I hear a lot of talk about how to tell people 'no' when offered alcohol, or how to tell people that we no longer drink. I think this ties in a lot with 'labels' and the range of how we handle this is wide.
Personally, I see our response as a tone setter of the type of person in recovery we will present. There are responses that portray us as weak and defeated to some. To say that I can't drink because I'm an alcoholic can definitely give a tone of defeat and submission. As a 12 stepper myself, I have no problem with that label, but is not one that I want to use when I'm out in public in social settings. The term alcoholic has somewhat morphed into the equivalent of a stereotypical portrayal with multiple negative connotations. For me to say that "I can't drink, because I'm an alcoholic" sounds very defeatist in nature, like someone that has lost a battle and is now a submissive beaten soul. It feels weak to me. It just doesn't come across as someone that is in charge of their 'situation'.
I am dabbling with responses that not only tell people that I no longer drink, but convey that I am in a position of power, of self control, of assertion of what is, a triumphant warrior winning a hard fought battle. For me personally, I prefer to be honest but strong, and just admit that "no, can't do the booze anymore, it was kicking my ass", but to say it with conviction, confidence and a sense that no I can't drink, but I am the one that has come out on top. It was MY choice and not something that beat me, but something that I am defeating by choosing not to drink it. And I am stronger because of it. If I say it with conviction, hopefully they will feel my strength and no longer look at me as weak, but as one strong dude!!
How we tell people that we no longer drink is a tough one, It's a very personal decision and should be something that is comfortable for each to say in 'those' situations. What works for me does not necessarily work for anyone else. I do not like to feel defeated and weak. I want to be seen as a warrior that has made a stand, and is choosing to control alcohol versus letting it control me.
I did not lose to alcohol, I am in charge and am no longer letting it control me or my life. My choice will be seen as one of strength and hopefully be a inspiring outlook on a 'situation' that tried to destroy me, but now is under my foot. "Me and alcohol just don't get along anymore, it's all yours, I'll take a Diet Pepsi"
Give Yourself Tomorrow!! WE are strong