EP 104: Reader Question – How did you tell your friends you stopped drinking?

Why is it so hard to ‘come out’ about the fact that we no longer drink? And why do we feel like we owe people an explanation for declining a drink? Find out how Annie Grace tackled the task of telling friends, family, and colleagues that she was done with drinking for good…..and how empowering it feels to answer the ever-present question of “Can I get you a drink?” with “Yes! I’d love an iced tea!”


Download EP:104 Transcript

Telling Family You Stopped Drinking

I came out three different ways, depending on who it was. So with my family I sent everybody this overly excited email, and the shock factor is totally enjoyable for me. I should find the email and post it because it was just hilarious, and it was like, “I’m never drinking again, and that’s my decision.” Like it was just hilarious and over the top and way overly excited.

I had this literal sense of euphoria and just almost ecstasy when I quit drinking. It was the feeling that I never have to drink again. I never have to be hung over. Never have to make another bad decision. I never have to worry about what I said the night before.

Like I felt so much freedom, like I had just been unchained, like I had been awoken from this just weird daze of what was I doing and why, and I don’t have to do that.

Getting There

Now, it took me a while to get there. I had to go through all the liminal points. Do all the research. Completely re-shift my brain to where I saw alcohol in its naked light, where I saw it like, “Why would I put that in my body?” So the feeling for me, it was just completely euphoric. So I sent this overly excited email to my family, and just to my family because I … and it might’ve been like two of my closest friends, and that was mainly because I didn’t feel like I owed them any explanation and they’d be happy for me, so they wouldn’t feel judged.

Telling Friends You Stopped Drinking

Telling friends you stopped drinking is a little bit of a different story. If they offered me a drink, I’d be like, “I stopped drinking.” The usual reaction I got was, “Well, I didn’t think you had a problem,” and that was generally from people who were drinking just as much as I did. It was, “Wait, does that mean I have a problem?” And so it became a pretty quickly defensive conversation, and Missy, I think that’s what you’re probably most afraid of, and that’s really tricky. It’s just tricky, I wish I had like this magic bullet for it, but when you make a choice like this, you’ve elevated yourself.

Standards

Even if you’re not outwardly judgmental, and I don’t think any of us are when we’re doing this, like this is a personal choice that we’re making for us and our lives, but the effect of the choice is that you’ve pretty much said like,

“I’m holding my self to a different standard all of a sudden. I’m not going to put that in my body anymore. I am not going to let that risk my health anymore. No, I’m not going to get sloppy anymore. I’m not going to be hung over anymore,”

and you’ve put yourself on this different standard. People can’t help feeling judged, and I think it’s probably like one of the most difficult parts because I’m just a people person. I’m really inclusive, and I will bend over backwards not to have somebody feel badly or judged. So to have my actions having them feel uncomfortable about their own actions was really difficult for me, and so it took a lot of getting used to.

Disbelief

When telling friends you stopped drinking some people just won’t believe it. I remember this one guy, he would just look at me whenever I was laughing or whatever. Like, really, are you really laughing? Is that a real laugh? Are you really that happy without drinking? Like he just didn’t quite believe it. There was a lot of just … I just felt this kind of energy of being observed, so I think it’s a hard one. I think my …

Start Reading

Wondering how to go about telling friends you stopped drinking? Start reading This Naked Mind for free today and find out more!

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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