Fake it till you make it

The party invite said:
As everyone is busy in the run-up to Christmas I thought I’d invite you all round in the middle of January when there is bugger all else to do. There will be mince pies and mulled wine and possibly some other vaguely Christmas-y stuff.
But mostly there will be booze and dancing. And games for those that like such things.
A couple of people have asked if partners and friends are welcome. Partners are, of course. As to friends, that’s OK too, though only if they are hot and/or interesting. Remember… BRING BOOZE.
Things like this still make me feel nervous. Not in a “how will I manage not to drink?” way. It’s more of a “am I going to actually enjoy this?” feeling. I’ve written before about the perils of partying sober. Some nights are good – and some aren’t.
One of the things I worry about most is what other people will think about me not drinking. I worry they might think I’m boring. I hate the fact that I worry about what other people think, but I do. I want to be liked. I want to be considered fun. I want to fit in.
The writer who sums this feeling up the best is Sacha Z. Scoblic in her brilliant book My Lush Sobriety. She writes:
“I still felt viscerally close to the life I led as a drinker. I was also acutely aware of my own feeling toward people who didn’t drink: that they were all totally vanilla, uptight squares who wanted me to treat my body like a temple, take Jesus Christ as my savior and drink Kool-Aid with them at mixers in church basements….”
“….So now that I was sober, I blurted out things like, “Don’t worry, I’m still fun!” even though what I was really thinking was: “Don’t even for a minute think I’m vanilla because the truth is I am so hard core I had to quit. I drank so much it was a matter of life and death. I’m like a rock star compared with you. In fact, maybe you should just call me Sid Vicious from now on. You should look at me with a touch of fear and awe because you would quiver to think about the amount of rotgut I’ve ingested over the years. So step off with your preconceived notions, O.K.?”
The party was last night.
On my way there I decided to try a little experiment. I decided to pretend to be the version of myself that I used to be after a glass or two of wine. You know – when you’ve had just enough to make you confident, chatty and relaxed. When you’re feeling a bit tipsy but aren’t yet slurring and making passes at married men.

Well, it worked. Pretty soon I wasn’t pretending to have a good time, I genuinely was having fun. As other people really did get tipsy, the good-time feeling rubbed off on me. I didn’t hide the fact that I was on soft drinks, but I didn’t stand in the corner radiating shy sobriety either (I have done that in the past). I’d brought with me some nice cordials and soft drinks that I knew I would be happy to drink all night. I was also one of the few people who thought to bring any food and that turned out to be very welcome.

The only thing that would have made the night better would’ve been the presence of some straight men. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many gorgeous but gay men in one room. Big sigh. Anyway as I went to leave my friend Yuan said “hope you get home safely and don’t feel too hungover tomorrow….” He was so surprised when I said I hadn’t been drinking at all.
It was – as always – great to wake up without a hangover today. I got up really late and feel as if I’ve had quite a lazy day, but actually I’ve still done a big supermarket shop, two loads of washing, some ironing, tidied the flat, made lasagne and I’ve written this. If I’d woken up with a hangover today I would probably still be in my pyjamas, surrounded by all the clothes I tried on last night but threw on the floor.

Tagged: , , , , , ,

50 thoughts on “Fake it till you make it

  1. teetotal January 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm Reply

    I found that too and it’s brilliant. When you get in the mood you can pick up on the atmosphere and act as daft and uninhibited as everyone else. People don’t realise that you are sober, don’t notice and don’t care. And when you have had enough you can make a sensible exit, especially if it starts getting shouty, repetitive or boring. As I said it’s a super power, be proud!

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm Reply

      It is a super power! I also like the fact that I am no longer boring and repetitive, telling the same anecdote twice etc..

  2. Doll Face January 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Great post. Fab advice. I’ll take it. x

  3. Nick January 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm Reply

    I really like the idea of ‘pretending’ to drink.
    Gonna try that myself, if you don’t mind! 🙂

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm Reply

      Go for it! Just make sure no one tries to top up your drink with wine etc..

