Once you give alcohol the boot from your environment and your life, you will undoubtedly need to find appropriate substitutes. This goes for drinks you consume as well as for ingredients in popular recipes. Obviously, switching from an alcoholic beverage to a carbonated drink is a little like swimming in a wetsuit. You go through the same motions (downing the beverage) without the same experience (the buzz of the alcohol). But carbonated drinks do have caffeine, which works to give you a lift, a bit more energy, and the benefits of not being addictive.
People who drink too much and too often likely experience not only hangovers but dehydration as well. In fact, the headaches and nasty after-effects of too much booze are caused by dehydration. In any event, make it a practice to start drinking more water. Your body has already suffered accumulated damage to various organs and systems, not to mention your brain, caused by problem drinking. Rehydrating is one way to replenish your bodily fluids and is a healthy substitute for alcohol. Besides, if you drink a full 8-ounce glass or bottle of water at a sitting, you will feel full. So, it is a double benefit. You will not need anything more to drink, and you will probably not over snack either. Since the sword of relapse is always hanging on your head, you may need to get immediate access to a doctor. In this case, you can have the benefits of concierge care doctors.
If your old friends are still hooked on your drinking and have no intention of quitting their routine, it is time to find new friends. These should be non-drinking ones, of course, in order for you to begin establishing healthier relationships that are not based primarily on the ritual of drinking.
Where to find new friends is always an obstacle that drinkers toss out as an excuse not to do anything about it. Where do you meet people? The answer is: everywhere. Strike up a conversation with the parent of your son or daughter at the next school function or PTA meeting. Join in a discussion group at your church. Participate in a community picnic by volunteering your time at a games booth or taking up a sport that puts you into contact with like-minded individuals with whom you may become acquainted.
Join a travel club, a group that goes on weekend camping trips, hiking or mountain biking, or cross-country skiing. Or, consider taking a gardening or cooking class, going back to school to resume or complete your degree, gain additional training or just learn something new, such as a language or skill.
Everywhere you go there are new people to meet. If your efforts to engage individuals in conversation don’t pan out, don’t give up. Some people are too shy, don’t talk to strangers, or just are too wrapped up in their own lives to let anyone else in. You don’t need those people anyway.
Sooner or later, you will find one or more individuals with whom you not only like, but can share meaningful conversations. Go out of your comfort zone and try new activities that can put you together with a diverse set of people. You are bound to come up as a winner.