I have already been invited to numerous parties and events and although I am confident I will not be tempted to have anything alcoholic, there are some events I am not looking forward to.
One in particular involves the whole company I work for and is to be based at a hotel for the weekend. The daytime is supposed to be spent in various team building activities, but the evening is planned as a massive booze-up with Karaoke and the like until probably the early hours of the morning. I have already heard that people expect to be drunk by lunchtime on day one, so it really is going to be an environment I would rather miss altogether. If you are facing a similar trial I think all you can do is find some others who like you will be sober or at least mostly so and agree to stick together and so avoid the drunks who will be unhappy that you ‘don’t fit in’ and ‘don’t want to be a team player’. At least on the morning of day two I will be able to go for a swim or a run whilst the others are nursing dreadful hangovers, and the more cheerful I am that day the more that will infuriate them and make them wish they hadn’t indulged to such an extent.
For the other evening drinks events I have already planned on taking a small bottle of angostura bitters with me to spice up my lime and soda somewhat. Hopefully most places we go to will already have some but just in case, it will be nice to have something to drink that I don’t normally have. I would certainly recommend you planning your own chosen drink in advance so that when the beers and wines are glibly and readily passed around you already have an idea of what you would like instead. All this helps avoid those endless questions why you aren’t drinking. The more exotic your alcohol-free drink looks the better. You could of course drink alcohol free beer if it is available, but I certainly find that more than one or two of these makes me feel ready to explode!”
Another idea if you think the evening may go on late is to have something definite planned for later, perhaps a late showing at the cinema, or a late meal with a friend, or even the promise to drive and pick someone up. All this will help to ensure you don’t fall into someone’s trap and you have a drink just to go along with everyone else. You know it won’t and can’t stop at one!
Good luck and have fun! You don’t need to drink to enjoy yourself so don’t get bullied this Christmas!