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  1. #1
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    why is it that the first time you go to any kind of gathering or function people say, "What can I get you, a beer or a glass of wine?"
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am trying to help someone I love very much with his drinking probelm. None of his friends know about it. He is trying to quit himself with no medication. He has an anxiety disorder and stopped taking that medication which caused him to begin drinking. He is back on that medication and has been doing pretty well until he went to a game with his friends which promptly started his drinking again. It was acknowledged and he is stopping again. Hopefully forever. He recognizes that he cannot drink at all but in our society where EVERYONE assumes that EVERYONE drinks alcohol, it is hard. I worry about the holidays coming up and the fact that people often give him a nice bottle of scotch as a thank you after he completes a job for them. I pray for him to have strength and to somehow dig deep to have more willpower. If his friends knew, I know it would be a different story but he is to embarrassed to tell them. Any advise would be most appreciative.

  2. #2
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    Susan,

    I understand the embarassment of talking about a drinking problem, but why does he feel he cannot talk to his friends or at the very least one or two close ones? Especially, if as you say, he does realize that this is a problem? Do you think he really grasps the importance of this matter? Or do you think that perhaps you are projecting your desire for him to quit when he is not ready?

    And yes, alcohol is all around us. Especially as the holidays approach it's difficult. I avoided several parties last year because of that. But, I've found, that just as it's around us, it's just as easily gone. Tell someone you don't drink, tell someone you want a club soda or anything else, etc, and there is usually (I have never experienced any)no pressure to drink and you are not asked again if you want anything alcoholic.

    You also have to start thinking about yourself. Look into Alanon. It really is a lot of pressure...you don't realize how much to worry about someone who drinks.

    Jen

  3. #3
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    I think it's important to note that "willpower" isn't really the answer. One of the symptoms of this disease -- and I have come to understand it as a disease -- is the loss of willpower. I am sure all of us on this board have really WANTED to quit drinking, or change our drinking, for a very long time. The keys to getting started in recovery, I think, are:

    1. He has to admit/understand that he has a problem, and just how serious it is; and
    2. He has to be willing to ask for help.

    Asking for help can be very difficult. But help is there. There are many resources: AA, alcohol & addiction counselors, and now, this program. There are also good resources, such as Al-Anon, which offer support to spouses of problem drinkers.

  4. #4
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    Yes, Susan, I would definitely agree with what Mike says as I don't know how much you know about recovery. There is absolutely no such thing as "willpower" with this disease. It is a disease and he needs help.

  5. #5
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    can i be totally blunt.... here....

    Are we kidding ourselves... At most places...they ask if we want .. beer, wine, spirits or softdrinks.. surely that is the same worldwide...

    I've been off the booze for more than three months now and have attended a lot of industry functions and incredibly there are a helluva lot of people who drink organge juice....

    It gets down to excuses sometimes I think people !!!!!

  6. #6
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    What's socially acceptable?

    Mish,

    I have to agree with you. One of the things that pushed me into giving up alcohol was the realization that at so many functions I attend, there are countless people sipping seltzer. I have wondered SO often, why am I backed up against the bar, drinking too much wine, when so many folks don't seem to even notice the bar? They are actually talking with each other, eating, whatever!! I have longed to be one of those people, who seem to have a lot more going on than thoughts about the level of wine in their glass! No one looks at them as party poopers! I, in fact, am the party pooper, because I really can't be present in a very real way.

    I am in my fourth week right now of not drinking, and bit by bit, something is thawing inside and it feels like there is more room in my life for people. I"m still kind of thinking through this idea, but that's what it feels like, like I am getting "re-peopled" somehow. It feels energizing and exciting.

    Ann

  7. #7
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    Re: What's socially acceptable?

    Our society is completely saturated with drinking advertisements. Cant speak for other than USA, but,The Times, WSJ, and others have huge liquour advertisements on a daily basis, ESPECIALLY on Fridays!

    Super Bowl & other sporting events - One would think you cant watch them without being inebriated.

    One can go on and on.

    The liquor lobby, like tobacco,oil, etc., has a huge hold on our elected officials.

  8. #8
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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    Re: What's socially acceptable?

    I would agree that it seems that we are bombarded more and more with the ads and sponsorships by the liquor industry recently. Hard liquor wasn't even allowed to be advertised on TV in the US until the last year or so. However there has also been an increase in the amount of advertising for the non-alcoholic beers and such which tells you that the tide is turning.
    I would however agree with Ann in saying that drinking in most social situations nowadays is not as "fashionable" as it used to be. Those at a party or business meeting who are having the club soda with the lemon or lime or a non-alcoholic beer are in my opinion are looked at in a whole different light today. They (and for all of us soon hopefully) are regarded as being in control and being more health conscience. To go to a gathering nowadays and pass on the drink for a soda or ice water is less and less of a red herring and more of the norm which puts us in a better place to be comfortable in not drinking.
    And look guys all you have to say is no matter where you go and I know this works is your the designated driver! In most cases problem solved!
    Don

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    The frustration of our society assuming everyone drinks

    Re: What's socially acceptable?

    Don

    Your last sentence took the words right out of my mouth. That was going to be my exact reply. Who would argue that you are driving and therefore not drinking. Although I really can't see the problem in asking for a lemon squash or orange juice. I doubt anyone would turn their heads.

    Well, saying that, my ex-husband did turn his head once when I asked for a squash, but it wasn't a big deal. Not even commented on.

    Kath

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