Q:Hi! I have a quick question- I can't drink because of meds and my friends are all BIG drinkers. If I go to the pub with them or to a house party they still try and encourage me to drink, and friends of friends who don't know my situation do as well. I was wondering how other people cope with this? Saying "I don't drink" tends to trigger a lot of questions and I'd rather forget about things for a night than tell a stranger my life story! Thanks! (I don't mind this being published :) )
Instead of saying you don’t drink, can you simply say “no thank you” and leave it at that? Or, just say the alcohol conflicts with a medication you are on and then quickly change the subject. Or use the opportunity to educate someone about your chronic illness. I doubt you will be able to avoid pesky questions— a 20 year old that does not drink is (at least in a university town) not overwhelmingly common— but you can always direct the flow of conversation.
When I was the only sober person around my not so sober friends I realized that I was surrounding myself with the wrong people. Not because they liked to party, but because they did not respect my limitations. Like you, they pressured me to drink. I actually had one friend make my favourite drink and put it in my face (needless to say, we don’t hang out much anymore) despite my group of friends knowing I was on Methotrexate injections.
If you have explicitly laid out to your friends why you cannot drink, the consequences of you doing so, and asked them for their support, and they still encourage you/pressure you, perhaps it is time to evaluate the people in your life. For me, it meant not partying around or with certain people, avoiding certain situations, and then it came down to not being friends with some people at all (the drinking pressure was just one of a few reasons that contributed to this).
Ultimately you are responsible for what goes into your body and who you spend your time with, so surrounding yourself with healthy, positive, and supportive people is key. Sometimes that means creating boundaries with people that are not easy to establish, but your mental and physical well-being needs to come first. Any “friend” that does not understand or help you in that might not be the greatest influence, especially in a social setting.
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- lady-brain said: someone suggested club soda- I usually bring a sports drink and pour it into a cup at house parties, and everyone assumes it’s alcohol. I’m sober and don’t always want to explain!
- michellethemagnificient said: Club soda over ice with a lime or lemon piece. Voila! Looks like an alcoholic drink and gets them off your back.
- cranquis said: EXCELLENT response!
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- bourin said: Just simply say, “I can’t drink because of meds”. Most people get combative when they hear “I don’t drink” because it makes them think you’re some holier-than-thou straight edge person that’s judging them for drinking.
- chroniccurve posted this