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Wedding Woes

I want to avoid the holiday sauce without questions

Dear Prudence,
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

Re: I want to avoid the holiday sauce without questions

  • You'll hear these stories sometimes.  And I always wonder, "Who are these people that question a person's beverage choice?"  I rarely notice what someone is drinking...unless its TOO much alcohol!  But even if a normally "drunky friend" started staying sober at parties, I wouldn't ask why.

    If it was a woman, I might start wondering if she was preggers, lol.  But I still wouldn't ask.   

    If friend who normally drinks, I would ask but more in a curiosity way. Like "oh you're not drinking? Cool." I don't even care about answer usually.
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    short+sassyPrettyGirlLost
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    LW could always put in a small appearance at the party but not stay long.  That way s/he can visit with the friends and family they want to see, but not stay long enough where drinking may be tempting. 

    Also, drinking something that may look alcoholic may stop people from asking questions.  Having most any soda with a wedge of lemon or lime floating in it will most likely make people assume there is alcohol in the drink.  That would at least keep the questions away.

    short+sassyOurWildKingdomSP29kimmiinthemitten
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    Well said, @VarunaTT

    I usually just say (on the rare occasion that someone asks), "I've become allergic," or "It doesn't agree with me."
  • I listen to a podcast where the main guy has basically given up drinking recently.  It's really interesting to listen to his opinion on it - he was doing it first just to cut back, but then went without altogether, and he also started to notice that people around him acted differently when he wasn't drinking alcohol (mostly in a positive way). People may notice, but probably won't comment or might comment positively.  
    imageimage
    OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMom
  • I quit drinking for a year when I as 25. I had unhealthy habits and I needed to get my shit together. It was seriously the hardest things I have ever done. I lost my best friends because they still wanted to get wasted and I didn't fit into their picture (I was still down to hang out but they basically disowned me). The soda with fruit trick works and once people have 2 or 3 they stop noticing what other people are drinking.
    OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMomSP29VarunaTT
  • drunkenwitchdrunkenwitch member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2016
    I'm with PPs, who in the hell are these nosy drink police? I couldn't care less what people are drinking (unless they go digging for the good scotch and drink it without asking but my friends have manners so that has never happened). 

    I simply put out a selection of options, alcoholic and non alcoholic and say "help yourself". Whatever people choose to drink is their business, not mine. I would never dream of questioning what's is someone else's glass. Now, if I do have a friend who has quit drinking or doesn't drink, I do make sure to have their favorite non alcoholic drink of choice as an option.

    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • You'll hear these stories sometimes.  And I always wonder, "Who are these people that question a person's beverage choice?"  I rarely notice what someone is drinking...unless its TOO much alcohol!  But even if a normally "drunky friend" started staying sober at parties, I wouldn't ask why.

    If it was a woman, I might start wondering if she was preggers, lol.  But I still wouldn't ask.  

    In my early 20's I was in college with a guy like this and he would just keep laying into me about not drinking to the point of wanting to spike my drinks - which I was aware of my surroundings so that wasn't going to happen.   These people exist.  But, this is where it's important that she learn that it's important to stand up for one's self as Nancy Reagan used to put it "Just say No!" - it doesn't need to be complicated to stand up for one's self and this is where the LW needs a better strategy!  Half of the challenge with addiction isn't cleaning out the "drug" of choice, it's learning how to have the elimination of that "drug" be stronger in one's own life than the "drug" itself for the long-term (the reason I use quotes on "drug" is because it can be anything from eating, to alcohol, to a behavioral pattern, to other substances)...  
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    short+sassy
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