As time went on I found that I naturally started to drift away from going to pubs. Sure I still go out and socialise in them, but if there are other options I will take them first. I find that I can catch up with friends better just by going for a good walk and a cup of coffee.
I stopped being brainwashed
I stopped the brain washing that automatically assumes that being with friends involves alcohol. It does take some time. I did have one or two setbacks, but all they did was remind me just how much I hated hangovers and how booze left me feeling rotten about myself.
Along with a lot of people, one of the reasons I started drinking to begin with was to combat shyness. I realise I am a lot older now and a lot less shy as a consequence. I have found that through socialising without booze, I have become a lot more comfortable in my own skin and am confident in any social situation. Meeting new people in new places was sometimes intimidating to me without the crutch of alcohol. Meeting people without drinking has allowed my natural self to blossom and grow and my true nature has been allowed to develop fully.
Did I mention money?
Although it was n’t the main motivation to stop drinking, I noticed straight away just how much money I was saving by not drinking. Not getting into rounds, no taxis, no expensive wine with meals and no drunk internet shopping meant a lot healthier bank account. As a consequence I have been able to treat myself to a few luxuries I would have not dared buy when boozing. The irony is n’t wasted on me, year after year I squandered pots of cash by drinking it, while thinking I was unable to afford something I really wanted.
Overall I found socialising without alcohol tricky at first, having a plan on what to drink and what to say to people when questioned is very important. Making it a rule that drinking is just not an option and sticking to this rule solidified the decision in my mind and gave me strength in times of discomfort.
Going to pubs does not bother me
Having said that in the beginning, I only went to events that really appealed to me so I would not be in constant temptation and I also removed alcohol from my home. Now I am less inclined to go to pubs and when I do it really does not bother me to be around people drinking when I am not. I thought to get to this stage would never happen to me. Experiencing all the benefits of stopping drinking, let me know that I am missing nothing at all.
Mc D does a lot of things right. He
- Listens to what he needs
- He makes a plan
- Initially he avoids events unless he really wants to go
- He accepts he will make mistakes and does not blame himself for them
- He uses the money he saves to buy things he really likes
- When he’s more confident, he starts going to pubs again-when he really wants to!