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Alcoholic Judgments

Since October 2018, I haven’t touched a single drop of alcohol.

After more than 20 years of alternating between consuming an above-average amount of alcoholic beverages to the more than occasional unwind-after-a-long-day-of-work glass of beer, wine, or gin-tonic, I felt the need for a liquid change. It initially started as an experiment in line with my health journey, yet it slowly turned out into a positive lifestyle change. I refrain from giving you – the reader – the effects of what alcohol does on one’s physical and mental levels. It makes no sense to become the scientist on this as you may fully enjoy your drinks. And I fully support this!

Recently, after a few conversations with business and personal relations, who are aware of my journey, the question arose about how I managed to get where I am now. And the (in)famous alcohol matter was raised, too. Citing that I was not shy of accepting a top-up of any kind in the past, the reasons why I choose to omit alcohol out of my life came first with some compliments, followed by disbelief.

And judgment.

There is a saying that flows through the internet; “Because No Great Story Ever Started With Someone Eating A Salad”. From my perspective, I always read that alcohol is one of the main drivers to keep the good times going. Anything without a certain % in it is bound to get the party starting. Of course, I respect these opinions and once was fully aligned with this statement.

Yet, when thinking about it, and putting it into practice over the past time, the value of a social event or party actually never revolves around a tipple. Some easy steps to overcome that feeling of not belonging, which I turned to and used during this sober period.

Forget what others may think.

Like taking that step to become a thriving ‘you’, it is your decision and your decision alone. Some questions may arise at first but before you know it, nobody will lift an eyebrow when topping up your glass or cup with your beverage of choice. You are not the content of your glass.

Just joke about it.

When the question arises, just disarm them with a good joke. Be open that you have taken the sobriety path yet make sure you own the moment. However you play it, from being the designated driver to allergic reactions of any kind, it shows that some sneaky tricks will do the trick to silence the person and remain the life of the event.

Bring your own liquid of choice.

To avoid zipping bottled water all day, take what you prefer to drink with you. If the venue serves soft drinks, non-alcoholic beers, or mocktails, it’s almost a 100% score. For a more home-based party, just take your liquid of choice with you. When the more sugary drinks are on the host menu, you can be sure that bringing your own will be accepted.

Be productive and supportive.

We all had these parties where the majority of the clan took more than your Average Joe consumes on an evening (me included!), sometimes with destructive consequences. Taking a sober standpoint allows you to perhaps earn some brownie points and support those with shaky legs and a slur from here until the exit.

Go for the (quality) food.

Like with my nutrition coaching, I aim for progression, not perfection. And good party food is what can really elevate the atmosphere. If the invite says ‘bring something”, you can shine like a rock star with your culinary creations and gastronomical gestures.

On average, people mingle more around the food table than around the drinking cabinet. Time to welcome the compliments of your caloric creations are just around the corner.

You are there to meet people.

Getting the feeling of missing out when not drinking, happened to me a few times. But this should not be the reason when friends laugh louder with every bottom’s up. True friendship is not determined by the alcohol content but by the quality time shared with those surrounding you.

Conversations became more in-depth, a good friendship became better, and the ones sipping away on a beer or a cocktail will appreciate this.

I do like to have fun. I don’t need alcohol to have fun | Rima Fakih

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