Survival of the soberest.
It’s sound impossible, I know. And it’s not like you have a problem or anything, but the reality is, there is a small chance you look ahead in your busy life of juggling work, family, social and catching up with all the awesome shows on Netflix and wonder how you’ll get through it all, without having a drink or two, or sometimes many more. How much you drink is your business. If a weekend without alcohol sounds impossible, then perhaps the you need to see what it looks like to live for a whole entire weekend, without it.
Surviving a weekend alcohol-free
1. Write down on a sticky note, ‘Today I am living alcohol-free’ and stick it to your wallet. Reminding yourself all day that you are making one simple choice will reinforce it for when your choice is questioned by your mates at the pub later.
2. Lock yourself in your house armed with mineral water and buckets of ice cream because the thought of going out depresses you. Kidding! Keep your plans. The purpose of this exercise is to prove you can do this, so shutting up shop isn’t a option. Stick to your plans. You might feel like leaving the party early, be ok with the choice. Make plans for early the next morning to give yourself a good excuse to moonwalk out or their at a decent hour.
3. Order a water with fresh lime, most people will think it’s vodka. You might be argued with or told you are ‘boring’, the truth is, you’re not boring, you’re dangerous, because you’re doing what most people can’t comprehend. You are looking in the face of a social norm and saying, nope. That should feel empowering. So, own it. Don’t under play it. Tell it how it is. You are doing a weekend alcohol-free. Deal with it.
4. Politely decline any offer of drinks other than water. If you must be firm, then be firm. You can make a choice to not have a drink, that is ok, what’s not ok is somebody else taking issue with your choice. Stand firm if someone is giving you heat and remember your choice to go alcohol-free highlights the insecurity of others, so their issue isn’t with you, it’s with the person in the mirror.
‘No thanks I’m good with water?’ ‘I’m driving tonight.’ ‘I am on a alcohol-free weekend, you can have mine.’ ‘What would be great is for you to support me as a friend instead of trying to undermine my choices.’
5. Have interesting conversations. Most people are better at talking about themselves than asking interesting questions, so ask interesting questions. Ask about their Instagram photo, their holiday plans, their cousins 30th, their work life, their creepy boss, how they are going on that diet, what TV show they recommend, if they are listening any good podcasts. It makes people feel important and it will take the conversation away from you defending you’re totally legit and awesome choice to not drink tonight.
6. Moonwalk outta there when you get over it. Don’t let anyone bully you into staying, leave when you want to, leave early, don’t feel bad about it, feel great about it.
7. Plan for tomorrow. To reinforce this decision, it’s good to have an early morning commitment for the next day; a gym class, a walk with a friend, church, a physio appointment. Something that you need to show up for to keep you accountable to your choice. Preferable an early one so you have a good reason to leave the party when people start dancing on tables, making out with their bosses and doing shots.
Shots I usually where I call it a night (or an afternoon).
You’ll get home and go to bed. You’ll sleep better. The party will go on, you might feel like you missed out a little bit but the truth is, they are the ones missing out. You are going to get up, see a whole new part of the day and feel great. What’s not to love about that? The social Rebellions is all about stepping outside the societal norms and doing things differently. After all, if you keep doing the same thing week in out, week out and magically expect a different result, sorry Shane, but the that’s the definition of insanity. To be a sane person and change your behaviour, one small decision at a time. It can all start with a cheeky weekend alcohol-free.
Best wishes and soda waters.