I know, that sounds a bit strange right? Well, I was thinking lately how I used to always assume that when someone asked me if I wanted a drink, it meant an alcoholic drink! And when that question popped up I tended to sort of get nervous and stumble around for the right words when I didn’t particularly feel like explaining to them that I have a disease that requires me not to drink one day at a time. And I most certainly didn’t need to disclose right away that I was an alcoholic and in recovery. SO, I have always learned to say NO, THANK YOU! This is a great technique, clear and and to the point. But it may be sometimes difficult to face those strange looks you get afterwards, or the many questions following, or that persistent nagging.
So I was thinking, a drink is just a drink, it can be anything I want it to be, right? So why not say “Thank you, I would love a drink! Could I have a Diet Coke with a lime?”
Let me tell you this feels soo freeing! I have now done this several times and I feel really strong doing it this way. It actually allows me to say Yes and not feel awkward by having to say no. And for some reason, I have not had a single person ask me if I was sure I didn’t want an alcoholic drink. I am not quite sure why this works, maybe because I say it with enthusiasm, like I was ordering the best cocktail in the world! LOL! Well, to me I am, love my Diet Coke with a lime! And it is great cover up too. (My other favorite drink is the Arnold Palmer, which is half iced tea and half lemonade.)
Of course I have gone thru my fair share of people pushing drinks my way! I do know that there are other instance when people specifically say “Would you like some wine or a cocktail.” Well, then I kinda have to say, “No, thank you,” but then I quickly follow it by saying, “But I’d love a Diet Coke with a lime!” I also am aware that for instance a restaurant is safer than a party at someone’s house; restaurant servers cannot push drinks on you! But if I ever have to go to party at someone’s house, and I mean really HAVE to, I make sure that I speak firmly and with self-confidence when it comes to declining the drink. (or I may throw in a joke as a distraction!)
When asked why I am not drinking I can say:
- I don’t feel like it.
- I am the designated driver.
- I am getting over a bad cold.
- I am doing a cleanse.
- I am allergic to hops – this is an actual allergy and people with it cannot drink beer.
- I have an early morning appointment.
- I am feeling dehydrated and under the weather
The funny version:
- I am training for the Olympics.
- It makes me absolutely crazy.
- I am allergic, I breakout in handcuffs.
And of course the upfront open version:
- I am a recovering alcoholic. – If I am upfront about being a recovering alcoholic, I find that most people are not only apologetic but also become supportive. Of course you may not feel comfortable with this approach at first but really, this is the most definite way to get someone to stop pushing a drink on you!
But no matter what you do, be sure feel comfortable with it, then to plan it out and stick to your plan. If you are in early recovery, I would really recommend avoiding drinking gatherings, especially during the holiday season. It is hard enough to get sober, and even harder to stay sober if you are surrounded by people who are drinking. Also, if you have any doubts about a possibility of you drinking, DO NOT GO! And, if you get to the party and feel uncomfortable LEAVE! It is really important to be honest with yourself, it is OK to not feel safe around alcohol!
IT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT!
I’d love to hear your suggestions too! What other tools do you have in your toolbox?
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.