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12 things no one tells you about life after alcohol

Teetotally onto it.

It’s no secret that being sober is gaining popularity among millennials. For Miss FQ digital content producer Terri Dunn, it came down ditching the uncertainty that drinking alcohol brought. While the decision to put down the Dutch courage was easy, being the only one on the sober wagon was a trying transition. Thankfully, she’s rounded up twelve need-to-knows that will make going sober a breeze.
Scroll for super-effective hacks and things she wishes she’d known earlier about going alcohol-free:

1. You don’t have to be literally #onthewaters.

Find your fave brand of kombucha/soft drink/non-alcoholic gin. All of the flavour and chic packaging, none of the falling out of your Uber and smashing your iPhone on the road.

2. Nail your elevator pitch.

Not drinking can be a foreign concept for many people so they often ask questions when they find out you’re sober. If you have an explanation up your sleeve that wraps it up in a sentence or two and communicates that you’re serious, that should nip any peer pressure in the bud.

3. Don’t cave.

Once you cave, you’re telling your friends you are in fact prepared to drink, it just ‘depends’ on the situation. Without realising, you’re saying yes to a number of occasions in the future based on your flexibility in this situation.

4. You can still attend work drinks…

Which is good because at most places it’s impolite — if not career-limiting — not to. Hold a champagne flute as a token if you can resist the urge to sip and you CBF with the admin of the aforementioned pitch. Otherwise fill a glass with something that will actually hydrate you and work the room. You can always fall back on the ‘have to drive’ excuse when, five conversations in, this becomes tedious or you catch yourself straying into ‘going on’ territory.

5. Seriously, don’t go on.

One way to tackle the stigma of sobriety is to behave like your regular self. Once you start harping on at length about your decision, it becomes everyone else’s burden, and you do a disservice to yourself and your fellow (as well as would-be) teetotallers by reinforcing an off-putting stereotype.

6. Be patient.

Learning to be comfortable sober in situations where everyone else is steamed takes time.

7. Don’t be a down buzz

When you go out with your friends do your best not to be a down buzz, you’ll only give them a window to pester you into drinking again. The endorphins from dancing will keep your energy levels high, just sayin’.

8. It shouldn’t feel like a punishment.

If it does, then you’re probably giving it up for the wrong reasons. Think about what you’re going to gain from being teetotal, not what you’re missing out on.

9. Know your triggers.

If you find situations where you really miss alcohol, say, at the end of the working day, reward yourself with something else like dinner out, or a gym or Netflix session. (Hint: There are as many calories in an ice-cream as there are in a large glass of wine. Just saying.)

10. Prepare for some friendships to change.

If you’ve outgrown the behaviour that comes with drinking, you might find you outgrow the friends who aren’t on the same page. Seeing through a sober lens how people change when they’re drinking can test your overall perceptions of them. Pretty sure this is where the expression “sobering thought” comes from.

11. You notice other people’s (dangerous) drinking habits.

How people respond to your decision reflects more on them than it does on you. Quite often those who try to pressure you or dismiss your decision tell you a lot about their drinking habits and their struggle with self-control. These are the ones that will test you.

12. Real friends respect you.

They look out for you when you’re on the town, making sure your lemon, lime and bitters is topped up, or there’s a cold kombucha waiting for you. And they never make you sober drive, unless there’s cold hard cash or a kebab in it for you on the way home.

Words: Terri Dunn
Photos: Getty Images, Supplied


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