  4. Maggie Shores January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm Reply

    I really love this! I don’t attand many drinking parites, but I have noticed that if i go in with confidance and just pretend to have a blast, i usually end up haveing a good time. I think it is a much better than going in all worried and stuff. And am begining to think thay peple don’t pay that mich attention anyway. Good for you! I am glad you had a good time and no hangover in he morning! Win-win!

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm Reply

      Yes some people hardly notice! I’ve also observed that an awful lot of people drink only a couple of glasses. When I was drinking, it felt like everyone was drinking loads too. Now I think, maybe it was just me?!

  5. Rare Herb January 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm Reply

    I’ll echo the words of teetotal, people won’t even notice you aren’t drinking. Example: I have a friend who’s family is like my family away from home. I have been going to family functions at their homes for years and at one get together, her mom offered me a glass of wine, which I politely declined. My friend said, “Mom, she doesn’t drink, you know that!” Her mom, a therapist in her professional life, was so embarrassed and apologetic. My point is, for years I have been hanging out with my friend and her Mom at parities, restaurants, funerals, weddings, casual dinners at the house, etc., and she had never noticed that I didn’t drink. We, the sober ones, are the only one’s who care that we don’t (or can’t!!) drink anymore. We are so concerned with what other’s will think. My best advice is to arrive semi-early, be yourself, don’t worry about what someone will think of your not drinking (they won’t notice, won’t care, and they will likely forget), and leave before it gets too crazy. Drunk people are not fun to be around! I pity the people who had to deal with my drunk self all those years ago!!! You’re doing a great job, keep it up!

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm Reply

      That’s so funny about your friend’s Mum. Such a good reminder that some people really don’t notice. I think here in the UK people are a bit more judgemental about teetotalers, and if they realise you’re not drinking they feel like they’re being judged in someway. Does that make sense? But equally I know quite a few people who just don’t care whether I’m drinking or not.

  6. lifecorked January 20, 2014 at 12:26 am Reply

    I love this! True testimony that we’re not a bunch of bores! I remember laughing out loud when I read that piece by Sacha – so true in so many ways! Thanks for making me smile. Glad the party was fun!

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm Reply

      Thank you! I love her book, it’s one of my favourite memoirs.

  7. FitFatFood January 20, 2014 at 12:45 am Reply

    That’s exactly the way to do it! Just get into the atmosphere and if you’re not feeling it, just leave when everyone else is too wasted to notice. I’m a big fan of just slipping out rather than saying bye and people trying to persuade you to carry on the party.

    I went to a party last night that was emotionally fraught (I met the New GF of a guy I like) but it was a bit rubbish, really. people tried to liven it up by drinking but that didn’t work so in the end everyone got the last tube home. It was the kind of party that drinking at would have been a complete waste of time, and sometimes it’s good to have boring parties to remind you that sometimes life just isn’t that fun, drink or no drink!

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm Reply

      How annoying for you (the new girlfriend situation I mean). And you’re right, a boring party is still a boring party even if you drink. You just remember less of it!

  8. Glenn January 20, 2014 at 1:02 am Reply

    What a great way to re-frame your perspective and to enjoy your sober life in a largely un-sober setting. I haven’t had much success in enjoying myself in similar environments. Implementing your tactics could make things much easier.
    Now if only someone would have me back to a gala event after all those blackouts…

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm Reply

      It’s worth pointing out that I’ve had lots less successful experiences too. Sometimes it’s just boring and people are tedious when drunk.

  9. KT January 20, 2014 at 10:15 am Reply

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of people actually drink nothing or very little and no-one notices. One of the reasons I decided to stop was when I became aware at my own dinner party that I put away three times as much as everyone else. I assumed others were heavy drinkers, but really they just had a glass of wine in front of them that they didn’t bother to empty. Have you noticed how the clear up after parties includes a load of partially drunk glasses? Unless you went around and finished them up for everyone else of course (I certainly did!)

