While living sober, there will come a time when someone else whether it’s a host or guest will ask why you can’t just have one drink. This dreaded question drives many former addicts away from social gatherings.
An important thing to remember is that when someone asks questions like “why can’t you have just one?” or “what happens when you drink?” no matter how rude it may seem they are just curious. The general public is not as educated about addiction let alone recovery as they like to say. Although, some may pry a little too much try to remember you will be educating them on something that will help someone else in recovery less awkward.
These tips will help you to say no to drinking in all social settings:
Overly Hospitable Host
We all know an overly hospitable host; they are who convinced you to attend the shindig in the first place. Whether or not they know you are in recovery they will consistently check on you and how you are faring at the party. Some hosts may continuously ask if you want a drink because they equate a drink in hand to a good time. However, stay firm in saying no – you are not hurting their feelings.
You should not compromise your sobriety for their piece of mind. Briefly explain you do not feel comfortable drinking alcohol and instead ask for another beverage. It could be soda, juice or even water! A good host only wants their guests to enjoy themselves. Whether it’s alcohol or not if you are having a good time with your beverage of choice they will be content.
Prying Party Goer
What drives those who have suffered from substance abuse from social gathering isn’t the overly hospitable host. More often than not it is the prying party goer who seems to provide a never ending barrage of questions about your choice to not drink. Most people in recovery resign themselves to the torture of being polite when more than anything they just want to enjoy being in a social setting.
If you find yourself with a prying party goer your best bet is to keep your answers brief and to the point. Those who are not overly rude will pick up on your tone and quickly realize this is not a conversation you are comfortable discussing at the moment. For those blind to your tone and body language, it is best to be to the point. Politely explain this is not a subject you wish to discuss at this time. If they continue to press you for more information remove yourself from their space. Whether it’s leaving the room briefly or speaking to someone else, you are not obligated to answer their questions.
The road to recovery will always be filled with ups, downs and awkward moments. Don’t let your fear of being stigmatized stop you from enjoying life and the company of others.