When I first took a break from alcohol I was worried about how I would explain why I wasn’t drinking.
To me it was such a big deal not to drink that I felt I needed an ‘excuse’ for why I was choosing to take a break.
However, like a lot of concerns I had about my decision not to drink, it wasn’t as much of a big deal to others as I’d initially thought.
Now I find that I rarely get asked why I’m not drinking, especially when I’m in a larger group of people. No doubt, people aren’t even aware of what is in my glass!
What to say
However, there are times when it’s more obvious that I’m not drinking (particularly when in a smaller group).
This is when it’s good to have some responses to the question: “So, why aren’t you drinking?”.
I’ve listed below some of the ones that I’ve used (particularly at the beginning) but it’s best to choose something that feels genuine to you.
My top responses are:
“I’m taking a break from drinking as I want to see if it makes me feel better.”
“I’ve found drinking affects my (sleep, perimenopause symptoms, anxiety, fitness, etc) so I’m taking a break to see if that improves.”
“I’ve heard about all the benefits of going alcohol free so I’m trying it out.”
“I’ve found this great alcohol-free gin / beer / (fill in your AF drink of choice) so I’d rather drink that.”
“Apparently going alcohol-free is the new trend so I’m getting on board!”
“I’m finding that alcohol no longer serves me so I’m taking a break.”
My advice is to make it as matter of fact as possible and then move on with the conversation – unless of course you want to delve into all the ins and outs of why you’re not drinking!
What would you like to drink?
If you are asked “What would you like to drink?” – confidently respond with whatever drink you have chosen to have, e.g. tonic and lime, alcohol-free beer, etc.
And then simply leave it at that.
You don’t have to give people a big explanation.
After all, if you met someone at a café and were asked what you were drinking, you wouldn’t go into details about all the reasons you chose a long black rather than a flat white!
Remember, words are powerful so choose yours wisely.