Going to the pub / party with cirrosis - British Liver Trust

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Going to the pub / party with cirrosis

Chris-harris profile image

Its not something that causes me any concern drink wise but i wondered if anyone goes to party's / gatherings when everyone gets very drunk without you feeling slightly out of place. My wife still drinks and why not, but sometimes i feel like I'm being a bit of a grump, stood in the background as if I'm judging everyone, im not its just something i find hard to get used to. I want me and my with to enjoy the occasional knees up and me not drinking should not impact that at all, it sometimes does though and i can be a bit of a demanding bugger and appear not happy if im not doing what i want to. Anyone know how to combat that?


Chris x

29 Replies

Hi Chris,

To be honest I enjoyed a drink, and sometimes like most drank to excess on occasion . However when diagnosed with NAFLD and cirrhosis (Like someone's other name of Sir Rosis) I haven't had a drop in over 2 years. Do I miss it? sometimes in a social setting but otherwise no. I do miss my collection of expensive single malts and the ability to taste new ones.

When out and offered a drink I always say I'm on medication that makes alcohol dangerous to take and have the soft option. I've always said the easiest drink to say no to is the first one. Its worked for me so far plus I enjoy people watching and it can become quite funny when you're sober. Another trick is to get in first as nominated driver. As a nominated driver some places will keep you supplied with soft drinks all night.

Regards Fred

Hi Chris,

I was a drinker, it was the normal thing, everything my ex husband and I did was around alcohol, holidays, especially the airport and on the aircraft, weekends, evenings, pubs , parts, Christmas, new year etc.. but then things happened etc in my life that I became dependant.

Anyway.. when I was first off the booze after being in hospital 6 weeks , I did not miss it yet as I started to gain my strength and was back at work part time and xmas was upon us then the thoughts were looming..the works xmas party 😬. I had no plan of action at all , I knew i could not drink but luckily i was not the only one , so i sort of did not feel out of place.. yep ! Most got drunk with awful hangovers the next morning , I was sooo glad I was not one of them

May I ask how long you have been sober for chris ?.. I had a relapse when I lost my dad in 2012 , i went on a 2 yr bender .( yes I know ,not clever ) but I did not want to live . I was full of anxiety and depression but that's another story.

I find the longer I remained sober, and the more i went to social gatherings and became used to not drinking the more it was not a cause for concern, these days i dont go anywhere, due to chronic pain and sleep issues oh and awful acid reflux so I dont eat like I use to .

Try to turn your negative thinking in to a positive Chris, dont focus on what your wife is drinking or anyone else, and remember your not a social outcast as that's what I used to think, many many people dont drink because they dont want to or dont like the effects etc.. enjoy your sober life !! It's so much better 🙂 ..Linda x

I compromise. My old drinking friends are still friends. They know I don’t drink anymore, and they’re fine with that. On occasions, though, when they do get plastered, I know there’s no point in me sticking around as I’ll get very bored listening to their ramblings 🙂 Get used to it and enjoy the early nights. You might have to compromise with your wife and stay a bit longer, but she can have one or two drinks less and leave earlier too.

Edited to add: I might be able to tolerate my friends being plastered to an extent, but strangers, acquaintances or colleagues won’t see me for dust. Part of being sober is not to care about what other people think 🙂

Chris, I feel for you, that's gotta be tough. I've not got a liver disease, though our son has. I have been in situations where people have been plastered and though I dont like to be judgemental, it can be an uneasy situation, not to judge in the first place (if that makes sense).Please dont feel like an outcast honey, be kind to yourself please and you just feel like the survivor you are. With much love, from us x

How to combat the conflicted feelings of not wanting to judge others for getting drunk while remaining in plain sight of the known fact that it's dangerous? I don't think it's wise to even try.

Last Friday I heard our 'leaders' talking about having a jolly good drink without any thought whatever that they promote a dangerous activity.

If my friends were line-dancing on Beach Head, I'd be grumpy, judgemental, and totally party-pooping if I went along to watch. But I wouldn't watch. I'd stay as far away from it as I could get. I won't judge them. I won't join them. If it happens often I won't need their company anymore because it will endanger me.

I'm very sorry for the position you are in and I hope you come to some resolution or some safe, comfortable abiding with it. Don't lose what you have worked so hard to save.

Ive no thought or desire to have a drink so thats not a problem, i think i am worried that my wife seems to bend over backwards to accommodate me but i want to go home at the first sign if people acting drunk, id like to be able to enjoy the occasional party sober for her x

Chris, l can't abide being around drunk people anymore and make every effort to avoid them. I dont like the way they smell, the way they look or sound. Guess it just brings back so many shit memories.

