Our literature is clear that if we have a good and right motive for being around people who are drinking, and if we are on a good spiritual footing, we can go without fear of drinking. But, it says, if our sobriety is shaky, we’d better work with other alcoholics instead. In my world, this would usually mean “go to a meeting instead.”
I can’t get away from alcohol. I don’t have it in my house, but it’s just about everywhere else. The literature says something about having to go to the North Pole on an iceberg, or something, but that even there, I could encounter the demon rum (or other alcoholic beverage). In my best frame of mind, I have a neutral attitude toward the stuff. Or maybe I can say I should have a neutral attitude.
I don’t attend drinking occasions if I can possibly help it. I don’t go to happy hour. I don’t go to wine tastings or beer tastings or anything else where alcohol is the primary activity. I choose not to. I am not afraid I would drink at these things, but since I don’t drink, I really don’t want to watch other people do it for any amount of time.
A few years ago one of my cousins’ had the most elaborate wedding I’ve ever been to. Not only did the alcohol flow in many forms for many hours, most of the food was also cooked with it. I didn’t like that aspect of the wedding. I didn’t like watching my relatives drink, and it had a really bad effect on one of my aunts and one of my uncles. I think that wedding would have been much much better alcohol free. My wedding was alcohol free, and no one threw up passed out or missed any part of it due to drinking.
In my early sobriety, if I was truly worried about being around alcohol sometimes I didn’t go. It’s not worth my life. If I went, I either took someone from the program with me for support or I made plans ahead of time to call people from the program at certain times during the event, just to check in. This would be much easier to do in this day of personal phones than it was when I had to find a use a pay phone.
It’s unfortunate but true that I just don’t like drinking occasions now that I’m sober. Sometimes I sit in a meeting and try to imagine all of the people there drinking as they once did. What a miraculous gathering a group of sober alcoholics is. How fortune am I to be one of them.