Fun alternative to beer?

I’m going to take a couple months off the sauce, mostly to save money, and improve my health and productivity. I’m also convinced they add formaldehyde or somethind similar to the beer here in China, which really has undesirable side effects (nasty hangovers mostly).

And I’ve done it before - a six month stint in Taiwan, and a two month stint in SA on the wagon. It was great in many respects - I saved a lot, my health and overall sense of calmness improved, no hangovers, productivity improved.

Problem was my social life, in the evenings/nights bombed quite badly. There’s things to do in the day - sports, shopping, work, hiking etc etc. But going out at night ceased to be fun at all. I love going out, meeting people, listening to bands, watching sports on the tv with others, going to beach parties, dancing, chatting up girls (I’m single, I can).

But doing that all 100% sober became a chore. Drunk people irritated the crap out of me, and I often felt like I wasn’t ‘part’ of the party. There’s only so much Coke you can drink in a night, beofre the enamel on your teeth starts to come off. You know the old ‘beer goggles’ expression - it works for me, beer makes dull people interesting, and an average night out a bit better.

What to do, what to do? Your suggestions fellow sober and drunkard Forumosans, please. Save a man and his liver…

Pardon the expression, but that’s bullshit. It’s a lame excuse to continue with the same habitual, compulsive conduct and/or addiction that you’ve engaged in until now, but which you now recognize may not be in your best interests, but over which you’re having difficulty to find the strenght to break free. Reminds of how, many years ago, when I was a hopeless stoner, I rationalized that every activity in life was better stoned. Makes me creative; good for X. Good for mindless, boring tasks; perfect for Y. Great way to celebrate; ideal for Z. Always an excuse.

Sounds to me like you’re stuck in a psychological rut. Over the years you’ve convinced yourself that one should drink a beer when doing X, needs to drink a beer when doing Y, has to drink a beer when doing Z. It’s complete nonsense that doing that sober must be less satisfying. Your mind just tells you that so you have permission to crack open a cold one.

If you want to drink less beer, I’d recommend staying out of the bars (duh) and getting more excercise instead. If you regularly get up early to go for a run/swim/hike/bike ride/workout, you’ll have less interest in staying out late consuming empty calories and polluting your liver. And, you’ll feel better over all.

Good luck.

Interesting thread though. You have done this before so presumably you employed strategies for success last time. For me, I took 3 months out across Christmas and New Year and sought out some help in the process. There are lots of good strategies for going out and not having a drink, and surprisingly (to me) most people don’t mind you not drinking. Simply saying that you can’t drink because - you are training, on medication, don’t feel well, agreed not to etc etc. is usually enough.

The actual activities themselves are no less fun without beer. Bowling, pool, music etc are still fun activities plus you can drive and run your friends round town safely - a huge plus.

My 3 months off was a real education and I drink far more steadily now. Last week I went out twice and I am planning on a couple of sober weeks before I head home for the little one’s christening. Kids btw are a great cure for hangovers - you only need one or two to realise that a baby doesn’t care how hung over you are and you still have to feed, change, burp etc.

Anyway - good luck. Let us know how you get on.

I pretty much don’t drink at all now and haven’t for a couple of years. I actually find going out, socializing and so forth to be a lot more fun and enjoyable now. I was never a big drinker in the first place so that may have something to do with it though.

Yeah, straight up advice.

Probably is a crutch. I’ve stopped before, but they say you should replace a bad habit with a good one.

Like I said I have done it before. Will be doing it again - had my last beer on Friday. Big incentive is the money saved.

So, today being Sunday - Day 2. Keep you informed.

Any more advice is welcome…

Autoerotic asphyxiation.