Pressure to Drink at Social Events

Sobriety Bestie Blog/Early Sobriety/Pressure to Drink at Social Events

Changing our lives can feel and be hard.

Especially when the people around us aren't on board with the change we're trying to make and stick to.

Including staying sober.

So what can we do when we feel pressure to drink at social events?

How can we navigate the peer pressure so that we can stay sober?

When I was in early sobriety, I experienced massive pressure to drink at a social event. It was a work event actually and my boss legit made a bet on when he could "get me" to drink.

They even spiked my drink!

BUT I emerged staying sober.

In this episode I'll share what I did, what I didn't do and how TF I stayed sober at a social event with major pressure to drink.

These are the moments that make or break us!

So whether your Big Dream is to change the world, or just stay sober another day, I think you'll find something in here that vibes with you.

And also, find your tribe.

My early sobriety recovery friends reminded me of the Dr. Seuss quote...

Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.

And I got it...

The people who want me to violate my boundaries or goals, ESPECIALLY with staying sober which was kinda a life or death deal.... "don't matter."

While the people "who matter" will respect our life's path, including staying sober and striving towards Big Dreams.

And of course, you matter!

Your sobriety matters.

​Your dreams matter.



​ What's up, Courageous Bestie? Welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited you are here today. And we're going to be talking about something really, really important, which is the pressure to drink at social events. This same stuff I'm going to be talking about today could be applied to the pressure to do anything that we don't want to do.

And how do we cope with that? How do we move through it? And how do we come out the other side living aligned with our truth, with what we actually intended and who we want to be in the world. And so I'm going to talk about when it comes to the pressure to drink at social events, I'm going to talk about when the pressure is internal.

Like when you want to drink and you're feeling that, that, that desire to drink. Right. And also when the pressure is external, when other people are pressuring you to drink. And so yeah, also I'm standing today. So this is a whole vibe. We'll see how this goes. I thought I'd, you know, have that standing that big standing energy for you today.

Okay. So the pressure to drink when it's coming from you, when you are, and maybe it's not that you have the desire to drink, but maybe it is that you Are vulnerable. For whatever reason, maybe you're going through an intense emotional time. Maybe you are Just in the very early beginning of sobriety.

So that's really the first door I'm gonna tell you is when I had the internal pressure pressure to drink when I was in the very beginning in my sobriety So here is what happened My grandfather died in And his funeral was about one week after I got out of rehab. It might've been like 10 days. And so I got out of rehab, flew back from LA to San Francisco, right?

Got in, got into San Francisco. It was about 10 days out of rehab. And then I hopped another flight and flew to the East coast where it was going to be my grandfather's funeral. My dad, it was my dad's dad and my dad warned me, you know, he was very supportive of me getting sober. My dad's always been very supportive.

And he said you know, I'm going to be drinking. I'm just going to like on the phone before I went, he's like, I'm going to be drinking. Like, you know, and I understood that. I understood that. The world cannot change to make me comfortable. In fact, the world is not going to change to make us comfortable.

And I understood that my dad was going to be drinking to get through the funeral weekend of his father. That made perfect sense to me. I didn't expect him not to, I didn't expect anybody not to, right? Funerals are hard. I never was sober at a funeral before I went to rehab. I know, you know, It's hard to be with emotional discomfort, especially when you don't have that experience and that practice, which is what we're learning up in this podcast, right?

We're learning how to be with our emotions to master emotional sobriety so that we can go to a funeral sober that so we can do anything. anything in the fucking world sober, right? Because we can. And so so I knew, like, it was fair game. He told me he was going to be drinking there. I knew the other relatives, some of them would be drinking as well, right?

So I was going to be going into an environment where I'm fresh out of rehab, where I'm staying with them for several days that, you know and everyone's going to be drinking. And I'm going to be sad too, because my grandpa died. So I'm going to be going through my own emotional experiences. And also everyone around me is going to be drinking.

So I, I, I was, I had time to have a plan and this is my recommendation for you is to have a plan. So if you're going to be around drinking and you're vulnerable because you're in early sobriety because you're going through something because you actually do want to drink, you know, it's harder to not drink when we want to drink.

It's easier to not drink when we don't want to drink. And so, and it gets, for me, it gets easier over the years to like, I have not wanted to drink. Gosh, I can't remember the last time I wanted to drink. I think it was, I think there was a brief moment. Like when I was maybe like six years sober, something really kind of intense happened.

