If you have longstanding friendships that had previously focused on drinking as the main recreational activity it may be wise to avoid both the people and the places for a bit. Although you may be very pleased with your new way of living they may not be quite so welcoming or appreciative and they may feel that the status quo has been threatened.
Here are a couple of examples of our experiences:
- You may be excluded; group of friends drinking alcohol and because you no longer drink you are not only not offered any, you are not offered anything at all. As a non-drinker you are effectively ignored.
- You may be become the butt of jokes; meal at friends house with group of drinking friends. Wine and water glasses provided for all guests except you who is provided with nothing. This is then joked about at the table with the comment ‘we were going to provide you with plastic toddler beakers with the word rehab on the side’.
- You may attract pity; late in an evening when much drinking has been done by everyone but you is met with pity by the other drinkers as in ‘you must really want a drink by now and it must be really tough for you to have to sit here and watch all of us get sh*tfaced’.
These experiences weren’t much fun and it can be hard not to take them personally. It can also result in the desire to drink as a way of fitting back in if you aren’t solid in your resolve.
It is best to avoid the dangers of the drinkers paradigm in the early days and you may come to the conclusion that if this is their way of dealing with the change that you have made that you need to sadly re-assess the value of some friendships.