Recently a friend mentioned to me that a band she really likes is playing at a local bar in town, and she suggested I might like them. I might- I like going out and seeing bands. A few months ago I went to this same bar with a group of friends and we were up on our feet dancing and singing along with the band. I lost track of how many beers I had that night. In college, as a freshman and sophomore living in the dorms, we would mix up rum or whiskey with coke from the vending machine and put on a mix CD (I’m not sure the iPod came out until my senior year). As pictured here, we’d drunkenly sing along.
Now that I’m not drinking I’m thinking about whether I should go to the bar. While I’ve reached a point with my own comfort and ability to mix a drink for myself in some situations, a bar seems like the big test. If my sister fixes herself a vodka soda while we sit on her patio chatting, fine. If a few friends have beers around the campfire, I can handle that. My parents order a bottle of wine when we’re out to dinner? That’s OK. And the bar shouldn’t be any different, right? Right? But to me, in those situations, the drinking is incidental to whatever else is going on. I don’t need a drink to enjoy the meal or the company and the conversation.
I’m not sure I’d feel the same way about seeing a band out at a bar. Alcohol is a social lubricant. Will I be self-conscious about dancing and singing if I’m sober? Would I even do it? Am I going to be comfortable surrounded by people drinking in a venue that has serving alcohol as a primary function? Do I trust myself enough to not disguise a gin and tonic as a club soda? Of course at the same time I want to be able to function socially with friends and family. I want to be included in group outings. I don’t want to be a drag.
I’m getting better with handling not drinking alcohol. But for some reason this seems like a big step. Has anyone else felt this kind of pressure or uncertainty about these situations? How do you handle it?