And like for a split second, I thought of having a drink and that was like a decade ago. So I don't think about drinking really ever. I don't think about not drinking. It's not hard to not drink anymore. It was in the beginning. It's, it's always, you know, when we're building a new behavior, building a new pattern, a way of being in the world, it's always difficult to, you know, new level, new devil.

When we're breaking through to that next level for ourselves, when we're figuring out that next step, like it used to be hard to not smoke a cigarette and now I haven't. It hasn't been hard to not smoke a cigarette since I quit in 2010. So it hasn't been hard to not smoke and well over a decade, you know, or 15 years or whatever it is.

And so because my dad warned me that he was going to be drinking, and he told me that some of the other relatives were too. Now, look, this was obvious, but he gave me like the reality check of it. So I really appreciated that. I hope that was very empathetic of him. And respectful, right? And so we might not always know That there's going to be drinking where we're going, but we might know.

And so if we do know, if we don't know, and if you don't know, now, you know, make a plan, make a sobriety plan. So that's what I did. I went into this I flew into this and to Washington DC, went to the funeral weekend with a plan. So one of the things on my plan was, and I was in I had been going to recovery meetings in San Francisco.

I had been out of rehab for 10 days and I threw myself directly into the San Francisco recovery community. So I knew some sober people. I told them I was honest. So we got to be honest. Right. I told them I was nervous about going to be around drinkers and that I kind of, I just felt so, you know, I'd never been to a funeral sober before.

I'd never processed any of this stuff. Right. Right. And so. I they helped me come up with a plan. And so this was the plan that I did. This is the plan that I'm inviting you to have. And whether you're not, whether there's a pressure to not drink or pressure, anything that you don't want to do. So have a plan.

Here's the plan. Number one, because I was so vulnerable, I was so early in sobriety. The plan that my sober friends helped me make was to check in to book end. Bookending is great if you are in early sobriety. This is like a must. I bookend all the time. This is my first time bookending because it was my first time hearing about it.

So my sober, my sober crew was like, all right, you need to get like, I don't know. I guess I was there like five days. So I had to get ten women's numbers if I didn't already have them. So I had ten different sober women's numbers, which might seem like a lot to you, especially if you're in early sobriety and not in a sobriety community already.

And so. But I was and so I got these numbers and my, my job was to call a woman every morning and call a woman every night. So I'm bookending my day. I am checking in with another sober woman in recovery every morning and telling her my sober plan for the day basically, and checking in with her at night, telling her how my sober day went.

Now, because I didn't really have 10 numbers at that time, there were some people that I double called. I called, you know, maybe I'd call this person every other morning and this person every other night, whatever it was. Right. But you get the point. I was checking in. And so here's the thing. It wasn't so much what these women said on the phone that helped me to stay sober on this trip.

It was the fact that I was being accountable. So when there's something that we want to do some sort of goal, right? And so if we have some accountability, think of it like you're in the gym and there's a, there's a coach. I know that if I have if I have a trainer in the gym that I'm going to work a lot harder than if I don't, if I have a coach, I'm going to be more, I'm going to push myself further than if I don't.

If I have a sobriety friend check in group, like a book ending with my sober friends, I'm going to be more accountable to my sobriety than if I don't when I'm in that vulnerable state. I don't need to check in now with anybody if I'm going to go be around alcohol. It's not vulnerable. I haven't had a drink since 2009.

Alcohol has not been my problem since 2009. My thinking has been my problem since then. I've had other problems. I had a cigarette problem for the first six months of sobriety. I've, I've had relationship problems. I've had whatever, I've had other problems in sobriety but I'm no longer vulnerable, you know?

And, and I do think that if I were to drink, it's a bad idea because there was no evidence in my, most of my drinking career that it was safe for me. At all, ever, for me to drink or that I could really control it, right? There's not a lot of evidence there to that, but but I'm not vulnerable the way I was.

It's not hard for me to be in a social environment where I'm not drinking. I don't prefer it. I don't like to be around drunk people. It gets annoying if everybody's drunk and I'm not, right? And so So I bookended with these sober people. I called somebody every morning, every night that kept me accountable.

And so if I knew like, so if you know, throughout the day now, whether this is about sobriety or something else, if you know, throughout the day, you're going to be calling someone that night and reporting to them that night on how it was, it's going to be more top of mind to not do that thing or to do that thing, depending upon what it is.

So, because I knew I was calling a sober woman. Every night, even just for two minutes or five minutes. And look, some of them didn't even answer. I didn't want to call any of them. It's not like it was easy to, to call. Like I felt so weird calling people that I don't even know and telling them what my, my day not drinking was like, it was so awkward, but you know, it was more awkward than that.

