Day 2 – How other people can help (or hinder) your Month off Booze

This post is about how other people can support (or not) your MOB. We’ll tell you a bit more about the online Club Soda community, and other ways of meeting people and socialising during your MOB. We also touch upon the fact that, sadly, some people might not be quite as supportive as you would like.

Social Support – Getting other people involved in your MOB

Will you be telling other people that you are taking a month off booze?

No-one should need ‘permission’ to have a MOB – but telling others about what you are doing, and even why you are doing it, can really help.

The people who respect and support what you are doing will be your cheerleaders and keep you motivated. Telling others can also help you stay on track through the power of accountability. Not only will you want to report positive progress to them, but once others know what you are trying to achieve they will be able to remind you of your reasons, and if they notice that you might be tempted to have a drink they can help you surf through that temptation. We can’t always see change in ourselves, but other people might notice some changes that you haven’t, and they will be pleased when you succeed.

Depending on what type of drinker you are, having buy-in from others about what you are trying to achieve, and what you will and will not be doing during your MOB could reduce unnecessary pressure or temptation. Being honest with people you regularly drink with can help you avoid the potential stress of a month of ‘white lies’ to otherwise explain your sobriety (not that avoidance or white lies aren’t useful coping strategies, as we will discuss later).

Even if avoiding alcohol means you also want to avoid pubs, clubs, and restaurants for a month, you don’t need to isolate yourself completely.

Join the conversation at Club Soda

By now we hope you have found time to look around our Club Soda community and find and get to know other people who are currently doing a MOB.

An online community can be really supportive, because everyone is doing exactly the same thing as you at the same time. Share your progress, discuss the day’s topic, ask us and others questions, and pick up tips for a successful MOB. And you can also comment on these daily posts here if you wish.

Vicarious learning really helps people who are trying to make a change. Seeing other people similar to yourself succeed can be motivating, and increase your own confidence that you can succeed too. You can also learn from their experience, and they from yours.

Wherever in the world you are – and we have members from 30 countries all over the world – you can access the community day and night. It’s worth looking around the rest of the site as well if you get a chance. We have all sorts of interesting and helpful information about changing your relationship with alcohol. We have a separate post with some more info about how to use the community.

If you want to get offline to meet new people and try out some alternative social options ‘in the flesh’, MeetUps  are a good way of finding like-minded people to do all sorts of things with – from a bike ride, a museum day, chatting about philosophy, fishing… Search for MeetUps in your area here.

For more ideas about socialising without alcohol you can read some articles about just that!

boxmanUnsupportive people

Sadly, some of us have people in our lives – close friends, family, acquaintances or colleagues – who we feel we can’t entirely trust with the information that we are doing a MOB.

These people might:

  • Be jealous of your journey of personal improvement
  • Be envious that they are unable to do what you are doing
  • Feel ashamed of their own drinking – which becomes more obvious when there is no-one keeping them company
  • Get annoyed that they don’t have a playmate to drink with
  • Consider nights out (or you) as boring if alcohol is not involved.

Of course, people can hold positive and negative feelings about what you are doing – they can be pleased for you whilst also ashamed of themselves for instance.

But some people’s negative emotions can be so strong that they might try to sabotage what you are hoping to achieve – whether by undermining or belittling your achievement, challenging you about your reasons for doing a MOB, or by intentionally trying to mess with your chances of success by being a drinks-pusher.

When I (Helen) was quitting a 40+ a day smoking habit (I know!), I had a particular person in my life who continually offered me cigarettes for over a year, claiming every time to have “forgotten” I had quit. I also had a strong suspicion that if I ever felt tempted and asked this person for a cigarette they would have given me one straight away, without even bothering to try to persuade me not to have one. I felt that this person would have been delighted if I had failed (they were usually delighted anyone had failed at anything) and could be their smoking buddy again. Maybe I was too suspicious and ungenerous about this person, but I don’t think so.

You may have similar people in your life – and choosing to NOT tell them what you are doing might help you have a successful MOB too.

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