What To Do When People Ask: "Why Aren't You Drinking?"

From backyard BBQs to graduation parties, there are always a slew of summer gatherings to go to. Oftentimes, these celebrations involve alcohol. You want to attend, but you know you are going to be offered drinks, asked questions why you won’t partake, and perhaps egged on to suck it up and do a shot.

When you are practicing sobriety, such situations can be exhausting, or just plain annoying. On one hand, you want to see your family and friends and have fun. But what happens when you’re the only one not drinking?

Sobriety shouldn’t mean staying home alone. And it doesn’t have to be a big upset when you are hanging out with a crowd either. Here’s how to handle the pressure when your sober status becomes the focus of the festivities.

Just Say “Not Today”

Sobriety is a day-by-day endeavor. You wake up, choose not to drink, and do everything you can to make those 24 hours successful before starting all over again. Staying away from alcohol altogether is advantageous, but there will be times when others will be drinking, and you’ll grab a Coke instead of a Corona.

Folks who may not know your sober status may wonder why you are sticking to soft drinks. You do not have to divulge your drama. A simple “I’m not drinking today” will suffice. No further explanation is required, especially if you are not comfortable talking about rehab or recovery. Smile, take a sip of your soda, and strike up a conversation with someone else.   

“Cheers!” to Good Health

You may not be on a “health kick,” per se, but going sober is something that will be undeniably beneficial for your body. When buzzed partygoers start bugging you about your kid-friendly refreshment, tell them you are trying to get healthier, and alcohol is not what the doctor ordered.

This isn’t the exact reason you’re not drinking, but it isn’t too far off the mark either. Choosing sobriety was a smart decision, not only for your clarity, but for your overall condition. When you decided you weren’t going to drink anymore, you did yourself a sound service. If your buddies want the best for you, they will respect your choice and carry on. Addiction or dependence doesn’t have to come up until you’re ready to share your story.

Mocktails vs. Cocktails

Fix yourself a fun-looking drink and no one will know what it is that you’re enjoying. Mocktails are refreshing and delicious, and generally look like the classic cocktails we’re all familiar with. Even a club soda on ice with a wedge of lime will work.

While you shouldn’t have to “pretend” to fit in, it’s often easier to blend in so you don’t have to deal with the unwanted attention. Problem solved!

Handle It Beforehand

If you know it’s going to be a “thing” that you’re not drinking, give a heads up to whomever you think will push you with questions at the party. If you’re not ready to talk rehab, you have every right to keep it to yourself. Let them know you’re down for some fun, but you won’t be patrolling the punch bowl.

You can also declare yourself “designated driver.” Your friends will appreciate the favor, and you’re off the hook!

Stay sober with help from Beachside Rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida, offering inpatient and outpatient detox, drug and alcohol rehab, and holistic recovery. Call 866-349-1770 to speak with one of our trained admissions counselor.