Knowing Your "No"
One of the biggest hurdles we face in early sobriety is handling that moment when someone offers us a drink. It is vital that we learn that "No" is a complete sentence. When refusing a drink, we don't want long explanations or drawn-out conversation, as these offer more opportunities for us to change our minds. We want a short, simple refusal that we can pull out immediately. When someone offers you a drink, here are some pointers:
- Do not hesitate in your response. The longer it takes you to respond, the more likely your brain will try to talk you into saying yes.
- Make eye contact with the person.
- Keep your answer short and sweet, polite but not vague.
- No, thank you.
- No, thanks, I don't want to.
- I am not drinking now (for whatever reason you choose to give, weight loss and medication often work). I'd appreciate you helping me out.
Having a non-alcoholic drink handy may help in keeping someone else from asking repeatedly that you "join in". It may even prevent them from asking in the first place, as they may assume you are already drinking. Be prepared to walk away if the situation continues and you feel your sobriety threatened.
You must remember that YOU are in charge. WFS Statement 13: I am responsible for myself and my actions. Do not allow someone's badgering to meld with the idea that an external force is keeping you from drinking. You are not drinking because YOU choose not to. Someone who is pressuring you to drink is trying to tell you what to do. Do not give in!
Further information may be found at http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/default.asp