Everything that led up to me going into rehab, right? Alcohol almost killing me. So I was willing to live. That's what I was doing. My life was on the line. I was willing to live. I was willing to do something new to get a new result. That's basically what it was. I didn't give a fuck about like how uncomfortable I felt in order to keep that result.

Alcohol almost killed me. So I was doing what I could to stay sober, which meant picking up the phone, which often felt like 500 pounds and calling somebody that I don't even know and telling them that I'm insecure. I'm anxious. I'm freaking out, but I didn't drink today. Right. So I was willing to do.

actions that were going to get me the result I wanted, which was another day of sobriety. That one day at a time, it really helps in the beginning. And so, yeah, I was one day at a timing. I was one afternoon, one moment, one hour, whatever at a timing through this funeral in early sobriety. Another thing I did is I, my aunt lives right near there.

And so I, my, my mom's sister, so not the, it wasn't her dad that died. It was. It was my dad's dad, right? So my mom's sister was there. So I went to my aunt's house for the weekend and stayed with her and she picked me up and she drove me to the events. And so I was able to attend half of the funeral stuff, not actually staying in the house where everyone was drinking.

She wasn't drinking. She didn't drink with me that weekend, or she didn't drink that weekend because I was there. I'm not sure that she's even a big drinker anyways, but she received I was there and I was really vulnerable and she helped me out. So there was somebody. And again, what this is going to take is it's going to take accountability to yourself and to the goals that you want to have.

If you want to be sober, you kind of got to tell people that you want to be sober, you've got to let them get on your side and on your team, you have to let them support you. They can't support you if they don't know that's your mission. So when you have a goal, like staying sober and not wanting to drink, even if you're around alcohol, if the people around you, at least one person, right, one sort of.

Support person knows that you are not drinking and maybe even why you're not drinking. It's going to be a lot easier to not drink, to be accountable, to have that support, to have that person you can talk to, to help get you through whatever feelings are arising that are uncomfortable. Because usually we were drinking over our feelings, weren't we?

We don't want to feel bad. We don't want to feel uncomfortable. We don't want to have this social anxiety or feel mourning at a funeral. Nobody wants to grieve, you know, like it's difficult to feel all these emotions and to feel socially awkward and everything else. But it is more difficult. to slowly kill ourselves with alcohol.

So we do what we can, right? So those are some of the things that I did to help me. I think I also looked up recovery meetings. I recall going to Gosh, I mean, this was 2009, guys, so I'm trying to do my best here to recall it. I went to at least one, if not two, recovery meetings while I was out there, and that was helpful too, just to check in.

But any way that you can check in with some sort of support person, group support of a loved one, whether it's a sponsor, a therapist, a community, a friend your dog. And just let them know. Let a person know how you're doing. Let them know how you're doing. Like, let them know what's going on with you.

Just have that space where you can just like, exhale and tell the truth. There's something so cathartic and healing about being able to tell the truth to somebody who is empathetic and can hear you. We need to be heard, right? When we tell the truth, we need to be heard.

One other thing that I did while I was at the funeral in the funeral group and in the funeral community, like at the house was I took breaks. So if I ever felt really uncomfortable, like I either because the alcohol or just because early sobriety is really uncomfortable. So this is like 10 days out of rehab.

So I'm like, 40 days sober, which is like still quite a hot mess. I'm coming off benzos. I'm all sorts of like scrambled brain, just trying to like get through the day. Even if I'm not around alcohol, it was hard to get through the day at that point, to be honest. And so I took breaks. I took my time outs. I had like little sober time outs, you know?

So I took a little sober time out. I would go to the bedroom and I would just sit in there on the bed and calm myself down. I would breathe.

Just clear my head, just have a moment to myself, you know, just to kind of like re center and regroup. And I could text a friend if I was in there if I wanted to, or I could just breathe, or whatever. But just like a moment to not have to deal with people, not have to be triggered, not have to be in my emotion, not have to look at people drinking, and whatever it was.

So, the Sober Time Out is always available. You can always go and take a Sober Time Out. Oh my god, that totally reminds me of something. So And this is like a couple years later when I was more like two years sober. I had this was living in this apartment in San Francisco where I had all these big closets for some reason.

I had these like, these like three or four like big closets. And so one of them I turned into an office, one of them I turned into a meditation room. And so, I mean, there were, there were Quite big so I had this like bamboo mat in one of them and I had a meditation cushion on the floor I had my affirmation on the wall really at that time my affirmation.

