Work dinner, please help!

So I have this dinner with my boss tonight and I’m looking for some support. She drinks a lot, and we used to drink a lot together. I am afraid of being asked to split a bottle of wine, etc., and I don’t want to talk about the fact that I’ve stopped drinking.

I was planning to say that I’m taking medication, but I ran into her at the store last night… and I had a bottle of wine in my basket. Stupid, I know. I put it back before I left the store, but she saw it there, so now I feel like it’ll sound like a lie if I say I’m on meds.

Any thoughts? I really need a way to figure this out, because I’ll be spending a lot of time with her for the forseeable future.

Hmm…what about saying that you take care of your health and / or weight? I for example turn red as a lobster when having alcohol, so I always explain this to ppl who offer me alcoholic drinks :wink:


I’ve been in this situation and know it’s a challenge. I try and remember that the challenge is mine and that no one thinks about me nearly as much as I think about me. When the question of wine arises and should we split a bottle I say that I think I’m just going to have sparkling water tonight. I’ve only had one colleague ask about it before and I just said I wasn’t feeling like having any wine just then. Then I changed the conversation to something we could all talk about. It feels awkward, especially if you don’t have a plan, but my experience has been that if you’re confident and nonchalant about it others will follow your lead. The longer I’ve been sober the easier it has become to say “I don’t drink” when I’m asked during work functions. With the few colleagues I have who have known me to drink I say I’ve given it up. That part has definitely been the hardest since those are the ones I would think of as friends and we’re not as close anymore. I think they may exclude me a bit now since I don’t drink. It’s okay though. I’m willing to give up those relationships for my sobriety.


There is this new concept of personal boundaries that I’m learning to incorporate into my life. When I started going to meetings that were interfering with my work time, I told my boss “I have to be out at 4 because I need to be somewhere and I would rather not talk about it.” That was my part- put up a boundary and stick to it. Of course they had all their guesses and my response was “I don’t want to talk about it”. End of story. People don’t need to know why you’re not drinking, they just need to know that you aren’t and if you don’t want to tell them You Don’t Have To! It’s called “your business” and you have every right to it. Your boss may poke and prod but if the topic of your dinner tonight is something other than your drinking, you can change the subject. Honesty is the best policy- “I’m not drinking tonight” Why not? “I don’t want to”. The End


I will come with you to dinner and then we can both not drink together. I’m assuming your boss is paying?


This made me laugh out loud, so thanks for that!

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Thanks, this is really helpful. I have awful work-life boundaries in general, so maybe this is a good excuse to start workinh on them.

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I am pale and I turn SO RED too! :slight_smile:

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So on a serious note. I just started a new job and though some people there know I don’t drink, my recovery really hasn’t come up. However I’ve recently signed on to be in a promotional video for the outpatient rehab I attended. Well the rehab and my company work very closely together so… Well I went ahead and told my boss that I was going to be in the video. She went “ok, cool” and then we went back to talking about work. I was prepared for this whole long conversation and instead it was two words. My boss seriously could not have cared less. As far as she is concerned that is my business.

Granted I work for a really progressive company. Ironically enough less than a year ago I was getting my clean needles from the same company I work for.

If you are good at what you do nothing else matters.

Good luck!


Thanks!! I did end up sticking with my story (we’re at the restaurant now) and it was completely fine, despite leading to a 20-minute conversation about my so-called medicine, haha. I’m really relieved. Thanks (to everyone!) for the encouragement!