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm Reply

      Oh I so relate to this. All those half empty glasses! I used to wonder how people could bring themselves to leave so much!

  10. lovinglife52 January 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm Reply

    I actually found my self confidence increased after a while of not drinking. I used to enjoy parties, but also feel nervous about them when I was a drinker. These days, I just get on with it, and enjoy myself. I find the heavy drinkers are the ones who are boring at parties.

    • soberjournalist January 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm Reply

      That’s great to hear. I guess many of us drank because we were nervous / shy, so when you finally overcome that and have a good time sans alcohol it feels great!

  11. lovinglife52 January 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm Reply

    I think nervousness, shyness and low self esteem are linked and common in drinkers and it is a good idea to confront and deal with these issues if you want to stay alcohol free long term. I was forced to come to terms with these things if I was to continue working and having any social life, and once the initial strangeness had worn off, it did feel good.

  12. Debbie January 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm Reply

    Excellent post, Kate. Gives me hope that I can do the same!!

  13. lucy2610 January 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply

    Gonna need to get that book – sounds like my kind of person 😉

  14. Kate Ellen January 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Great to hear!~ in the past when I had been sober for several months I went to several galas and theme parties and was that shy awkwardly sober girl. I’d try to hide not drinking or stupidly brag about being a designated driver. I finally gave up sobriety in the name of “fun” and almost killed myself trying to drink like a “normal” person.

    Now at three weeks sober and four major parties later, I’m more aware of why I’m not drinking and who I DON’T want to be as a sober person. Most importantly, I’m trying to “fake it til I make it” in the regard of actually BEING the sober person I want to be. Its an adventure~ You’re blogs are helping me along. So…thanks!! Kate Ellen

  15. Annabelle January 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm Reply

    Perfect post! I love that you tricked yourself into feeling good. It truly is a gift to be able to have a great time without the influence of substance. Good for you!

  16. Rachel January 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

    I still feel a bit anxious before a night out, particularly if I’ve not been to the place or out with the group before. However, I find that after the first drink, even though its not alcoholic, I do begin to relax as I used into the evening as I used to. Makes me think it was nothing to do with the alcohol as I notice the same at children’s parties, they’re all a bit quiet and shy and first then come out of their shells fairly quickly.
    You can have a good or a bad night sober, its not about the booze either, its about the people and the occasion. Sometimes though there’s nothing else to do but have dessert or go home and have chocolate!

  17. Dan January 31, 2014 at 11:08 am Reply

    A sober companion can make all the difference.

  18. Brian May 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm Reply

    This post particularly helped me. I was worried about being boring.

  19. content July 25, 2014 at 5:03 am Reply

    This cup has 150 calories much like the first two,
    1 gram of fat and 4 grams of fiber. content That was a decent price, of course this soup
    cup is rather small in size.

  20. http://www.startupnation.com/ August 19, 2014 at 5:41 am Reply

    Hello everybody, here every person is sharing these knowledge, so it’s fastidious to read this weblog, and I used to visit
    this web site daily.

  21. love it September 11, 2014 at 6:02 am Reply

    Proper below you enter your USALS coordinates and may have the Open – Box set all satellites to USALS, Diseq – C one.
    To hold the uncompressed electronic sign you may need with this wonderful property theater experience use HDMI or component cables.

    Hdmi to rca cable not working

  22. First Up 12X12 Canopy Parts September 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm Reply

    Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was
    curious about your situation; many of us have developed some nice procedures and we are looking to swap techniques with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  23. farm heroes saga cheat September 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm Reply

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog.
    He used to be totally right. This post actually made my day.

    You cann’t believe simply how so much time I had spent for
    this information! Thank you!

  24. Hi there to every single one, it’s actually a pleasant for me to pay
    a visit this site, it includes useful Information.

