The Big Question

“Responding to questions about why you’re not drinking in early sobriety, especially as a grey area drinker (someone who may not have a severe drinking problem but has concerns about their drinking habits), can be delicate. Here are some strategies to navigate these questions:
Be Honest and Brief:
You can be honest without oversharing. A simple, straightforward response like, “”I’ve decided to take a break from alcohol for a while”” is often sufficient.
Deflect the Question:
Politely deflect the question by turning it around. For example, “”I’m trying out a new wellness challenge, and I’m really enjoying it. How about you? What’s new with you?””
Use Humour:
Light humour can help diffuse tension. You might say something like, “”I’m trying to give my liver a break!”” This approach can make the situation less awkward.
Express Gratitude:
Thank the person for their concern or interest and briefly explain your decision, if you’re comfortable. For example, “”I appreciate your concern. I’m taking a break from drinking to focus on my health.””
Emphasise Your Personal Choice:
Reinforce that your decision not to drink is a personal choice. You can say, “”I’ve chosen to cut back on alcohol for my own reasons, and I feel great about it.””
Shift the Focus:
Redirect the conversation to a different topic by saying something like, “”Let’s not dwell on my drink; I’d love to hear about your recent trip/interests/hobbies.””
Share a Positive Outcome:
If you’ve noticed any positive changes since cutting back on alcohol, consider sharing them. For example, “”I’ve been feeling more energetic and clear-headed since I stopped drinking.””
Discuss Health Goals:
If applicable, you can mention that you’re focusing on your health and well-being. Say something like, “”I’m working on improving my overall health, and giving up alcohol is part of that journey.””
Use the “”Designated Driver”” Excuse:
If you’re at an event where alcohol is present, you can say you’re the designated driver for the night. This provides a socially acceptable reason not to drink.
Be Firm but Kind:
If someone keeps pressing the issue after you’ve provided a polite response, it’s okay to be a bit more assertive. You can say, “”I’d rather not discuss it further. Let’s enjoy the evening.””
Remember that you don’t owe anyone a detailed explanation for your decision to cut back or abstain from alcohol. Your sobriety journey is a personal one, and it’s okay to set boundaries around discussing it. Choose the response that feels most comfortable and authentic to you in each situation, and focus on maintaining your sobriety and well-being.”

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