and I've lost count of the number of social occasions I have been to over the past 7 months or so when I've been the only (or one of the only) non-drinker.

At first, I made some excuse about not sleeping and not feeling well (this was very true), and now nobody expects me to drink - they have just got used to it, and as you say, nobody really cares anyway.

It gets easier the more you do it - honestly.

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Maypole
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Maypole » 21 Mar 2018 15:41

Great thread.... when I relapsed its because of this exact issue

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Lush4life
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Lush4life » 21 Mar 2018 15:44

Maypole wrote:Great thread.... when I relapsed its because of this exact issue
Just wanted to say hello to you maypole and really hoping you can get where you want/need to be on this road <:)>
Sobriety is never owned ; it's rented
And rent is due Every day.

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Maypole
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Maypole » 21 Mar 2018 16:01

Lush4life wrote:
Maypole wrote:Great thread.... when I relapsed its because of this exact issue
Just wanted to say hello to you maypole and really hoping you can get where you want/need to be on this road <:)>
Oh thank you dear Lushie, you have always been such a dear... I had stopped posting because of an horrendous relapse and now in a very dark bad place... but need to pull myself out again and the only way is posting on BE.... hope you’re well?

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Lush4life
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Lush4life » 21 Mar 2018 16:05

Maypole wrote:
Lush4life wrote:
Maypole wrote:Great thread.... when I relapsed its because of this exact issue
Just wanted to say hello to you maypole and really hoping you can get where you want/need to be on this road <:)>
Oh thank you dear Lushie, you have always been such a dear... I had stopped posting because of an horrendous relapse and now in a very dark bad place... but need to pull myself out again and the only way is posting on BE.... hope you’re well?
Yep in rude health me , rather plump but sober :lol:
When I was drinking I got very thin, not so good at all tbh, so am sort of ok with being on the well upholstered side !
Chin up my lovely x
Sobriety is never owned ; it's rented
And rent is due Every day.

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Rachel
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Rachel » 21 Mar 2018 17:07

I think you've got to be very very careful about all this. Personally, after a lot of painful relapses, and/or evenings spent in state of absolute torture and anxiety in the effort not to relapse, I decided it was better for me to avoid big triggers until I'd got quite a bit of sobriety under my belt.
You do need to learn to deal with these situations, but that doesn't require complete immersion and exposure to them early on.

In the early days, there was generally a strong desire to drink, full stop - almost, but not quite, as a default. When you've been sober for a few months, the general desire to drink diminishes immensely. You can deal with the trigger situations a lot more easily and effectively without that high level of desire for booze as your baseline.

Right after coming out of rehab I would go to pubs (on my own) and order a coffee thinking, 'This is fine. I'm absolutely fine. I don't want to drink at all.'
I lasted ten weeks.
There was undoubtedly more to it than the pub visits, but I was not being strictly honest with myself. I think part of me wanted to be near the booze, and really there is only one reason, ultimately why you want to be near the booze. (Same applies to my drinking AF beer. I still disallow myself it very occasionally - if I sense I want it because I am stressed - drinking it then in a small way reinforces the alcohol = destresser conditioning.)

Sorry to bring a downer on this, but it's important to be wary, on your guard and ruthlessly honest with yourself about your motives. I imagine, though, that it helps if you are doing your not-drinking with people who know you don't drink any more. No such restrictive influences with my solitary lunchtime pub outings.

Anyway, I did miss my husband's first girlfriend's wedding ( :? ) I didn't got to a gig I'd got a ticket for (boy, was the aforementioned husband angry at the time, but I got an apology and more understanding later), missed out on some after work drinks, and put off going on holiday for about 6 months (my past relapse happened on holiday). A small chunk of less sociable life. Ok I admit I'm not that sociable so maybe not as big a sacrifice as it would be for some. But it was temporary. All these things can wait a few months if you need them to.

Apologies if I sound a bit preachy. I feel quite strongly about this.
Rachel

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SueDenim
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by SueDenim » 21 Mar 2018 17:24

Rachel wrote:Apologies if I sound a bit preachy. I feel quite strongly about this.
You don't sound preachy at all.

