7 Awesome Ways to Turn Down Alcohol

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by Beth Wilson on 23 February 2015 in Health and Wellness, Life in Recovery | updated on 4 July 2016

So you’ve quit drinking. Now what? Alcohol is everywhere… and that includes alcohol in the outstretched hands of well-meaning friends and acquaintances. Trust me; I know.

Don’t Tempt Fate

Now that you’re in recovery, you’ve heard that you need to change your playmates and playgrounds. In reality, it might take some time to transition to a completely non-alcoholic life.

I worked for a publishing company when I first entered recovery and one of my “jobs” was to attend cocktail parties. I quickly discovered that it’s not a good idea to tempt fate.

Once, I strutted up to the mobile ballroom bar of a downtown Chicago hotel fully equipped with my “bring-it-on-because-I’m-sober” attitude. “I’ll have a Diet Coke, bartender, because I haven’t had a drink in 15 days,” I proudly announced.

The bartender filled a glass, set it in front of me and quietly said, “Congratulations. Have a nice life.”

The old boozer next to me slurred, “Ya know, that Diet Coke IS a drink.”

I fled.

Have a Plan and Stick to It

When you’re new to sobriety, it’s a good idea to do the things your sponsor says. One of those things is to have a plan while you’re in public…and an exit strategy to leave.

If you don’t have a sponsor, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your newly minted sobriety intact. You can carry a “decoy” glass with a non-alcoholic beverage or enlist friends and colleagues as your wingmen and women. But what about those occasional times when pushy people still offer you drinks?

With some sober time under your belt and the support of a solid recovery program, it’s okay to get sassy. Here are seven one-liners you can try out:

  • Look, if I take a drink from you, all my clothes will fall off and I’ll be standing here…naked.
  • There’s not enough booze in the world to fill the glass I would need.
  • Do you really want the cops knocking on your door tonight?
  • Is your homeowners insurance paid up?
  • Does it look like my ass is falling off…because even then I don’t want a drink.
  • Oh yes, please get me a drink – I love throwing up in people’s pools!
  • No thanks – even the Top Shelf booze isn’t tempting enough to make me throw away my sobriety!

Learn more about alcohol abuse and recovery.

Image Source: Flickr/Rebecca Siegel, Google Images/geograph.org.uk