Do you have a friend who is fasting from alcohol?
Are you staring at her like she has two heads?
Have you ended your friendship with her?
I hope not.
The reactions to my 73-day alcohol fast range from a congratulatory hug to visible recoil. More noticeably, I find that it makes people think about their own relationship with alcohol.
I get it. Drinking has a huge social component to it and it is a good social lubricant. But there is no need to give up your friend who is fasting. Here is how you can deal with your alcohol-free friend (whether her sobriety is temporary or permanent):
1. Do not talk her into having a drink.
2. Do not treat her like a social pariah or like she’s lost her mind.
3. Do not give her the “head tilt – I’m so sorry” look every time you see her.
4. Do not hide your alcohol from her or flaunt it in her face either.
5. Do not explain to her why you would not give up alcohol.
6. Do ask her how she’s feeling and provide encouragement.
7. Do continue to invite her to your parties and get-togethers.
8. Do treat her like nothing has changed.
9. Do buy her a juice or soda if she’s at a bar with you.
10. Join her. You might be surprised at what you will discover about yourself.
Fortunately, this activity is gaining popularity even though people are arguing about whether or not it actually does any good. But at least it is being talked about and considered. Maybe you can try it for yourself next year whether you take a week off, a month, or even a year.
Have you tried fasting already? What was your experience like? Let us know!