I know I keep saying it, but (to me) if it works, it works, and that's all there is to it. I understand your point about AF drinks, and it makes perfect sense. I found them really helpful at first, though. I still use them now and then; but am more likely to have a soft drink or a vitamin tab dissolved in water. I don't see them as having associations with alcohol so much as associations with food or celebrations, so I'll have an AF beer with a curry, or a bottle of AF fizz at Christmas. I used to drink wine in the evenings (alone or in company), and now I don't replace that with AF wine; but I do drink whatever I'm having in a nice 'adult' glass, as that matters to me for some reason. So far, it hasn't been the thin end of a wedge, although I appreciate that I am nowhere near as far down the line as you are, and may have to eat my words.

I am a social creature, and if I'd given up going out and seeing people at the same time as giving up drinking, I honestly think it would have been too much to take on. Another way to look at it is that i am learning not to associate going out (or going to particular venues) with alcohol. I can go and stick to soft drinks but still enjoy myself.

I'm not so confident about a holiday abroad, though. I think I'll be sticking with short breaks in the UK for a while.

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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Kevinm » 22 Mar 2018 07:43

I take on board the advice to tread carefully.

I have a holiday to Spain two weeks and tbh the thought of not having a beer in the sunshine seems impossible. However, I know that despite the beauty of the first few sips it's what follows after that makes it not worth it. My issue with not being able to stop after my first one despite the pleasure dissipating is still at the forefront of my mind.

I know it's when time passes and I think I'm in control again that I get complacent and a binge is just round the corner.

Not too sure why I had the AF beers last Saturday as opposed to a Coke. It maybe just felt more natural as everyone else had a beer in hand. As I said before, the biggest surprise was that nobody really cared about me not drinking and I found that generally I could join in the craic without having to be sozzled. This was in a way a big confidence boost to me as I realized that maybe I'm not as quiet and boring without alcohol that I thought I was. Has the AV been fooling me all this time on this one too?

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Rachel
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Rachel » 22 Mar 2018 10:26

SueD you sober date speaks for itself <:)> Yes we do each have to find what works (and doesn't work) for us.

Holidays are really hard, Kevin. I have a house in France - the place where it seems it's ok to drink in public from 11am onwards!- so I had to get over it, and of course I did, but I still get occasional twinges.

Holidays have a lot of tricky things going on about them. Holidays were for me things on which it was officially ok to drink (even though I did all the time anyway...) Guilt free drinking (in principle) because, hey, it's a holiday!
For many, there also a bit of stress in the getting there - so a drink at the airport. At the airport, you can drink at any time of day.
The when the stress is over, there's that drink you have because you're relieved.
Then the holiday starts proper. It seems like everyone else is drinking and depending on the type of holiday, either having a good time, or at least seem happy and relaxed.

Try not to worry about it. If you are going you are going. You may find AF beer in Spain (not been for since I stopped drinking apart from Barcelona) Some countries are better at AF beer than others - or suss out a really nice AF drink. However, there are, I find, only so many AF beers that you can drink! I have ceased to be that interested in drinks tbh. Without alcohol they are primarily thirst quenchers.

Please bear in mind my great caution was because I had no choice really but to get and stay sober. Several stints in rehab, job and marriage on rocky ground and would have been on the line if I not got the upper hand on my alcoholism. Plus it was bloody miserable being an active alcoholic. (To put it mildly.) I don't want to give you permission thoughts, but if you slip it's not the end of the world (I assume.)

Just go away with a plan of action and as much determination as you can muster.
Think of clear-headed days, things you will be able to appreciate that you wouldn't if hung over, having to have long lie-ins, or just plain inebriated.

What got me on that last relapse holiday was boredom, believe it or not. I was stuck in a house in the middle of nowhere with just my husband, no internet, I don't drive... in the end I somehow managed to buy a bottle of gin (!) while we were out shopping without him noticing. It was all downhill from there. But on previous holiday relapses (!) it was just seeing others having a glass of something. Oh how normal (and nice) it looked... But at the end of the day, it's a few hours of relaxation/emotion and boredom numbing rather more aftermath than the (not that extreme) pleasure it gives.

