My story of maintaining sobriety and balancing a social life
About a year ago I did my first body building show, and as you can expect, it was a big commitment. Strict dieting, two hours a day in the gym, supplements, all of that. To my surprise, none of that was as hard as not drinking. It wasn’t so much the alcohol itself that was hard to give up, it was the experience that came with it. Going out with my friends became a chore; I felt like I wasn’t fun because I wasn’t drinking. I also felt like me not drinking became the focal point of some nights. It got old having people ask me why I wasn’t drinking, and hearing that I’m lame, or no fun. I knew I’d break and eventually say, “screw the show, I’m getting drunk”. That’s why I thought of ways to make myself, and everyone else believe I was drinking. It allowed me to have more fun, as it felt like I was drinking; it also led to less conversations where I would explain why I’m not drinking, and my friends would explain why I should.
The “cool” drink decoy
Buy yourself a tall boy, and pour it out. Get a 28 oz can of your usual drink of choice (or anything really, we just want the container), pour it out in your sink and rinse it with water several times. Then fill it with water, soda, juice, whatever you plan on drinking for the night. This will do two things; first it will stop your friends from asking you why you’re not drinking, and second it will make you feel like your partaking in the drinking because of the can you’re holding. The point of this isn’t to fool your friends, or pretend to be cool; the purpose of this is to allow yourself to hang out with your friends while they drink, and avoid the awkward conversation about why you’re not drinking. Drunk friends aren’t the most understanding people.
Soak your straws
This is something I picked up from a friend of mine that worked as a bartender. When I asked why their vodka waters (yes I drink vodka waters, thanks Justyn) were so much stronger than when I make my own, I was told it’s because they would soak their straws in vodka before a busy night. It made people think they were getting strong drinks, and strong drinks make you think you’re getting your money’s worth for that $8 cocktail. I used this same method when I wasn’t drinking. I would dip my straw into some cheap vodka (makes it taste worse) and then drop it into my cup of water. Why? We’ve all experienced friends asking for a sip of our drink; when mine would ask, they’d take a sip from my straw, cringe, and tell me I’m crazy for drinking such strong drinks. Little did they know … Again, this isn’t meant to deceive your friends. It just gets them off your case about not drinking, because they think you are, and it gives you a slight taste of alcohol which can trick your brain into thinking you’re drinking.
Just the tip
This is similar to the straw trick; instead of soaking the straws, just rub some liquor on the brim. You drink out of a straw, and then if anyone asks you for a sip, they’ll get the liquor soaked brim. Again, you’ll get the “this is so strong, how do you drink this?” and no one will want a second sip.
These tricks won’t help you quit drinking completely, but they worked for me as temporary fixes to not wanting to drink for a short period of time. If you have any other tricks, please share as I’m sure others could benefit from this!
Always remember … this is a valid response to your friends!