There are lots of ways to enjoy a party and stay sober. A little over a year ago, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. While my reasons for doing so ranged from saving money to losing weight, they did not include becoming a homebody who never has any fun. One of my biggest concerns with giving up my micro-brewed beers and bold red wines was that I would miss out on epic late nights with my friends or have to listen to stories of crazy shenanigans rather than tell them. So, over the past 12 months, I have come up with three ways to enjoy a party and stay sober to beat the sober sigma and keep the party going.
1. Order a Drink That Blends in
That’s right, if you’re on the wagon or got the short stick in the draw for DD, order a drink that looks like it has alcohol. This tip has multiple benefits depending on your reasons for being sober. If you are sick or simply making the casual choice to cut back, the alcoholic lookalike beverage will keep the drinking wolves at bay. You, know the friends that want everyone else to be matching them drink for drink, or simply can’t understand your reasons for forgoing the tequila shots. It will also help you avoid those awkward circles where everyone has a drink and you have no idea what to do with your hands. My go-to is a ginger ale that I ask to be served in a skinny glass with a red straw…the red straw is key.
2. Stop Saying You Are Sober…it’s a Buzzkill
Yeah, you are the sober one, they know, and even if they don’t, they don’t care. This is harsh but true. We’ve all been there, when we are feeling the neon lights and we try to order shots for our newfound friend and they hit us with the line, “Oh no thanks, I don’t drink”. It’s a buzzkill. Suddenly we are hyper-aware of what we say and how we act, all in an attempt to seem less intoxicated. Now, remember that feeling the next time you’re the sober one out with your friends. Chances are they already know you are not going to partake and they don’t need to be reminded of it every half hour, and honestly neither do you, so erase the sober marker from your forehead and relax.
3. Do Something outside Your Comfort Zone
This one can be tough at first but you’ll thank me later. Now that you are sans alcohol, you are unfortunately also missing out on the famous liquid courage. So all those times you danced in the middle of the club when nobody else knew that song or talked to that cute guy who was most likely checking you out instead of your friend...those are going to take some work. For me, it was my first sober wedding, and there was not that many people dancing, but my friends were wanting to get the party started. I realized then that the old me would have been on the dance floor 2 songs ago, and that my fear of embarrassment was the thing holding me back. So I swallowed my pride instead of a shot of fireball, took off my heels, and danced until 3am. Push yourself outside your comfort zone, dance to the song, play the drinking game (even if it’s with soda), sing the karaoke, do the crazy things your stories are made from. It will not only prove to your friends you can still be a blast sober, it will prove it to yourself as well.