  25. juresta contact October 14, 2014 at 3:54 am Reply

    Wij zijn 3 jaar klant geweest bij Juresta Nederland bv.
    Wij hebben veel klachten over Juresta, ze werpen veel hindernissen op als ze moeten incasseren. Juresta kwam meestal bij ons zeuren dat het een niet
    haalbare incasso was en dat wij Juresta moesten betalen. Als we dan toch wilden doorzetten lieten ze de incasso zaak
    versloffen. Een ander probleem was dat Juresta wil dat voordat ze iets aan hun klant uitkeren dat die klant allemaal fax formulieren verstuurt.
    En ze lieten het ons niet weten als er geld op de rekening bij Juresta binnenkwam.
    Wij adviseren iedereen een ander incassobureau te zoeken, wij zijn nu bij een ander bureau zeer tevreden.

  26. SaaS October 15, 2014 at 2:25 am Reply

    Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.

  27. led-displays21.page.tl October 17, 2014 at 6:43 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about led service annd repair.

  28. Etsuko October 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm Reply

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and
    actual effort to create a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a
    whole lot and never manage to get anything done.

  29. Fern October 19, 2014 at 4:21 am Reply

    The essential is that unlike past treatments, the tinnitus is
    not being masked and not being hidden. When the mucus is not drained, it accumulates
    and brings pressure to your middle ear, preventing you from hearing properly and sometimes producing sounds
    that aren’t really there. That in essence is why it is essential users of such machinery wear protection suitable to the noisy conditions.

  30. Aleida October 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm Reply

    excellent submit, very informative. I wonder
    why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t notice this.
    You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  31. Deanna November 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply

    Hi there mates, its enormous article about educationand entirely explained, keep it up
    all the time.

  32. Binareo November 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm Reply

    Writing a Profit and Loss Statement and a Balance Sheet.
    Easy application and qualification: To apply and
    qualify for a loan payday is extremely easy, because you just need to have acceptable continual earnings and
    you shouldn’t have a history of loan pay-day default.

    Clearly, a household’s need to estimate their average (yearly) income is paramount;
    spending, which will be relatively constant,
    needs to be maintained below that amount.

  33. mobil avanza bekas November 30, 2014 at 8:15 am Reply

    If you desire to take much from this article then you have to apply these strategies to your
    won blog.

  34. finance news today india December 7, 2014 at 8:26 am Reply

    Since after publishing for the full time on the web, I have
    pals in many publishing organizations around the web I say this with a few concern. Therefore, I’d rather not
    publicly note titles of the overlooked, or those who possibly must be excluded from those still helped into the
    feed at Yahoo Financing. I will simply say to prevent
    robotic content Yes, we are able to create programs that could entirely or
    partly automate the publishing of certain news reports, but
    from my encounter, these stories are low-value,
    and frequently contain problems that the human specialist
    may have culled out.

  35. best at home teeth whitener December 8, 2014 at 9:34 pm Reply

    Hi! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

  36. celulitis tratamiento December 16, 2014 at 10:07 am Reply

    In a study investigating the effectiveness
    of mindful movement in symptom management in people with multiple sclerosis,
    investigators noticed a broad improvement in symptomatology in practitioners of these arts
    while the control group showed a continued deterioration in symptoms.
    We dissolved the calcium cocoon around her muscles,
    organs and connective tissue with healthy drinks to balance the p – H such as chlorophyll,
    diluted raw apple-cider vinegar or aloe vera.
    He relied on an urine collection bag to collect what his body couldn’t hold.

  37. be a prepper December 30, 2014 at 1:55 am Reply

    I pay a visit every day some sites and websites to read posts,
    but this web site offers quality based writing.

  38. aaa January 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm Reply

    Hello, constantly i used to check website posts here in the early hours in the daylight,
    for the reason that i enjoy to learn more and more.

  39. Alysa December 1, 2015 at 12:46 am Reply

    Using a vintage 1979 Asteroids arcade game, Mc – Allister played 58 long hours.
    He no more time perfors as a pediatrician since he recognized he loves youngsters, not sick, abused, and neglected small children. We are referring to reputable professional locksmiths here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: