The hardest test so far

I’m in New Orleans for business for a couple months and this is the place I finally decided to stop drinking. Since I’ve been down here it has been especially easy to drink nearly every night. Tonight will be Day 7 for me. This morning I went to have brunch with a few co-workers, and it went really well. They all ordered drinks and I stuck with my iced tea. Didn’t really have any cravings or anything. I hadn’t told them yet that I quit drinking. Only my family and really close friends know. While we were eating they start planning the rest of the day’s activites…a day of visiting breweries. Internally I started to panic. I drove to brunch and another co-worker rode with. The last thing I wanted to do was surround myself with people drinking and I certainly did not want to sober cab. We finished our meal and are going to leave and I had to say I’m really sorry, I’m going to pass for today (and every other day), and told them to have fun. The person who rode with me didn’t get offended but I could tell was irritated because at the last minute the plans changed and now she was going to have to ride with the other group. Then one of my other co-workers start asking what’s up and why the sudden change of heart and all I could say was that I am “cutting back”. Wasn’t really feeling that conversation and all I wanted to do at that point was put distance between myself and the rest of the group. At the same time I’m not comfortable yet with going into details as to why I am not drinking. I will eventually, they’re my friends and nice people, but that conversation isn’t happening today. In the meantime I still have to work with them, and I know I shouldn’t care what others think, and I usually don’t, but there’s going to be this awkwardness now. Or maybe there won’t be and I’m just over thinking the situation… Nevertheless one relieving drive back to the hotel, a couple cigarettes, and a nice long walk seem to have cleared some of the anxiety up.

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Maybe one day we won’t have to distance ourselves from it but for now that’s the best way. Congrats and stay strong

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I hope so. I think it’s all so new that I need to distance myself from it. Even brunch was fine while they were drinking, but at this point I would not be able to handle an all day event while being around people drinking.

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No need to explain yourself. How dull the day would be anyway, visiting breweries is only worth bothering with for the drinking. At least you can do what you want.

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First off, amazing job!! You did everything right in that situation. After only 7 days you were strong enough to recognize a bad situation for what it was. Big congrats!
Second, you don’t have to go into all the gory details of your problem with anyone. As alcoholics we tend to think other people are a lot more concerned with our problem than they are. While they may be a little curious of your not drinking, it really doesn’t matter to them one way or the other.
We get ourselves all worked up in our heads that they are gonna wanna know things about us. Things we would rather them not. When the reality is that if they ask us why we really are not drinking, a simple answer like “me and alcohol just don’t mix well so I chose not to drink it” with a smile and a giggle will suffice just fine. Most all people will not bat a eyelash at an answer like that.

You did great pal!

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Thank you! I was getting really worked up about it. You’re right, there’s no need to go into a ton detail or think people will expect it of me. If they want details/explanations that I’m not willing to give then that’s too bad. Suppose it’s normal to see some people go with sobriety, but the ones that stay are meant to.

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