It was more of like a contemplation question It was what is my purpose? I'll tell you about that more later But I was really wanting to know what my purpose and sobriety is or my purpose now that I felt like I had a second shot at life and So I had this meditation room and I had this If I ever had a sponsy that I was someone that was sponsoring in recovery come over and they were like super frantic.

I would, I would just be like, all right, go in there, meditate for like three minutes. I'll knock on the door when you're done and then we'll start our session. Right. And so that was like what I do. And I did it because I was still so anxious at that time. Right. I needed a minute too. If somebody comes over with all this energy, let's both.

So I would meditate like out in my living room and they would meditate in the meditation room. And then we'd come back together just so that we can have a little bit of time or they could have a little bit of time. Right. And, or I'd make a tea while they were meditating or whatever it was. But if I saw somebody was super frantic, I would have them go to the meditation room and go do a meditation.

Now, part of the reason for this too, is that I know that it's really hard to do some sort of spiritual practices or practices that'll regulate. and calm our nervous system down. And so something like meditating could be very hard for us to do in early sobriety or things that are good for us, right, that are going to help us.

We have a lot of resistance, a lot of internal resistance. I know I did. And so I knew that if I invited them to go have a meditation, they would at least have that one meditation a week and they would start building a practice for them. Because at least every time they come to my house, they can go and, they can go and have their meditation.

And over time, that's gonna build up, because I know about meditation, right? Neurogenesis. They're building new neural pathways in their brain, that are gonna bring them to a life that they more prefer, which is a more peaceful, calm, and centered life, aligned with the truth of who they are. Which is actually who they want to be in sobriety.

So, sending them to the meditation room actually helped me in the moment, if they were super frantic, right? So I was like, okay, you go calm down. But also it was helping them, so there was like all these different reasons why I thought that was like a fun idea. It was just like an inspired action. And that's really what I think is the right thing to do for anybody, anytime, always is to take that next right inspired action.

There's a wisdom flowing through us. And when we trust that intuition flowing through us and taking that action, that action is the right action for us at that time. There is no way there is no one way, you know, there's no one way up the mountain, right? There is no one path up the mountain though. But for me, the right way is the way that I feel called to do it in the moment.

And so it's a journey about it. recovering, like for me, recovery, like alcohol recovery, like at a certain point in time, we're recovered from alcohol. And it's really about recovering our intuition. That's my journey. It's about recovering my intuition and trusting the wisdom deep inside me. So this fancy, this tangents really long.

Welcome to my tangent. And so she, Said it later. I don't know if she was like sharing at a recovery meeting or if she said it to me. She called these sober timeouts. She's like, yeah, my sponsor always puts me on sober timeouts. If I go freaking out at my sponsor, she puts me on a sober timeout. I'm like, oh my god, that's really funny that that was her perspective.

But yeah, I, I just like the idea of a sober timeout. And sometimes, especially in early sobriety, we need a sober timeout. And it might be while we're around alcohol and we're feeling pressurized. Now, if you're in public and you're feeling that pressure to drink you can, you can still take a soap or time out.

It's I heard somebody once called like the pee and pray. You can call it whatever you want. Take a soap or time out, go to the bathroom, go to your car, go outside, walk around, but going to the bathroom and taking a moment to reconnect to yourself. To your breath, to your higher power, to your intention to stay sober, whatever it is, feel your heartbeat, notice, like, do whatever you need to do in the bathroom to come back to the reality of you want to stay sober throughout the rest of the night, even if you're triggered, right?

So the sober timeout is what's on offer here. That's the big tangent. It's the sober timeout. Whether your sponsor is forcing you to do it, whether I'm recommending you to do it, whatever, get it into your head, into your life, into your vibe, that you can at any moment in time, go and take that sober timeout.

I still take timeouts sometimes, and it's not that I take what I would call a sober timeout anymore, that's not really where I'm at in my, my journey with sobriety, but I will take a nervous system timeout, like if I'm super activated and triggered, I will go to the bathroom and calm myself down so that I can come back out, rejoin the conversation that activated me from a more calm and centered place, so that I can deliberately and consciously create my life.

We cannot consciously create our life if we're activated and triggered and dysregulated. We're in a different part of our brain where we don't have the conscious choice available to us. We're in a reaction. We're more of an emotional center of our brain, the amygdala, right? The amygdala, amygdala. So yeah, so I will still do a timeout.

It's more like a nervous system timeout, like a calming myself down timeout because I want to consciously and deliberately create my life. That's the invitation. Okay, so I did these sober timeouts at my grandpa and my grandpa's funeral weekend. That's what I did there And so yeah I got through that weekend without drinking The people who needed to drink at the funeral were still able to drink I didn't need the world around me to change to make me comfortable I learned how to find my own comfort in a world that quite often isn't catered to us, right?

