I am a young professional in my mid-20s, and I have recently decided to stop drinking alcohol due to habits that I think could lead to alcoholism (alcoholism runs in my family and I have scheduled a doctor’s appointment to discuss this with a professional). However, I’m not sure how to handle all of the holiday parties that are coming up, especially with friends. It seems like everyone wants to meet up for drinks or catch up over a beer, and I think they will ask why I’m not partaking. I don’t want to tell them the real reason right now, and I feel embarrassed that I’ve developed poor drinking habits. I just don’t want to be the only sober person when everyone else is drinking, because I know I’ll want to join in. I’ve skipped one holiday party for that reason. Do you have any advice on how I should handle this? Should I just suck it up and sip on a seltzer water at the bar?
—No Grog for Me