The questions I asked myself before I became sober

Joe | March 2023 | 7 minutes

Our Community Champion, Joe, who has now been alcohol-free for just over a year shares the answers to his pre-sober quandaries. From practical questions like what to do if you can’t find alcohol-free options when out and about to worries around how others might perceive your choice to go alcohol-free.

Q: What if people think I’m weird?  

A: Not drinking is very normal. Huge parts of the world don’t drink alcohol. British culture is pretty weird how it has normalised drinking culture. It would be weird to think that you have to drink alcohol, you don’t.

Q: What excuse should I say as a reason for not drinking? 

A: Just telling people you’re not drinking or taking a bit of time off alcohol is more than fine. But if you’d like a reason at the ready, I tell people that I’m not drinking because it wasn’t making me feel good – which is true. That usually does the trick.

Q: What if they only sell alcohol? 

A: I’ve never been anywhere that only sells alcohol -not even a beer festival! If you’re really worried about the availability of alcohol-free options, then check ahead of time to see what they have in stock.

Q: What will I do with my hands if I’m not drinking?! 

A: This was a genuine concern of mine but has happily faded away completely. Not drinking has reduced my anxiety so now I don’t stress about where my hands are. I’m fine not to be holding a drink every single minute. If you’re really worried about this, then you can always hold your favourite alcohol-free tipple in just the same way as you used to hold your booze – no difference!

Q: Surely I can’t dance sober? 

A: I’m never going to win Strictly Come Dancing (drunk or sober) so I’ve long stopped worrying about the quality of the shapes I’m throwing and just started enjoying it. The longer I go without alcohol, the less worried I am about what people think. I’m more than happy to get my dancing shoes on when the music gets going. Dancing and singing with good friends and good music is genuinely an amazing connection and positive feeling. Being able to be in the moment and feel that to its full extent (not blurred and numbed by alcohol) feels great.

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