Especially as early sober people. So that's it. Lots of tips and techniques in there. I hope something in there Will help you Stay sober if that's what you want and be who you want to be in the world and have a plan, have a plan in advance of how you're going to do it, how you're going to get through that hard thing and stay on track, especially when you are vulnerable.

 My name is Bestie Kirsten and I have a secret. My secret is that I found a way out of early sobriety, anxiety, out of the emotional overwhelm, out of the lack of confidence, the imposter syndrome, and not knowing my way forward in life.

I found a way through, and I will tell you my secret to feeling comfortable, confident, and courageous in sober skin in my free mini course. Just go to  SobrietyBestie. com/transcript and I'll give you my free mini course, The Secret to Feeling Comfy, Confident, and Courageous in Sober Skin. So I'll see you there inside the free mini course.

 All right, now let's switch to the external pressure. The external pressure to drink. Oh Man, okay. So this is I was seven or eight months sober probably seven about to turn eight months sober I was in Sydney, Australia. I was there on a work trip. I was an international consultant at this point I had been flown to Australia to work with this company Consulting on their business for like five weeks And starting out the gate when I got there.

Now, just a little bit of background really quickly. So I worked for this one company for three years before I got sober. I got laid off the beginning of September. A couple weeks later, I got sober. Then in sobriety this company in Australia called me up. They knew me because they were They were a competitor of the company that I worked at before.

We actually were business partners in some ways before. Right. And so they called me up and said, do you want to come out to Australia and consult for us? I said, sure. So I had already met these people in real life. I had met them in real life at a New York convention where I was drunk as fuck. We used to get so drunk at these things.

Like that's what it was. We, we do the business meetings all day long. And then we go out and go to a nightclub and everyone get bottle service and everybody would, you know, do all the business work a day and then bond at night. So I was, I really knew these people. Like I knew, well, not really knew. I knew them party wise, but I also knew them business wise, but all the people in the industry.

And so when I think what happened, Because I didn't tell them I was actually sober or why or that I had gone to rehab. So here's mistake number one. I'm hanging out with people who don't know my boundary, you know, where I was at my grandfather's funeral, they knew my boundary, everybody there knew I was sober or trying to be right.

That I was an early sobriety when I was in Australia. I didn't tell anyone. I did not tell them that I was that I went to rehab and I was sober. I wasn't like not embarrassed about it, but I just didn't, I wasn't comfortable talking about it. Not yet. And so I was there. They right away, it was clear that my Australian friends thought they were getting their little drinking buddy from like, you know, a year ago when I met them in New York.

And so they think that I'm supposed to be drinking with them. That was obvious because one day my boss, like day two or three or whatever, comes to my desk in the afternoon and like slams a shot on my desk and he's holding one. He's like, cheers. And he wants me to have a shot with him at work. And I'm like, I'm like, Oh shit.

And I was like, no, no, I don't feel like it right now. And so I was super uncomfortable because my, my boss kept trying to get me to drink like during work and stuff. And so. So yeah, so one night we were out at this party for work in Australia and we, so I'm in a bar and my boss is there and he's telling, he's telling this person at the bar that oh yeah, Kirsten says she doesn't drink right now.

She says she's sober. She was just in India for a month doing yoga. She's on this yoga kick now. She's been doing all this yoga this year. Yeah, I was doing yoga. I had just got certified at three months sober in Ashtanga, right? And then I was in India at like five months, six months sober for a month doing more yoga.

But I was doing that not because I'm trying to be healthy, and that's why I'm on a break from drinking. It was because I was struggling with my life, and I knew that this was gonna be helpful for me, right? But so he's thinking this one idea about me. He's like, yeah, she's trying to be healthy right now.

She's doing all this yoga and going to India. So it's just a matter of time until she drinks again. It's definitely going to be while she's in Australia. Let's take bets on it. So this person that I don't know, and my boss, my boss is with me there, the three of us are standing there and my boss is like, I don't know.

I bet she drinks maybe she won't drink tonight, but she's gonna, she's going to drink in the next three days is my bet. What, what's your bet? Well, how many days do you think until she drinks? And I'm just standing there like my whole insides are just like, Oh fuck. I wanted to drink that night. I really did.

I felt so uncomfortable. I was so anxious. I was so uncomfortable in my skin. I just felt so awkward and then they're pressuring me to drink. It was like, it was so intense. And then they go to the bar and they're like, what do you want? I said a soda water with lime. So they get me a soda water with lime and I go to drink it.

