Jolene and Aidan talk about how they engage in their social lives without drinking. Both admit they are more of introverts than they once thought. They share some of the phrases they have ready if someone offers them a drink such as, “no thank you”, “I don’t drink anymore”, “I’m good for now” or “I’m on a cleanse.” Aidan mentions the importance of being non-judgmental toward drinkers and balancing that with the uncomfortable feelings of being around people who are very inebriated. Ultimately, Aidan and Jolene agree that everyone must decide for themselves what works best when being around people who drink and they acknowledge that we all often overestimate how uncomfortable it will be to be in a situation where others are drinking. Aidan talks about a vacation she went on with other couples when she wasn’t drinking and notes that she still had a lot of fun. Both Jolene and Aidan recommend going to weddings, vacations and other events as a non-drinker to get the experience under your belt. The anticipation is often far bigger than the reality. Jolene has found more people actually respect her decision to not drink than they criticize her decision. The hardest parts of a social gathering can be the very beginning or the very end. While it can feel a little awkward in first 20-minutes of arriving at an event the anxiety does typically evaporate. There’s nothing wrong with feeling a little awkward or uncomfortable at times; it always passes. It’s also important and meaningful to connect with and seek out, people who don’t drink or activities that do not involve always involve drinking. Aidan mentions that she’s become part of a book group that doesn’t drink and Jolene talks about being part of a yoga community of people who aren’t big drinkers. Mix it up, put yourself out there, and feel free to add to or expand your social groups and communities when you stop drinking.


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