Sunshine = BBQs/beer gardens

This is/can be a difficult time for many of us I’m sure!! The sun is shining and every second person is talking of a nice beer/wine in a sunny beer garden, or a BBQ with friends, probably again with some kind of booze!! Will a diet coke cut it, it’ll take practice, determination, it’s no good avoiding these situations entirely (?maybe in the first few days, everyone’s different), to avoid all that u used to enjoy just cos there’ll be drink to avoid is the alcohol still winning!! Imagine as a tree grows stronger in the face of high winds, so will your resolve grow as u face challenges with positivity and confidence!! The bully created by the amygdala will not b allowed to win!!!


Last summer I had between 6-9 months sober and I absolutely avoided as many situations with alcohol as I could. Including BBQ’s. Primarily I went to AA cookouts and events so I wasn’t missing out on anything. Would I have drank if I was around alcohol more? Probably not, but it really wasn’t worth the risk.

This summer I have gone through the steps with a sponsor and practice them in my daily life. I have been freed from the bondage of self and alcohol. I have been to a few BBQ’s that people were drinking heavily at and it didn’t affect me at all. However, I still avoid situations where drinking is the primary activity. Not only am I not missing anything, but my life is much better without those events. I still don’t feel the need to test my sobriety or prove that I can do it. That’s just stupid. It’s like dodging a train. I might be able to do it 99 times out of a 100, but it’s that 1 time where it doesn’t work that will kill me.


I live in the land of endless summer and I am retired…so …learning how to live without alcohol in the land of pool and cocktail parties, BBQs, dinner parties and 24/7 beach days is just how life is.

Did I tempt myself when I was in early days and months? Hell no. I avoided all parties and get togethers until I had some sober muscles built up and felt good that I would not be tempted. This phase doesn’t have to last forever, but it surely helped me to get confident in my ability to not drink just because other people were or the ‘weather’ made it more likely/appealing.

The weather and sunshine have zero bearing on my sobriety.

Now that I am sober longer (860ish days) I am often at or hosting parties, BBQs, etc and have no trouble being around people drinking. But…I definitely needed that time away in early days, weeks, months to become stronger in body and mind against being tempted.


A green sapling will also benefit from shelter until it has had time to strengthen against exposure to the elements.

I suppose if you know the risks and are prepared to accept responsibility for the outcome, good or bad, that’s your choice to make.

Remember that there are lots of ways to turn down drinks or leave a situation where you find your resolve wavering. It’s not weak to leave, by the way, it’s strategic. It’s normal for anyone to leave an event if they’re not enjoying it. If you’re tempted to drink and don’t want to, that doesn’t sound enjoyable at all.


Yes, this!!! Support and honor yourself!!


I have come to realise that alcohol is nothing more than a liquid to pour into your belly. There is absolutely NO REASON why a diet coke, iced tea, club soda, or any other potable liquid out there can’t be easily subsituted. Yes it may cause a few raised eyebrows but eventually people don’t even notice…they’re either too inebriated or actually focused on the more important things of the event, like conversation and food. LOL

It can be hard to be around the alcohol but certainly not because alcohol is a better beverage. It can bring back memories (both happy and not), it can be intimidating socially, it can quite honestly be boring when you start to realise how much you were ignoring because you yourself were too inebriated to notice. LOL I think until you can more comfortably survive those feelings then it is perfectly okay to skip these events. BUT YOU ARE RIGHT…being sober does not mean you need to avoid life for the long-term.


Going to pubs and parties to watch people be idiots is really not my thing. I used to be like that. Have been for as long as I remember. Drink till I can drink no more!
Now, if I go out, the staff in my local pub know j will have a blackcurrant and lemonade, over ice.
It’s more refreshing than beer. Anyday. My friends can keep their pints.
I know longer drink, I am not a drinker, if you like, I am t - total!
And it doesn’t bother me.
When I first got sober, I was so anxious about future events, omg Christmas, birthday, new year.
So I stayed at home for the holidays. Didn’t go anywhere.
I’ve just celebrated my first sober birthday since about age 14?
Don’t know can’t remember.
What I’m trying to say is that if you start to consider yourself a non drinker. It won’t matter what people think. Because you will be happy being you.
Mindset. It’s a great thing!
Stay strong :grinning:


A massive trigger for me, bring on the cold weather :snowflake:


I don’t think it’s letting the alcohol win if you avoid these situations. Everyone is different-it can take weeks, months or all around just not wanting to be in the presence of people who are drinking. I have a medical condition because of drinking so for me I have a huge reason to not. For others, it’s not as easy. Of course in the first few months I still had cravings but I knew if I drank my liver could fail on me right then and there. How I see it is, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is ok-if you’re ready for it. In this journey of sobriety there is no set amount of days you should have or need before pushing yourself into situations that you may not want to be in just because drinking is acceptable to most of society. I personally don’t care either way, but being around drunk people just pisses me off now🙄 Summer time is fun without the booze but only if you’re ready should you let yourself be so vulnerable with booze filled parties.


@DarrenUK probably a trigger for many!! Had to go to my first group therapy today, and had to pass a weatherspoons to get there and back to the bus stop!! It wasn’t much of a temptation but I was still proud of my achievement twice. Plus went shopping and could’ve but didn’t buy a single mini bottle of wine!!


I don’t go to pub gardens that much and I don’t see that as alcohol winning. Turns out I spent a lot of time with people where alcohol was the main thing we had in common. I will still go to events where people are drinking if they are important get togethers or celebrations with people who are important to me. But even then if it is a really boozy do I will probably leave early. It just gets a bit boring being around drunk people. There’s only so many times you can hear the same story and pretend it’s interesting :see_no_evil:

Saying that I totally get that thing of walking past a packed pub garden and thinking it looks appealing. But I’ve had enough of those afternoons where it starts with just one in the sun and well… We all know where that goes!


I went bowling with friends, then to a dive bar for some pool after.

Bowling was fun as always, even though they were all drinking.

The dive bar was a good reminder of me not missing anything. I don’t care for it and will forgo it next time. The stink, feels like its still on me.

I would advise against going to any of these/or those type of functions if you have to make a “plan to not drink”


My drinking was always a secret , solitary affair so luckily pubs, bbq’s and parties have never been a trigger for me, an ice cold Pepsi on a hot summer’s day is perfect! I agree with @anon12657779 once you get your mindset into the fact you are a non-drinker or Teetotal, its such a relief , no wavering or justifying any more, you just don’t drink, so the pressure is off!


@MeCarrieB so agree with u!! I loved secret drinking, when I reflect now I think it was the buzz of doing something I wasn’t meant to that I loved rather than the alcohol!! My therapist disagrees and thinks the alcohol was playing games with me making me think that!! I’m still working on what my new, more acceptable way to rebel is gonna b! X

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Love the little joke at the end Bethan.
But seriously, listen to your therapist. Your paying money for their advice, it going to be pretty cool.
Alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. It can make you do things with out you even realising.
Stay safe you little rebel! :fist:


Thank you @anon12657779. I do listen to him, it’s thanks to him that I now have arguments with my amygdala every time it tries to catch me out. I have given it a vision as a naughty troll who is starving for alcohol and I intend to starve him until he dies and disappears!!


That’s a pretty cool vision to work with. Transfering it to that. Good going Bethan!

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For me there was never a BBQ without booze… Unimaginable for a long time. This summer I had a lot of BBQs without booze and I find it helps enormously to set your mind right before the event. I bought a lot of cool drinks without alcohol so I always have a drink in my hand just without alcohol. And I would eat a lot because after eating my cravings would leave.
I still find it hard but it is getting better. If I set my mind to “no alcohol” beforehand it works very well…


That doesn’t mean I get sad sometimes. These very hot days I do get sad a little second of the day because I would like to drink as a normal person.
But I kick this out of my head in a second so I get reminded what awful things alcohol does to me. Dehydration. Bad hangover the next day. Headache. Being super bloated. Horrible sleep and super tired. Dizzy etc. And this also helps me to keep strong💪

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Alcohol only wins if you drink. Do whatever it takes to not drink. If that means having a summer in early sobriety where you don’t go to BBQ’S, fine. Alcohol doesn’t win if you change your friends, hobbies, habits. The longer I am sober the more I realize that alcohol changed everything about me. The longer I am sober the more I realize this new, different me is who I like being. Alcohol doesn’t win because I don’t do the same things I used to. I win.

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