Yes, you can have a great social life without alcohol. I have been sober now for over 30 years, I never drink and I can ‘out party’ anyone. I do not judge people for drinking unless they express regret to me about their drinking and then do nothing about it.
As I explained in my book Eat Less, Live Long, at age 18 I woke up one morning after one too many all-night drinking sessions with my two oldest friends, Dave and Kerry, crawled out of bed and stumbled on to the bus to work. As the bus moved and swayed, I couldn’t hold back. I vomited all over the bus floor, Kerry watching in hysterics. This was a low point for me. That day I realised that I actually never enjoyed the drinking. It made me bloated, and I always suffered badly the next day. I was drinking because everyone else was. I was an insecure ‘sheeple.’ I gave up drink and drugs on the spot. It’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. Since then I have partied hard with many friends who are drunk, been the sober driver taking everyone home and remembered everything because I didn’t drink!
10 GOLDEN tips on not-drinking
- When you get to a party or social gathering, immediately get a glass of anything non-alcoholic (ginger beer, soda water, lemonade, fresh fruit juice) and pour it into the same type of glass from which everyone else is drinking. This way it looks like you are drinking and people (who are usually a little tipsy) will not ask, ‘Mate, where’s your drink?’
- If you are heading into a high-alcohol-culture environment, don’t mention to anyone that you are not drinking. It’s like bees to a honeypot.
- Don’t announce that you are not drinking until you have been sober for at least six months. This way you will have been through every social occasion there is and survived them easily and without anyone knowing. Then when you announce you are not drinking to anyone, you have experience over time about what it has been like and you can speak about it with evidence and enthusiasm. The odds are your audience will have been around you sober, without even realising it.
- When people say, ‘What would you like to drink?’ say, ‘You know what, I am parched! I’d love a lime and soda to start with, thanks’, your host will subconsciously hear you asking for something you want, with a good attitude, and they will be happy to supply it.
- Make your own drinks: a clear glass of tonic water with a piece of lemon in it looks like a G&T. Or, dark grape juice in a lovely red wine glass for a similar effect.
- Arrive at the party early. People won’t remember what you have been doing or whether you have been drinking.
- If people push you to drink, say that you are the sober driver for the team and you are going to ensure everyone has a great time tonight.
- Dance a lot.
- Carry a plate of food with you so your hands are full and being used.
- The most important tip of all? Attitude. Make sure your attitude is good. You are doing this because you choose to, not because you have to. If you do not have an issue with it, then they will not have an issue with it. If you wear a sour face and say, ‘No, thanks, I am not drinking because a health nut called Jason told me I couldn’t’, then your friends will swarm towards you and be relentless in their obsession to make you drink — and you will cave in and get plastered. They will make it their mission to get you drunk.
Try going out and not drinking alcohol, party hard and have a wonderful time!
Written by Jason Shon Bennett from ExceptionalHealth®.