Monday, December 14, 2009

Party time of year

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. "

It's a partying time of year. The problem is that most of the parties are inundated with alcohol. It seems that socializing has to include alcohol as the main way of celebrating. I have no problem going to these, having a beer, and then stopping. But for my wife, the parties aren't appealing. I have to admit that once people start becoming sloppy, I cease to enjoy the party and take my leave.

She avoided the annual laboratory Christmas party this year because there is a lot of drinking and a lot of pressure from those who she used to drink with. She doesn't want to answer questions about why she isn't drinking. A good friend of mine who is a recovering alcoholic has a great response when asked to have a drink. He simply says: "I've had enough". And in his day, I suppose that was the truth!

We did go to a wine and cheese party on Friday night and took along some non-alcoholic sparkling cider. The couple who hosted know that C. doesn't drink. But I remember the first time that we went to a party there at Halloween and one of them said, "Oh that's right, you don't drink." Unfortunately, that kind of comment generally comes out being insensitive even though it isn't meant to be. I'm thankful though that no one was pushing alcohol which can happen. I know that at one time, I just didn't get it either. I would actually say to someone, "Oh come on, have just a little wine." What an idiot I was!

So on Friday when the conversation inevitably turned to the excitement of drinking and people were starting to get bleary eyed, we said our polite good byes. C. said that she doesn't feel the need to drink but that she no longer wants to be around people who are drunk. We both enjoy socializing and have no desire to isolate. I'm glad that we can have fun during the holidays but can also make a decision that once the socializing becomes an excuse to get drunk, neither of us want to hang around for that.


  1. I am not a peace around drunks. I could not be around diabetics gorging themselves on cake either. Or drug addicts drugging. Or sex addicts in a porn store. I can reach out and be there for anyone needing the hand of Alanon though, and they are often near the drunks. It is a fine line. I tell people that alcohol hasn't added a thing to my life so why bother. Great, timely, post Syd.


  2. I always say "I don't drink" if asked (just because I don't like it) and no one ever bothers me. I guess I have a manner about me that people don't argue with me...LOL
    Anyway, it's good you two agree on when it is time to leave.

  3. Luckily I'm around mostly women in their 40-50's who just don't happen to drink. Whether it's fear of calories or something darker, it's a nice atmosphere which I've always been able to find. I forget how it can be in the rest of the world!

    And thanks for your comments, my new Dell comes this week!

  4. Among the many things I'm grateful for, and clearly evidence of a gracious God, I've NEVER found a party host who is much of an a-hole as I was in insisting people drink.

    Good post.

    Blessings and aloha...

  5. This is a good topic to talk about now. I wish that the rest of the world didn't have to add alcohol to every social gathering, but that's the way it seems to me.
    People who drink to excess have no idea how ridiculous they are and also think everyone else is drinking as much as they are. Being around them sober is a strain.
    On the other hand, not everyone I know is a recovering alcoholic either.Sometimes recovery based parties get dull for me because the discussion inevitably becomes about recovery issues. That is not always a happy topic.It's a fine line you have to walk every year. jeNN

  6. This is a great post, Syd. The holidays can be a really hard time when you're not drinking (as I'm learning this year!) and I love the idea of bringing sparkling cider to a party. It's fun and festive and takes the pressure off of you not having a fun drink in your hand!

  7. I usually just go to sober parties, by choice.

  8. Great topic. It seems that most social gatherings involve alcohol. I don't drink -maybe once or twice a year I'll have a margarita but that's it. I usually just say no thank you and drink water (my bev of choice) and no one says much. I don't like being around drunk people and it embarrasses me to think of how many times I probably looked like an ass back in my drinking days. I think it starts young....high school kids seem to think they must have alcohol (and/or drugs) in order to have fun. Its sad.

  9. Excellent alcohol free post,Syd.
    I so agree.Sober socializing works
    with living sober.End of story.

    Thank you for another superb post!

  10. Seems to me Syd, that you have found a comfortable place in the world.

    All the best to you my friend.

  11. Drinking doesn't bother me, it's the drunk that does. I'm like y'all, I take leave when it starts to get uncomfortable for me. I also get to be reminded the ghost of parties past and I know I never want to go there again.

  12. "The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. "

    I LOVE that quote. lots !! of people don't see it, so its !! great that you point it out at this time of year. Which is HIGH RISK for those not established in the recovery program. Well I think so.

    I 'hide' behind being a health freak. if someone says do you not drink? I say No. I don’t drink, I don’t take drugs (prescribed or illicit) asides from surgery. I don’t smoke. I don’t eat meat, sugar, bread, or processed foods. I drink three liters of water every day, meditate, weight train, and run everywhere instead of using public transport. ..Apart from that I am completely !!!! normal :)
    Which usually makes them laugh. But after that, I need no :) excuse to defend my choice to not drink :) hehe

    works like a charm :)
    they don’t bother me after that. plus they tend not to offer me drugs either :) although some still do.. which just goes to show how determined some people are to get you wasted..

  13. i'm with you and your wife. i don't mind the party, i do mind the senseless nonsense that passes as conversation and socialisation once inebriation has set in. that is always my cue to go too... even worse are those that try to force drink on you. i have an acquaintence, who know i don't drink, knows why too, yet every time he still starts with the 'come on, have a drink'. but i suspect that comes from his own fears...

  14. I who really does not drink, has never pushed a drink on anyone but I will admitt I have said with cookie etc, one more won't hurt.

    I know people look down on peeps that say we are having a party with no booze, it is sad when people have to think that they need a drink to have fun

  15. As recovering alcoholics, we don't find any conviviality in people getting sloshed, either. Those days are long gone. Now we sneak off after they've had their second or third or whatever it takes to start making less sense.

  16. I used to drink socially but quit about 15 years ago. When people ask why I don't drink I tell them I freed myself from peer pressure and began listening to my body, instead. My body says it doesn't want alcohol in it. Big parties with lots of drinking don't appeal to me. If I go at all, I go early, work my way around the room and leave before people are finishing their 2nd drink. That way I get to socialize and reconnect before people get sloppy, then drive home before all the drunks are on the road.

  17. Being in a drug addiction therapy program acquainted me with the thoughts of others. Those I'd hurt. Many different people.

  18. timely post indeed... I love the notion "I've had enough..." the perfect answer... not a lie and no details

    your wife is blessed that you're understanding and supportive of her program!

  19. I used to go watch Paul play gigs with his band all the time. It didn't bother me that at times these gigs were in a bar. It was the sloppy drunks toward the end of the night that bothered. Over time I just got to the place I preferred not to be around that.

    It's awesome to be able to celebrate a holiday and enjoy it without imbribing in alcohol. (Hugs)Indigo

  20. I don't ever go around alcohol without a plan of action and an escape route. Having an excuse to leave early usually works well.

    Perfect timing for a very wise reminder. Thanks Syd.

  21. Fortunately I have never been in a position where I have had to defend my not drinking. The one time someone asked if I couldn't have just one was a friend who knows I am sober, but he was drunk.

  22. It's so sad that this is even an issue. Are culture is too alcohol friendly in my opinion. There are lots of people who don't drink for religious reasons alone and that should be commended, not frowned upon.


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