Summer is wedding season and a summer wedding without booze is unthinkable! Or is it? Find out how to say no to the open bar and champagne toast as Annie gives us her best advice for dancing the night away without relying on liquid courage.

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Download EP:190 Transcript

Do It

If you’re worried about an alcohol free wedding, I think it’s always the advice to don’t think about it, don’t worry about it, push it out of your mind. Now, my advice and my experience is that that is the opposite of what works. I think that there’s a lot of scientific studies to back this up. The more that you think about something, the more that you try not to think about something, the more you think about it. There was this great study about white bears.

They said, “Don’t think about white bears,” and nobody could stop thinking about white bears.

That just happens over, and over, and over. Actually, they’ve measured responses in your body to anxiety, and stress, and different things, both with somebody noticing and experiencing the feeling and going deep into it and with somebody kind of just trying not to think about it and ignore the feeling, and your body deals with anxiety stressors, all of these sorts of things much better when you think about it and you go deep into it.

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See it

My advice is before you go, I would take 15 minutes, set yourself a timer, and just really visualize it. Let yourself think it through on both sides. Say, “Okay, so what? So what if I drink at this wedding? What would that look like? How would it feel? How would it feel to myself. What are my values that have kept me sober for 680 days?” and really journal into those, like, “What are my non-negotiables? What are the things that I’m valuing in my life that could or might not be jeopardized if I drink at this wedding?” Then, imagine like, “So that first glass of wine, how would that be?” I mean, I would have, probably for me, I would have a huge amount of anxiety around that glass of wine because I would know that I would have been doing something that wasn’t completely in line with my values.

Feel It

So thinking that through in my mind beforehand and saying, “How would it be if I actually had a champagne toast at a wedding? What would that mean?” really allowed me to know without a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t want to do it. Then, I thought about, “Okay, well how’s that going to feel? And what is that going to be like?” So instead of just going into it really unprepared, I’d kind of visualized a lot of these different things before. I made really mindful decisions beforehand about, “Okay, that is going to probably end badly. That’s not going to have me feeling good.

Best case I’m going to feel disingenuous to myself and some of the things that I’ve set out for myself. Worst case, I’m going to get drunk and make a fool out of myself and have a massive hangover and then have a lot of guilt, and shame, and regret.”

Both of those things I played out. Now, that being said, your mind might play out different. You might think, “Oh, well this is not going to be a big deal.” Whatever it is, I would encourage you not to be afraid of it and to go into it.

Keep Listening

Tune in to hear why Annie says what you expect comes to be true and how that pertains to an alcohol free wedding.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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