Bachelorette parties. A time to celebrate your (or a friends) last night out as a single lady! Most times bachelorette parties are an excuse to get wasted. It is encouraged and even expected in a lot of cases.
But what about if you have decided to live a sober life and the thought of attending this type of event sends you into a panic. Don’t worry you are not alone! There are so many other wonderful ideas for hen parties that don’t have to revolve around alcohol and bars. A few that come to mind are spa days and a nice lunch out with the girls. A slumber party at home with pizza and movies. A weekend shopping trip, going out somewhere nice to eat and then to a movie. However, even if you do go to a bar, or go out on the town you CAN stay sober, and have a great time.
- Decide and commit before hand that you will not drink a drop of alcohol. In my experience telling everyone before hand that you wont be drinking helps to take some of the anxiety away. Showing up and announcing you aren’t drinking when people expect you to be, may be met with responses you aren’t prepared for. It might make you re consider, or think you are being “boring” and worry about what other people are thinking. Save yourself from that, and let everyone know ahead of time. It also helps with pre- party anxiety because you aren’t spending the whole day wondering how you are going to tell them you aren’t drinking. Imagining the whole situation over and over. You don’t have to say you are done drinking forever if that fills you with anxiety- just say that you aren’t drinking right now for whatever reason you feel like giving. You are doing a challenge, its making you feel bad, it isn’t doing you any favors at the moment, you are on antibiotics, etc., If telling a little white lie saves you from being interrogated with why you aren’t drinking, then I say its worth it.
- BE HONEST. But only if you are wanting everyone to just know you aren’t drinking anymore (otherwise use above advice and keep to that until you feel ready) For me, I just wanted the news to be out because I knew that once people got used to it, that would just be the new normal. So the quicker I got it off my chest, the better. Honestly, this was a game changer for me. It is a scary concept that I couldn’t drink alcohol like “normal” people and I was even more scared to tell other people. What if I changed my mind and drank again? What would they think? I can tell you hands down, just being honest with people and telling them that you are struggling and that alcohol is causing you problems in your life, will be such a weight off your shoulders. Trust me when I say, people will be so much more considerate than you can imagine. People will start to have your back and start to look out for you. The LAST thing they will do is make you feel like an idiot. Have you ever had someone admit that they were struggling to you- and you thought, what a LOSER! NO, you thought. Holy crap, that person has a lot of strength for looking into themselves and admitting that. Not a lot of people are capable of that, and especially of saying it out loud. That is something people will look up to you for. That is admirable. Be proud of who you are. After all, we all have problems, just different problems. The weight you will feel lifted from your shoulders after coming clean and just being honest will be nothing short of a miracle.
- You will have cravings and think about alcohol. Before my bachelorette party I was having cravings. I wanted to go to the alcohol cupboard and take two shots of vodka before I left just to calm my nerves. I played the tape through, and remembered how proud I would be to wake up in the morning without a hangover. Its normal to have cravings and think about something that was a huge part of celebrations in the past. It takes time for our brains to change and make new associations. Don’t try to run from cravings, just accept that they are normal, and it will make the cravings seem easier.
- Don’t fall into the trap that you need alcohol to loosen up socially. YOU DON’T. The alcohol would have you believe that, because it gets the party started right away. But in reality, as human beings we have a bit of social anxiety when we go to parties and events. It our bodies extremely powerful way of taking care of us. We have those feelings for protection. Alcohol takes away our natural fears. Fears of anxiety and thinking too much. What it also does is cause us to act in harmful ways to those around us. Fear keeps us from saying hurtful and shameful things, from acting aggressive and hostile, from hitting on you’re friends wife, from drinking and driving, etc., Alcohol takes away your social fears, but in reality causes you to be completely reckless. When you wake up in the morning, you wish you would have had your natural wits and fears about you- because you never would have said those things! WHY? Because we are built with a natural fear of social rejection- it makes sure we don’t do things that cause us pain and embarrassment. But we drink a dangerous liquid that undoes that so we are unfiltered and unprotected. What do we expect. Parties take a while to warm up because we are humans with natural fears. Lets just be who we are! Why are we all pretending we don’t feel these things- why don’t we all talk about how we feel these things- then smash the concept we have to drink and turn into somebody else to be liked. At my bachelorette party, within 20 minutes that social anxiety had subsided. I was outgoing, confident and not shy at all after the first initial phase. Trust me, this works.
- Bring non alcoholic drinks with you. Use this as an excuse to drink something fancy you normally wouldn’t. I love ginger beer, sparkling waters and those Zevia healthy pop drinks. Put them in a fancy wine glass or whatever else you like. Just having a drink in hand throughout the night will help, and people don’t ask you so much about why you’re not drinking too 🙂
- Eat all the yummy food! I used to completely ignore the food at parties, it put a damper on my buzz. Now food is my favorite part of a party. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life, and I look forward to good food and good conversations!
- Drive yourself and bring your own vehicle. I offered to be the DD on my bachelorette because I knew my friends would be drinking. I do this for two reasons. Its absolutely the best feeling in the world when you are driving home after a night out of not drinking. You are proud of yourself and proud you followed through. You probably wish you could get pulled over so you could say “No, officer, I don’t drink!” 🙂 The second reason is if you by any chance are struggling, or having a bad time and think you might drink, you can get out of there as fast as possible.
- Keep your sobriety your # 1 priority. As I said above, if you feel unstable and that you may drink, excuse yourself. You have to put sobriety above everything else. At the end of the day, this is just one single day. Don’t let this one day be the reason you relapse and spend the next however long drinking… some people never make it back to sobriety.
You will wake up so damn proud of your resolve. Remember, these events are fun because of the people, the food, the conversation, the atmosphere and the memories. NOT because we drank. It is so silly that we have to drink to endure social situations that we don’t enjoy. Maybe we should change our point of view- and think if I need alcohol to make this fun- then this isn’t for me! Then you can start doing things that are for you, and watch your life open up!
Every event that you overcome, gives you more strength and better self esteem.