Tee Total Nights Out & In
People are quitting the booze for so many reasons these days. I cannot drink, it's not an option for me and obviously that comes with all its other issues, but I know people are kicking the habit for lots of other reasons. Health, weight, clearer heads, wanting to feel in control on evenings out ..... the list goes on!
We are currently in October and lots of people are doing 'sober October' raise some money and give your liver a rest! Win win! January.... that's the usual month, when I was drinking I would always have a crack at a dry January..... I never got past about 4 days as January depressed me haha! (Depression....that's another blog) but January is a great month to give yourself a rest as well as your bank balance! The abuse my body underwent in Decembers was quite a glory to behold ;)
God I used to feel sorry for myself in January and make millions of promises that this year would be the year....the new me.... slimmer....healthier.....happier etc etc!
Now, don't get me wrong I still over indulgence in the winter months, chocolate, rich food, big dinners out just like others, I just don't have the added abuse of the booze.
I love the book (pictured above) Teetotal Tipples for January and beyond, written by a fellow Lymington Mum Helen McGinn. She has included some lovely mocktail recipes, soft drinks you can buy in your supermarket and tips on how to survive the evening whilst staying alcohol free. Of course there is a marked difference between abstaining for a while and being an addicted alcoholic, the former requires tonnes of will power and I take my hat of to anyone doing it..... its so easy to feel peer pressure even in the grown up world to have just the one...(trust me when you're in recovery people leave you alone on that front!)
Here's some of my top tips for surviving nights out...sober
H.A.L.T, this is a saying we use in AA never leave the house hungry, lonely, angry or tired I would also add thirsty to this list....there's nothing more appealing than a glass of cold vino or beer when your feeling thirsty!
Have an escape route, the bonus is you can drive, I can assure you once people are wasted they will not even notice you've bugger off :)
Drink tonic water with a slice of lemon, this feels like a G&T
If you don't want to explain why you are not on the pop drink a long lime and soda, it will look like vodka, gin whatever you get the picture
Don't get involved with rounds, I can't tell you how chuffed you'll be in the morning at how much cashish you have left in your wallet!
Go to evenings you know you will enjoy...don't waste time being with people you don't feel loved by, have a giggle with, overall enjoy their company.
When I first quit drinking I would drink lime and soda people just assume you are on the vodka and this means you don't have to answer difficult questions. I just say I don't drink now, you can say whatever reasons you like! Really its no ones business but your own, however what I found is people don't care, if anything at my age (forties) people are a tinsy bit jealous and think you're a bit of a hero! Haha... I am honest about my recovery now, I don't want people thinking I'm some sort of saint beacuse I don't get pissed, as this is far from the truth.
The Dry/Sober lifestyle is becoming more popular even amongst the young folk! Redemption Bars are a chain of restaurants that serve non alcoholic drinks and healthy foods, I've been and it is amazing. Most bars and even pubs are food orientated now anyway so as long as you're not in a bar full of teens or twenty somethings you will very rarely be the only none drinker.
The benefits to a dry night out:
Its bloody cheap (few quid for lime and soda, or even drink the free water on the table!)
You will really enjoy the food, in my drinking days I wouldn't even remember what I had eaten! what a waste, especially if you're in a good restaurant (obvs I don't hold much regret for forgotten Kebabs!)
You don't loose things........... phone, wallet, card, bag, glasses....sound familiar?
You won't wake up in random places......say no more on this :)
No Hangover.......this is the greatest thing.....'I wish I had drunk more last night and got a hangover' said no one ever!!
You don't have to apologise or cringe about being a prat the night before.
The next day can be full of possibilities..... I couldn't believe how long and productive weekends seemed when I first quit.
You look together in pics so no social media fear.
As with all my blogs, I'm coming from a perspective of someone with a drink problem, someone who can't have just one, someone who found life unmanageable and ultimately has a disease that could kill me whilst drinking....but if you dislike the way or you behave or feel during or after having a few, but don't feel like you have a problem, then just give sobriety a chance for a bit, try a few nights out, dip your toes in the water.... :)
When I first quit I thought I would never socialise again....this is it I thought, what will I do? But I have the most beautiful nights out with friends and family, trips to lovely resturants and the theatre.....if you pick the right company you will be happy.