I am pretty sure there is a thread devoted to holidays somewhere...

re nobody caring that you weren't drinking, that's great. I do find though that after a few drinks, people don't really notice other people at all that much :shock: Or at least they are not attentive re the fine details.
Rachel

Kevinm
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Kevinm » 22 Mar 2018 21:50

Rachel

Lots of useful advice there, thanks.

Yes, my last blackout, which led to a fight and a broken nose, started with drinking the night before I got to the airport, 4 hours sleep and then more drinks at 4.30am at the airport. By 6pm I was wandering around a foreign town, bruised and bewildered.

This can't happen again, I'm just tired of it. And I'm scared of rust might happen next time. While my kids will be with me this time and that can put the brakes on my binges, it really worries me that I could slip up.

But I am going so I need a plan. I do agree that focusing on hangover free days does help. I also detest black outs, more than ever,and I'm determined not to have another one.

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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Wanner » 30 Jun 2018 14:18

I agree, Kevin. Blackouts are the worst. My last one led to a similar mess you described. I felt sick to my stomach hearing about what happened the day after.

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Shadowlad
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Shadowlad » 20 Dec 2019 22:53

Soooooo. I'm in a newish situation of navigating a relationship with a man who drinks (moderately it seems) but smokes like a chimney. Thankfully he appears totally accepting of my non drinking and non smoking. It was a bit awkward on a night out last Saturday drinking water all evening and i did worry that he might find me boring. He now knows i had a problem with drink but not the details. He knows i am a firm non drinker and do not want even one drink at all. However, it still feels weird going out some evenings with him (never used to go out in evenings) and feeling like the only abstainer. A mild feeling of 'missing out' conflicted with a proud feeling of doing the right thing.

I'm sure it will feel less weird as time goes on. A year ago i lived in a safe cocoon avoiding socialising (as much as possible) or dating, not for fear of alcohol, more a lack of motivation to embrace new experiences. I salute those who have done these things from day one of their AF lives ;)?
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

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SoberBoots
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by SoberBoots » 21 Dec 2019 22:57

Shadow, I think you must be super-keen to put up with him smoking! That would be a deal breaker for me!
I think the uneasiness is the usual thing you get with sober firsts - you have to repeat several times before it even begins to feel natural. I'm at my mum's for a few days, where I always used to "cope" by drinking, and it's probably taken me a dozen stays with her for me to be able to relax and be my new normal self. I suspect I'd feel much like you in a new relationship (I wish! Seem to be terminally single!) as it's a time of heightened emotion, perhaps also some anxieties and insecurities - all the things we used to drown in booze. It doesn't sound like he's at all bothered, probably glad to have a permanent nominated driver, and as long as he doesn't drink heavily, which would be boring for you and annoying, then I should just focus on enjoying getting to know one another.
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Shadowlad
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Shadowlad » 23 Dec 2019 20:26

SoberBoots wrote:
21 Dec 2019 22:57
I think you must be super-keen to put up with him smoking! That would be a deal breaker for me!
Haha Sally this made me chuckle. I think i'm more mortified at how much he likes sport, i can put up with the smoking. Trying not to show too much keenness just yet ;) 8-) Thanks for you reply. I think i'm just not used to going out at night and that is where the discomfort was. Was also very tired that night. This week we are going out for the day so won't be sat in a social club watching dodgy entertainment lol.

Hope all goes ok at your mums <:)>
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Topcat » 24 Dec 2019 07:03

Shadowlad wrote:
23 Dec 2019 20:26
I think i'm more mortified at how much he likes sport,
Smoking AND sport (w) Nicky I'd take my hat off to you (if I was wearing one) :lol: Hope you enjoy the day out <:)>
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Shadowlad
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Re: interacting with people who drink

Post by Shadowlad » 24 Dec 2019 11:22

:lol: thanks TC. <:)> No watching sport or cheesy music on Friday thankfully, just a a walk on the seafront and popcorn and pictures. and maybe a bit of kissing on the back row no i did not write that ! ;)?
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

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