Ways To Keep Your Social Life When You’re Quitting Drinking

by Vivian Bens
5 min read

W

hile alcohol and a bubbling social life might seem inseparable, especially in the young and restless phase of life, it isn’t always the case. It is possible to have a fun social life without setting alcohol in the mix. As we get older, one day we realize that our normal ethanol intake leaves us drunk and surprised. There are many reasons why an individual chooses to ditch the bottle, but when you’re quitting drinking, it should not mean a funeral service should be conducted in honor of your social life.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge the effort required to stay sober, especially when chilling with friends who drink. There are practical ways to cut back on drinking that would help keep you sober and fulfilled.

Check out ways to keep the social balls rolling even when you’re quitting drinking…

#1. Make it public

This does not necessarily include a public address system or social media post (ultimately your choice), but rather, it means having a sit-down with your friends and letting them in on the situation at hand. Whether for health reasons or personal reasons, a true friend will respect and support your decisions. Also, let them know how they could help. Maybe the movies or a picnic without alcohol, or at least one person could volunteer to be sober with you.

#2. Brace for impact

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Remember I said all your friends would be supportive? Scratch that! Some of your buddies might tease you and call you boring, and try to pressure you into taking a few shots. Being aware of what to expect help, especially at events where alcohol is served. Give them some time, a few of your friends would come around, or you might get fewer hang-out invitations. If you eventually get invited, it may be as the backup driver to convey the drunk ones home. This does not always have to be a bad thing, it depends on your perception of things and the reason you’re quitting drinking in the first place.

#3. Choose your locations wisely

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It’s Friday night, and Paul invited you to the BYOB games night or good ol’ clubbing. You don’t need a crystal ball to know it would rain alcohol. If you have a will strong enough to resist, perhaps RSVP. If deep down, you predict intoxication in the nearest future, then maybe reschedule for brunch, the cinema, or a beach hangout later. When you’re quitting drinking, there will be days of contemplating and rethinking your decisions. It’s better to have those moments in locations where alcohol is unavailable–places like home.

#4. Have a backup drink

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Speaking of the unavailability of ethanol, it has resistance the size of an 8ft tall muscular man, so stay prepared! Imagine your little brother’s wedding is this weekend, and everyone you know will be present. You already see drinks like Sex on the Beach, Long Island, and of course, Tequila on the menu. The guest list: your favorite cousin and drinking partner is on lockdown. For starters, try to cop a bottle of non-alcoholic drink and sip slowly. This might prevent further alcoholic offers and is the perfect “I already have a drink” alibi. Good luck.

#5. Bail, yes bail

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When you’re quitting drinking, withdrawal symptoms might surface, or chilling in your favorite drinking spot might cause nostalgia and the urge to relive it. Sometimes we need the willpower to stand strong in the face of opposition, other times, we need to bail and not look back. Cook up the perfect excuse; “I have an engagement early tomorrow morning, I should leave now. Thanks, I had a great night”, something sleek within these lines would be perfect for an escape plan. It’s not cowardice, keep looking out for yourself.

#6. Look on the bright side

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Always remember why you made this decision in the first place. Perhaps it was for religious or health reasons. Whatever the case, focus on how this has helped enhance your life. The benefits are endless: you know your body feels better, and you are not struggling with unbearable hangovers, fatigue, depression, and random bouts of unproductivity. You find yourself sleeping better, more energetic, and with fewer alcohol-related conditions. Also, your mind is less cloudy and free to think without being influenced by ethanol.

Think new options

The sad reality is, when you’re quitting drinking, there is a possibility that you could lose a part of your old life. Some friends might set you back on your goals, and your favorite bars might become relapsing triggers. You might need to hang out with new people who share similar interests. Trust me, there are tons of enjoyable activities without alcohol. Start experimenting, and you will find the ones that work for you. Find your own fun, and do not isolate yourself. Success on your journey.

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