T Nation

Advice Staying Sober


Hi folks, just hoping someone who's been sober for a while can help me.

I've had my fun with alcohol and it's served its purpose. I moved to Korea 6 months ago and allowed my diet and drinking to run loose for a month in order to make friends and be sociable. However, as soon as I started eating a proper diet (6-8x a day) and quit drinking alcohol... SURPRISE!!!, nobody wanted to go out eating or drinking with me (well, I'd say about 95% of the people I met). That's cool by me because my health is more important than shallow relationships.

So now that I've changed schools, I've decided fuck the 1 month "nice" period and just say screw your food and alcohol to most people I meet. However, occasinally I want to be nice. To these people, what can I say?

So far, here's my list of the bad effects of alcohol (reasons for not drinking):

decreases my T-levels
many empty / bad calories
impairs judgement
stresses the liver
dehydrates the body
often interferes with my 8 hours of sleep (especially on weeknights)

Anything else to add to the list?

These are enough reasons to make me not want to drink. I can't see being a slave to any food or beverage and have realised that after many years of "loving alcohol but not drinking too much for health reasons" I actually "don't like alcohol and don't want to drink". However, I'll drink for the lady on occasion, as some situations demand.

I'm looking for real world reasons to use when telling people why it's unhealthy to drink, though some humor is always appreciated as well ^^



Wait, are these people asking you why you don't drink, or did they just say "Wanna go out for a drink" and you launched into some shpiel? If it's the latter yea, you're being a dick.

It it's the former, just casually say "It's not really my thing", that will look better than lecturing them about decreasing T-levels and such, which will make you seem snobbish and nerdy.


If people are really cool with who you are as a person then you shouldn't have to come up with a bunch of reasons to justify it.

"It's bad for ya" is all I ever had to tell people.

This isn't to say I don't drink. I just don't drink every night or every weekend like many of my friends.

Which is also to say, there's no reason you can't drink occasionally.

Life's not worth living if all you're going to worry about is your diet/training.

The key word is occassionally, though.

Everything in moderation when it comes to vices and you'll come out okay in the end.

I even still hit a lot of the bars and remain sober, people love a Designated Driver, man.

(Bars are the equivalent of night clubs here in Baton Rouge, LA)


Do you realize how strange you sound in this post? I think you have enough reason already to figure things out for yourself.


If someone asks you why you don't drink, just tell them, "Because I'm hardcore and I live a warrior lifestyle" and stare them in the eye until they realize they're in a lower class than you. Never be afraid to make enemies.


Hehe, I should mention part of the problem is language barrier. If people want to go out for a drink, I'm all game... but I'll stick to water usually. This is where the problem usually comes up. I'm in Korea, and my Korean isn't very good, plus, like all cultures (but especially in Korea), drinking is a huge part of the culture. Since I can't even try to explain what testosterone is (usually we just communicate with the most basic english / korean), my hope was to find more reasons... in particular, ones that are easier to explain to a non-native english speaker. In the states it's not a problem, but I'm having a hell of a time getting others over here to understand why I don't drink (not all, but most)... and it may just be a cultural thing for which no "reason" will suffice.

Thanks a lot,


Are you after reasons why you don't drink, or why you think they shouldn't drink? Your post sounds a little holier than thou.


Dude, if you don't want to drink, then give this a try...

Don't Drink.

If for some reason you must offer an explanation, give this one a go...

"I don't want to drink."


Don't give them a reason. Just say "I'll come" and once you're there, get your water. If they ask say: "I don't drink", if they say why, you reply with: "I was an ex-alcoholic and they had to replace my liver with a goats heart, it works fine, but i want to tempt fate only occasionally by drinking occasionally, occasionally."

There you go. Put the words in your mouth for you.


Reasons why I don't drink. Sorry if I come accross as "holier than thou"... actually, I'm an ex-priest on roids.


Thanks. Sometimes the obvious escapes me ^^


I'd prefer not to lie, but thanks for the alcoholic excuse. I think I'll just go with "I don't want to drink" like a broken record until they understand, or just keep reiterating it with a smile until I go home ^_^ I think I need to explain less, repeat more. I'm a teacher and trying to get people to understand a concept on more than just the surface level is what I do often in class... but this isn't a fucking class, so I think I should talk less and drink more water!

Thanks again,


Sometimes being a bit OOT works best.

Tell them you get extremely violent when drunk and have been more in jail then you really want to. You can also add that you feel very sorry for all the people that you beat up badly but it really wasn't your fault, they pissed you off too much by nagging all the time about drinking!



lol - yes, that was my point. No need to explain yourself. You don't drink, end of story, why, "It's not good for me"... that's it..



look. I'm in China...I suspect for the same basic reasons as you (job)...although we may differ on the specifics of reasons.

Anyway, drinking and smoking is HUGE out here too, so this is something I have to deal with also.

What I do:

I tell them straight up: "I'd love to come to dinner with you." but when they order beer or alchohol I say (Drumroll please)

"no thank you. I don't drink."

It's that simple.

Unless you are in an incredibly small town (as I was in my first year in China), 90% of the people will understand.

Yes, you'll have invitations revoked...I've had people invite me to eat dinner and sing KTV with them but when I accept then say "no thanks" to alchohol, they rescind the invitation immediately! LOL. I think it's kind of funny.

And yes, I don't mind an occasional drink every now and then as well, but overall I don't do it too often.

But really...if you don't want to drink, do you really want people around you who insist on it?


People in Korea try to force you to drink alcohol? It may be a cultural issue, but I am truly trying to understand what happens when you say, "I don't drink alcohol" in their language. Maybe you aren't looking serious enough when you say this. I don't drink much at all (as in maybe on Superbowl Sunday if I am at someone else's house or one drink at a club). I have never had to explain myself beyond, "that's alright, I'm cool" if approached on the issue.


You make them sound like a bunch of assholes.

"Want a drink?"

"No thanks"

"What, Bitch!? No Drink?! I take back my invitation and wish 7 years of Chinese bad luck on you and all of your male children!!"

Can't we all just get along?


If this hasen't been said yet, tell them that a family member was an alcoholic and you don't want to end up fucking your life up too. Tell them you drink occationally and remember every drink you are served closely.

I can guarantee they wont say shit.

That might be a little extreme but it shuts em' up.



To be fair, I've had but only a few invitations revoked in that manner. 95% of the people I say this to understand.

Others will try to make you drink...just like back in the "states"..."oh come on man..one drink." or "Don't be antisocial..." or the like.

I think it's the same song/dance all around, but out here it's ingrained in the culture to drink quite a bit.

Overall though, I've met some awesome people, and speak highly of my experiences here.

But, there are assholes here too, just like EVERYWHERE else.


fuck dude, get a life, if they cant accept you lifestyle, then fuck em...

your FRIENDS will understand

also, why cant you just go out and have fun without drinking, i know its hard but it CAN happen...

really, this is something you can EASILY figure out for yourself...