And as soon as it gets to my face, I can smell the vodka in it. And then I like, You know, like a double check, triple check. I'm like, Holy shit, they spiked my drink. So I go to the bar, I order a soda water with lime and I put my drink behind the tree. There's like a tree there, a plant. I put, I hide my drink that they gave me and I grabbed one, a fresh one from the bar with no alcohol in it.

So I started drinking it cause I think, okay, I'm just going to play this off. If they think I'm drinking the vodka one, maybe they'll leave me alone and I'll be safe. Right? So I'll just drink that nonalcoholic one and let them think whatever they think. But I just, I don't know. It was so stressful. It was so stressful because my boss was so trying so hard, everything he could do, like manipulating everything very aggressively trying to get me to drink.

He got this like rum punch drink and I was like, there's a big drink with all these straws in it and there's all these straws sticking out and he sticks, he sticks it into my face. He starts drinking one and the straw is like bumping into my face and he's like poking me and he's like drink, drink, drink, drink, drink.

And he was so annoying. Like, it was so frustrating. I was so dysregulated and so anxious that I almost drank just to shut him the fuck up. Like, I was so just like, if I drink, he'll go away. And then I'm like, wait, wait, wait, I can't drink? You know, I'm freaking out. And so I just, like, I felt like I was backed in a corner and all the forces around me wanted me to drink.

And I, you know, I didn't realize it at the time, but I felt like a victim of, like, of these people. I was totally victimizing myself. They're trying to make me drink. They're taking bets on when I drink. They're spiking my drink. They're putting drinks in my face. They're doing all this. They're doing all this, right?

I am a victim of these people who want me to drink. They want their old drinking buddy back, right? I get it. I would want my old drinking buddy back too. I don't blame him. I get it. I was just, now I understand, but at the time I was super vulnerable. So like, you know, some of the stuff I had heard in recovery, like came back into my head.

And before that moment I had never been willing to pray in sobriety.

And so I went into the bathroom And I was desperate as fuck. And I just put my hands in prayer and I closed my eyes in the bathroom stall. This was definitely a sober timeout. And I just said, God, if you're there, help me to not drink tonight. I am desperate. I am so desperate. I want to drink. They want me to drink.

I'm fucked. If I drink, I'm fucked. If I drink, I'm going to die. Like this is fucked. Please help me get out of here tonight without drinking. Please help me get out of here tonight without drinking. I was so desperate. Sigh. And that was like my first real prayer in sobriety. I wasn't willing to pray before that.

And so I, made it out of that bar that night without drinking. And the next day I went to a recovery meeting in Australia and in Sydney. And I, I remember the podium of this recovery meeting. There was a, there was a sticker on it and it said slip with a little dots S dot L dot I dot P.

It said slip sobriety, losing it. Priority. And I was like, holy motherfucking shit. I'm slipping right now. My sobriety is losing its priority. I'm not a victim of anything.

Because the truth is that we're not victims. I was not a victim of these people wanting me to drink. I was not a victim of being in a bar. I was not a victim being around people who don't know that I'm sober. I was choosing all that. And when I can see that I'm choosing what is not working for me, what is blocking my goals, what is almost putting myself into harm's way, I was choosing to be in harm's way.

And when I can see that I'm not a victim and I can see that I have a choice and that I'm choosing all the things in my world, essentially, then I can choose everything. Better. I can choose a new way. So I do believe that there are times when we are actual victims that we are actually victimized by certain things, right?

I've definitely been a victim in very specific, isolated circumstances or maybe even repeated, right? But I'm not a victim. Victim is a mentality and a mindset that we don't have to live in anymore. We can choose to live in an empowered mindset. We can choose an empowered way to look at the world. And the more that we choose an empowered way to look at and engage with the world.

First of all, the more likely we're ever going to be sober, right? Because it's going to ensure it's going to require some empowered thinking, but also we can consciously and deliberately create our life. So when I realize that I'm choosing to be in a bar with people who want me to drink, people that I used to drink with, people who don't know that alcohol almost killed me, that don't know that I went to rehab, and I don't know anybody in the country, and I don't have a phone that can call anybody, I could choose something different, and that's what I did.

I chose something different. So I dove in, I got some numbers of sober people in Australia, and I made a sobriety plan for the rest of my trip there. That I followed that enabled me to, or I really helped me stay sober for the rest of that trip. I didn't ever tell anyone at that company that I was sober.

