What do you tell your friends?

I’m 5 days sober today, and I’ve got friends who are trying to make plans with me this weekend.

I’m afraid to tell them that I’m choosing a path to sobriety (because what if I fail?), but I also know that they’ll start asking questions if I just choose to not drink.

What do you say to a casual friend who asks you to “meet up for a drink”?


First I want to say congratulationa on your new sober journey. 5 days is awesome! It is not worth throwing away that time to do the same old thing you used to do. You realize your life might improve if you stop drinking. You are already five days in… dont let this attempt crash and burn.

You can say whatever you want as long as you dont drink.

You could tell them you can’t go out this weekend because… blah blah blah.

If you decide to go and not drink. You could be honest and tell them why your not drinking.

Or you could make up a reason. Taking a new medication cant drink. Have to pick some one up from the airport later that day cant drink.

If you decide to go and dont plan on telling them the real reason, I would suggest telling someone who can hold you accountable that you are going and planning not to drink.

In early sobriety it is best to avoid situations you think might tempt you to drink.


Your true friends will have your back no matter what. If they are ones you would party with I would recommend steering clear for a little while. If you’re not ready to tell them do not be ashamed in that as I did the same for awhile. Eventually I only told my closest friends what I am going through and everyone else just knows I stopped drinking because I was done with it and wanted to work on a healthier lifestyle. You make your own call and remember not to worry about what other people will think. For me personally I self isolated for the first month and a half as this was my hardest patch. I now feel comfortable being around my friends with a soda or bubbly water in hand. Also a great trick I learned as folks won’t be offering you something to drink. And remember to always have an exit strategy in hand. You are the number one priority. And great job on 5 days my friend.


I actually told my friends for the accountability. I wouldn’t hide your sobriety from them if it’s just because you are afraid of failing. This is planning for relapse. That being said, it’s no one’s business. Just say you don’t feel like drinking today.


Sorry, another thing. You mention what if you tell them why your not drinking and fail.

I can totally relate to this. I was always concerned about admitting to others I had a problem with alcohol. It will look stupid if I tell them im not drinking because I have a problem and then a week or 2 later im back to my old ways.

Thing is… what more motivation not to screwup if you do tell someone. Maybe not a casual friend but someone closer to you that you know it impacts negatively.

Or you could be honest with them and say. Hey not sure what im doing but I am not going to drink for the next 3-6 months and see how it impacts my life and health.


Tell em no thanks.

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I relate to this a lot. It’s hard when you realize your full social life revolves around alcohol. I just told people I’m taking a month off. Then after a month I told them I’m trying to get to 100 days. When I get there I nay just admit that I’m done. Will see. I’m at 58 days now.

I was shocked that people still wanted to hang out with me even though I didn’t drink. People were amazingly supportive. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Good luck and check in if you need it.


You could tell them what’s up, or you could make up an excuse for yourself. (Im on antibiotics is a good one, even if its temporary to help you figure out something better.)
I personally am terrible at lying, but that one would be the easiest for me to get away with.
Eventually you will feel more comfortable with who you choose to share the real reason with. And most likely drift away from the people who may of judged you.
I mean honestly, those arent the kind of people you want in your life anyways.

If you think you will be tempted in a bar then do not go to a bar. ( Cannot emphasize this enough. You’re very early in your sobriety.)

Once you get to the bar you can order whatever you would like, with, or without, an explanation.

If you want to say beforehand, yes I would like to meet you, such and such place is fine, I don’t “drink” anymore, that is fine, too.

You will be able to find your way with this. You only need to give whatever kind of explanation you want. Short, long or nothing.

It could be you could go have coffee somewhere as an alternative. Or even a walk.

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I said I was taking a month off then felt so good I did 3 then decided to go to 6…people are always massively impressed! But they also ask when you’re going to drink again a lot so if you keep fobbing them off with the month off, 2 months excuse they’ll keep asking!

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It is my experience that some people will be supportive, (no one was when I quit), and others downright want to mess you up. I think either because they do not realize how critical it is that you do not have a single sip, or, in some cases, they are jealous, and want to see you fail bc you are succeeding at something that they would like to succeed at. Addictions work in mysterious ways.

Honesty is the best policy. Early sobriety is rough im there myself. But choosing a life of sobriety you will find many people will fall by the wayside who you thought were friends. People will try to gode you into it or get mad or not talk to you because you wont drink. Misery loves company, just tells you they wernt really your friends. No one is perfect all we have is one day of sobriety at a time from 5 days to 40 years. Tell them why and theyll understand or re route to an alcohol free activity. I have 2 months and i still feel unready to enter bar atmospheres yet. But it cant be sheilded forever. Book says when spiritually fit an acoholic can do all kinds of things he not supposed to do like be in bars but if we have good reason for it. Id say if your worried of the drink dont go.

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If telling them makes you worried about what if you relapse, then you could turn that into motivation. “I’ll be embarrassed if I relapse and my friends find out. Is it worth it to drink?”


After 5 days, I wouldn’t go out to a bar,after ten days I wouldn’t either…not even 20, doing things differently to ‘seriously’ stop doing the same old, means not going to bars in early sobriety. :sunflower:


First “because what if I fail” is giving you an out. You are essentially giving yourself permission to drink.

In my opinion you have two opinions.

  1. Get new sober friends so you don’t feel pressured to drink
  2. Tell your friends you no longer wish to drink and you NEED them to support and encourage you.

If you do choose to tell them they may ask questions and I suggest you be honest. You do t need to wear a scarlet A on your shirt but be honest how alcohol is negatively affecting your life. If they continue to pressure you to drink then you know they are not your friends.



I would stay away for a bit. It was hard for me to resist peer pressure in the beginning. If you absolutely must go- go early with AF drinks firmly in your mind and a solid reason why you are not drinking. And if they are drinking leave early before they get drunk. You have a “insert thing here” early tomorrow.
You’ll might eventually realize the only thing you have in common with them is drinking and move on.


i just meet them at a place that serves food so i can snack and have a soda or soda water while they have a drink. early in your sobriety its great to have a plan for the next morning - for your motivation to stay sober that night and also a good excuse to leave early. :muscle: