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life after alcohol

Postby bluejeep » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:56 am

I am looking for some books that address my situation. I’ve never been a heavy drinker. I have been addicted to tobacco and I'm sure I have never been chemically addicted to alcohol. I had to have tobacco and I was hard to quit. But I think I was mentally addicted to drinking while socializing. If my social group got together there was always drinking. In high school, I would binge drink once a month. In college, I would binge drink once or twice a week. I have never been one to drink every day and it was usually at least 5 days between drinking. After college, I decided to grow up and limited myself to a maximum of two drinks in any 24-hour period. This translated into having two drinks on two or three nights a week in the beginning. As years passed by and my social life dwindled I got down to about two drinks a month on average. I’ve always called myself a social drinker. I never had the urge to drink when I wasn’t out socializing with other people who were drinking. A few years ago, I started abstaining from drinking sometimes when I was with people who were drinking at the time. It was kind of out of respect for a relative who had developed a serious drinking problem. We lived in a small town and everyone always know when you’re out having a good time. Every time I talked to him he would mention that he'd heard about good time my group had had at the bar last Friday night. Anyway, I was abstaining so this relative wouldn’t always associate drinking with socializing with me. It was my way of indirectly telling him that we didn’t have to drink to hang out.

Fast forward to the present. I don’t live in the small town anymore. And I have decided to give alcohol up completely. Mostly because of what I have seen it do to other people. But also, because it saves money and to be honest it hasn’t felt good since I was in my 20’s. And....I think I am addicted to drinking in social situations. I felt naked without a beer in my hand at bars and parties. So I made an effort to find more friends that didn't drink. Back in the small town it was easy to socialize without drinking. There are lots of nondrinkers in the bible belt. Now I’m in a populated area and all social functions involve alcohol. There is nothing wrong with this but I seem to get left out a lot. People will tell me about the night out they had and then apologize for not inviting me but then say I wouldn’t have enjoyed it because they were drinking. I think having a sober person around makes them self-conscious and I don’t know how to handle the situation. There are important relationships at stake for me.

Do you know of any books that address this situation?
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Re: life after alcohol

Postby aquamarine » Fri May 25, 2018 4:37 am

Hi bluejeep!

Although I don't have any recommendations as far as books are concerned (sorry!), I have to say that I so much respect your decision to abstain from alcohol. Needless to say, drinking is a personal choice--but I tend to believe that a) if you're questioning the amount and frequency of your drinking (and even ponder whether or not it's becoming problematic), and b) have a proclivity towards addiction, it's something to watch rather carefully. Having grown up with a dad who had a drinking problem, I abhorred alcohol and told myself that I'd NEVER drink. Upon turning twenty, however, I started drinking lightly (although I'd drank a few times prior to that) and only in the context of social situations. When I transferred colleges (to a private school with a reputation for fostering a party-esque environment), I hosted kickbacks at my apartment nearly every weekend. It didn't take long for the drinking to become both habitual and a problem, and ultimately resulted in the breakdown and eventual blowing-up of a relationship, multiple hospital visits, detox, out-patient rehabilitation, loss of trust and respect from family and friends, and - worst of all - the compromise of my schooling (I had to withdraw from my classes and take a year off from school--needless to say, up until my very last few courses, my grades were never the same (I'd previously been an exemplary student)). SO, all of that being said, I totally get you when it comes to not drinking amongst those people who are. It took a long time for me to accept the fact that drinking isn't a good idea--but rather than qualifying it as an "I can't", I look at it from the perspective of choice...which makes it easier to be in the company of others who enjoy drinking. That being said, I've yet to become totally comfortable in large social gatherings in which people are drinking (particularly if they're partying/getting drunk). And yes, I feel like people are rendered uncomfortable when they offer me a drink and I decline. Sometimes my coworkers invite me out, and upon learning that I don't drink (and the reason why), some of them will say something to the effect of "just have one!" One leads to two, which leads to three, and next thing I know, I've made a fool of myself and am swallowed up by an unremitting anxiety attack the following day. For me, forget it. Life is better without booze.

At the end of the day, it's a decision that you have to make--and with your best interests at heart. Either way, you sound like you're pretty self-aware.


I hope that you find that book you're looking for. Snoop around on the Internet--you're surely find something :)

Best of luck to you!



~aquamarine
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Re: life after alcohol

Postby BadShrimp » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:12 pm

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Last edited by NewSunRising on Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: life after alcohol

Postby bluejeep » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:17 pm

Thank you for the reply aquamarine. I guess my question is how to maintain strong relationships with drinkers when you don't drink. I realize that I would be happier if I socialized with people who felt the same way about alcohol and I make a strong effort to seek these people out. But I have had important work relationships wither away because I don't join in at the bar after work or I don't drink with the client. I have no problem with others drinking but they seem t get uneasy when I choose not to. Am I gonna have to move to Utah to fit in?
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Re: life after alcohol

Postby GoswellDivorce » Thu May 02, 2019 5:16 pm

Honestly marijuana has been my best friend since I have stopped drinking. Every time i have the urge to drink I smoke. It helps me think better. Look into that. It works for me.
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