I didn't, I just didn't. I don't know. I didn't feel comfortable. I didn't feel comfortable telling them why I was sober. I just told them I wasn't drinking. But I was still able to figure out a sobriety plan that they didn't need to know about. The world is not going to conform to us. To expect the world will conform to us is delusional.

It's not reality. That's not how it works. I can't expect them to not want me to drink or to not drink around me or to not give me drinks. But I can choose to stay out of harm's way. way I can choose to engage with people who understand what my best is like staying sober. I need to stay sober. And so I also want to tell you one other quick story about another time, right before I went to Australia.

So this is seven months sober. This is all like the first year sobriety pressure to drink stuff. So it was my roommates. 30th birthday and any birthday especially like one with a zero on it or even a five right is it Every day is a reason to drink But especially like a 30th birthday and we were roommates for five years most of that before I got sober We went to ucla together.

So I went down to grad school in ucla and she was my roommate We move back up, it's her 30th birthday, so she's gonna start off at this bar where we used to go drink at with all of the people that I used to drink with, right? Starting off there and then some sort of party bus is gonna pick us up and take us bar hopping.

That's the plan. And that's fine. That's what she wants to do with her 30th birthday. I get it. I had a, my 30th birthday, we went to wine country and did in a limo and did wine tasting, right? So I understand like the party bus wanting to drink on your 30th birthday thing. And she came with me on that, right?

So now it's her turn because she was a little bit younger than me. What I told her was I had some boundaries. I will come to the first bar to celebrate you and your birthday, but I will not go on the party bus and to the bar hopping, but I'll come to the first bar and she's, that's fine. That's great. And she understood that I was sober.

She understood that I drank a lot and she was happy that I was sober because she loved me. But also she saw how much I was drinking. She was my roommate the last several years of my drinking. So what happened was the day of her birthday that Friday night, I was in no shape to be in a bar. Okay.

Especially to be in a bar with my best friend on her birthday and everybody else that we used to drink with and at a bar that I used to drink at. And so I just decided, it's not safe. I'm going to call that shot right now. I got to realize that going there would put myself in harm's way, would put my sobriety in harm's way.

Now, it's not safe. The thing is that we're not always in, it's like being in ICU, we're not always in ICU. When we're in ICU, it's a very critical time for our health, right? And then we move on, and we recover, and things are different, and we're no longer in that intensive care. Vibe phase of our recovery of you think about the ICU at the hospital, right?

So I was still in ICU. I was still in my first year sobriety. I was really I see a lot of that time I was always having panic attacks I was always the one like in the recovery meeting at the end of the meeting with the burning desire like Freaking out about something and so it was difficult. It was a hard time, but you can get through it, right?

You just you know You can get through it. Just throw yourself out of harm's way and into sobriety's way. And that's, it's so simple to let's is this step that I'm going to take? Is it taking me towards sobriety or is it taking me towards a relapse? And when I was with the Australians in the Australian bar with everyone wanted me to drink and spiking my drink, I was stepping towards a relapse, right?

And I'm not a victim of them wanting me to drink. I'm walking myself into a relapse. I got to see that I'm walking myself into a relapse so that I can instead Walk myself to sobriety, right? Nobody is doing anything to me. I am participating. I am a conscious human being. I'm a soul inside a body here to evolve, right?

I have choice. I have choice. I just have to remember that I have choice and that I am choosing a lot of my experience by what I'm thinking about, what I'm feeling about, and who I'm associating with. What are my behaviors? What are my actions? What's my mindset? I am choosing my world a lot of the time.

Right. And so if I don't have to choose to put myself with people who want me to drink, I can choose to put myself with people who are sober and want me to stay sober or want whatever's best for me. So that night, yeah, my roommate's birthday, the 30th, I didn't feel I didn't, I felt like I wanted to drink that night.

I was really going through a lot of emotions. I was really stressed out. I had a lot of anxiety. And so I just, I told her, I was like, look, I'm not feeling right. I have no business being in a bar. I am so sorry that I can't come to your birthday tonight. I will come with you and celebrate your birthday next week.

I'll take you out to dinner. I really want to celebrate you and your birthday. I just can't be in a bar tonight. I need to go to a recovery meeting. I can't do this. And she got mad. And that's okay. And she got over feeling mad. I don't know how long she was mad for a minute, a week, a day, whatever, however long she was mad for.

She was mad for, and I understand that I might be disappointed too. And I might feel mad in the moment. I might feel, yeah, disappointed, but you know what? I'm still sober. I had to put my sobriety first that night. That's what it felt like. It's okay if somebody else's feelings are hurt because you need to make your sobriety a priority.

