I fear that I won’t be able to have the same type of connection and fun if I’m not drinking. Can you reassure me that socializing will still be fun even if I’m the only one not drinking? This is a question that we have all had when considering quitting drinking. Annie puts this in perspective for us and gives us comforting reassurance that yes! Conversation, connection, and fun can still be had and WILL be had sober….and it those things can be better than ever!
One of the most terrifying things about giving up alcohol is, we are such social people, we’re just wired that way. We’re meant to be in relationship with other people. We’re meant to be social with other people, to have fun with other people. All sorts of studies show that tons of negative things come from separation from other people. The idea of not having that level of camaraderie, if alcohol is not involved, is really terrifying.
I think we all long for connection and conversation. We long to talk about deep, important stuff. We long to talk about funny stuff. To be able to let our guard down, so that we can say things that are just a bit over the line, or maybe we wouldn’t, before. A lot of that comes with this liquid courage of having something in our hand. We think, “Okay. That’s when this happens.”
It Was Me
Since I stopped drinking … I was definitely afraid of this, but I went into it with this attitude that, “I remember that I used to be able to have phenomenal conversations. I remember amazing friends and laughing before I ever drank. That’s gotta still be in me.” Sure enough, it was still in me, but occasionally when you get to a BBQ, and people haven’t had a few drinks, they aren’t as forthcoming. Often, I would have to wait it out until other people got a bit of the perception of, “Now, I’ve had a few. Now, I can let loose a bit.”
Then, it was amazing what would happen, because me, without drinking would be right in there, the only difference, really, was that I was ready to have that type of conversation, when I first showed up, and other people took a bit, because they were still so reliant on, “It’s not time, yet. I need to loosen up.”
I think that so much of that is what we expect, and so much of it is placebo. If I had a lab, and if I could find a way to do this, I would absolutely love to study how much the effect of drinking and loosening up, really is placebo? I remember feeling relief, feeling better. Reaching for the bottle of wine, ordering the glass of wine, opening the bottle of wine well before I ever even took a sip, and I think tons of people I’ve talked to, report the same thing.
So often, just the idea that you’re all sitting down, the idea that you’re having a drink, brings that camaraderie, brings that fun. The alcohol doesn’t actually have that much to do with it, as we expect. You’re having fun without alcohol from the beginning.
Read About It
Learn more about the placebo effect by reading This Naked Mind.
To Have Fun Without Alcohol
I would encourage you to really be mindful. Notice what’s happening. When does that conversation start? When, also, does it get dumb, because alcohol does make even the best conversations, and the funniest, smartest people, when they’ve had too much, not as fun. Just notice, how you feel, and what you notice around yourself, because I think that so much of it is in our minds.
What we believe, changes our physiology. It changes our blood, it changes our emotions.
Make sure to tune in to the complete podcast for even more advice on how to have fun without alcohol.
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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