Especially if you drank like I did. Like for me, I was drinking myself to death. I almost died from alcohol. I gotta take this seriously. I gotta take my sobriety seriously. So that night I went to a recovery meeting. I did not go to her 30th birthday. And you know what? We moved on. We were still friends. It was okay.

She was hurt. She got over it. And I went to a recovery meeting and I didn't drink. And I would be no good to her as a friend if I got drunk again that night. Honestly, I would be no good to anybody if I was still drinking. I wasn't good to anybody at the end. I couldn't even leave the house. You know what I mean?

I was agoraphobic. I was just a pile of anxiety attacks. So I needed to walk into sobriety. I have a choice. Now, it's not always going to be as hard, especially if you're in the early phases of sobriety. It's not hard for me not to drink. It's not hard for me to be in a bar, although I don't want to be in a bar.

I don't go to bars. I don't, it's not interesting to me. But if I was going to be in a bar, it's not hard for me to not drink. It's been a long time. I haven't had a problem with alcohol since 2009. I know that when I make choices that are more empowering, I can live a more empowering life. I know that when I have people around me who support me and the choices that I'm making, it's easier to make those choices when I have the accountability.

When I bookend with my sober friends, when I do whatever I need to do, the sober time out, all of the things that I need to do to stay sober, it's not as hard later on. We're not always in ICU. We build up the mental and emotional resiliency. We build up, we literally change our brains. Our brains no longer are wanting to go to alcohol anymore.

It's literally like a brain thing, right? So if our brains always go one direction, it's think of it like a blazing a trail, right? I think about like brain blazing. So if you've blazed your brain with a trail in your brain that you drink, when you have an emotion that's hard, you drink. When you are celebrating something in life, you drink.

When you're uncomfortable, you drink. When you're anxious, you drink. That is a well beaten path in your brain, right? It was in mine. I'm not sure how you drank, but that was a well beaten path. Whenever these emotions come up, I drink. So now in sobriety, we're beating, we're blazing a new trail in our brain.

So when I feel uncomfortable, I do something else. I call a sober friend. I do a sober timeout. I go to the bathroom, the bedroom or the bathroom and I like chill out, right? I breathe. I journal, I pray, whatever. So we're blazing new trails in our brain. Eventually, we don't have that brain anymore. We might have a vulnerability to go down that trail again and to go drink again, but we're literally recreating our brains.

The shape of our brain is different. So it's not as hard later on because we're working with a different brain. We have more impulse control. Alcohol damages our ability to to have the impulse control. It's harder to stay sober in the beginning. It's easier later on because it's a different brain that has different abilities and different capabilities.

So do what you can when you're in fucking ICU, man. When you're in ICU, do what you can. Cancel on the 30th birthday. Get the hell out of the Australian bar. Do what you need to do. Make sure sobriety is the priority. It doesn't, it's not like this forever. You're not doomed. It's not like terrible forever.

It's not hard forever. It's not. But you got to get out of ICU. If you're in ICU right now with sobriety, you got to get out of ICU. And it's just keeping it really simple and not putting yourself in harm's way. And, and I guess also it comes down to self esteem too, and not being around people who pressure us to do things that are harmful for us, right?

Loving ourselves enough to put ourselves in an environment where we can thrive. We don't need to be like the plant in the shade with no nutrients in the soil. We could find some sunlight and some nourishing soil and we could thrive. We get to thrive sober. We get to thrive. Thrive without alcohol.

Yeaaaaah! Build up our self esteem, and our self respect, and our boundaries, and our life! And, uh, yeah. So, we keep it really simple in the beginning, alright? Is this step I'm taking, is it moving me towards a relapse, or is it moving me towards sobriety? Take more of those sobriety steps. If you're taking those steps towards a relapse, catch it, check it, and do something different so you keep going.

Stepping towards sobriety. Have a plan. Take that sober time out, man. Go in your sponsor's closet and meditate. Oh, man.

Thank you so much for being here today and for vibing with me on this little journey here about what to do about the pressure about drinking. And I just wish you much peace and much freedom in your journey and sobriety. We, we, we can become more comfortable in our skin sober. We can become confident sober.

We can become courageous sober and start to create that life beyond our wildest dreams. It's possible. Each of our actions add up. Each of our steps add up. So keep stepping into the life that you want to live. Yeah, that's it. All right. Till next time.

 Thank  you so much for watching. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up, like it, subscribe for more and I'll see you in the next video. Have a beautiful day.

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Hi, I'm Bestie Kirsten

Founder of Sobriety Bestie and Creator of the courageous community Bestie Club, here to guide you on a  journey to freedom and self empowerment.

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