L x

in reply to Chris-harris


I'm a great believer in time and strength!

Time heals most things and strength you can build upon should you still wish to live life!

I'm guessing for you and your wife it's all about somekind of compromise so that you can still spend time together and with your friends! Maybe you should explain how your feeling!

I do understand how Laura feels as I been in her position but somehow I found strength to live life again! Laura I too dislike the smell of Whisky as it brings back some horrid memories but I'm coping with it!

All the best Chris!

Love Trish x

That's so thoughtful of you to worry about not putting a damper on your wife's fun at social events, Chris. Could someone drive her home later if you decided to head home after a while?

I had to miss a good friend's milestone birthday recently because I knew that alcohol would be flowing, I would be expected to drink along with everyone else and I just didn't want to go there. She's actually lucky I didn't go after the last time.

I understand social anxiety and wanting a drink or 99 to overcome that. I find my half an anti-anxiety pill helps with that and I can better engage with other guests.

It's such a shame that so many equate fun with drinking alcohol. My very best moments in life included none.

I hope that these social events aren't too frequent if you can't find enjoyment in them. I can understand your discomfort and I hope they get easier if you can't avoid them. Would taking on a "job" at these events help maybe? Tidy up assistant idea. Passing around the hor d'oeuvres?

I do know that at this point if my husband and I were out at a social function, restaurant, etc., and I poured or ordered a glass, he would be right behind me.

It's great to hear that you have moved beyond that point, Chris. Cheers and GL.

** I reread your initial post, Chris. So my response wasn't so helpful. If you don't care if your wife wants a few drinks while out and it's not the temptation factor with you (more the uncomfortableness of it and not wanting to feel like a downer), I guess your question is how not to feel like a downer. What does/would your wife suggest?

Let's drink to our health!

Here's to staying positive and testing negative. 🤔

Chris, my attitude is to have a good laugh about what idiots they look! xx

Chris-harris profile image
Chris-harris in reply to Cobwebs


I have to say I've still not conquered the whole 'how do I go if I cant have a drink' scenario. Yes I'm in recovery and only been dry since 7th November but I dont know anything different when social gatherings occur, I've always had the mentality it's my god given right to have a drink, get merry.

I cant now I'm a recovering alcoholic I know that but still fills me with dread. I'm a social person, shopping, meals out,coffee chats etc but I'm still struggling to get round the party,big sporting events down the pub and family celebration scene, suppose it will come, just takes time.


Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Ashw88

It will come Ash.

I had a fabulous life before alcohol took hold of my husband. I had 4 years of hell with him then. But since l met my new husband life couldn't be better . It's full, we both have jobs we love, we go away lot, our kids have grown up and left the nests so our time is our own to do as we please and go where we want .Neither of us drink so whose going to drive is never a consideration. Whatever we do and wherever we go we know we will remember it the next day instead of nursing a hangover. I do avoid being around drunks as they make me feel very uncomfortable. I am a fitness fanatic ... always have been and now that my hubbies PMR appears to be in remission he can exercise much more again.

Best wishes


Ashw88 profile image
Ashw88 in reply to Laura009

I know Laura little steps I keep getting told, but trying to run before I can walk thats my problem. Your spot on with what you say, I want all that myself, to share with someone and I was never going to do that living out of a can all my life. So I just got to keep plodding along like I am, like you say theres so many positive aspects of not drinking and not being a slave to something that's killing me. Like yourself I'm turning into a fitness fanatic i love it, just cant do what I see others my age doing due to my cirrhosis but that's my fault of course.

Staying positive is the key, had enough of self medicating with alcohol, self pity isn't a nice trait to have finally realising that, its taken bloody long enough mind lol. Glad to hear your happy and long may that continue for you and your husband.


Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Ashw88

Very well summed up Ash. You seem a lovely guy with your head screwed on. I sincerely wish you well and you get to where you want to be. That positive attitude you have now is going to serve you well. You have so much going for you.

Laura x

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to Ashw88

Hi ash ,

I was the same as you , the thought of not being able to drink socialising, even worse for me was Christmas and holidays ! I dreaded even trying .. but I did.. I went to Cyprus in 2009 Twice that year , remained sober to my amazement!! Went to Egypt twice , Cairo and Nile cruise to valley of the kings.

To me ash , it's the actual thought of being sober that's worse than actually going out and doing things you used to do whilst drinking .. it took me a while to get there mentally but you will do it if you really really want . Baby steps, one day at a time and if ever you feel the urge just pop on here ! Theres always someone to support you Linda x

Ashw88 profile image
Ashw88 in reply to Millie09

Hi millie,

I agree the thought of being sober is the scary part, but like you xmas new year etc is tough but I got through it this year drink free so It can be done like you said 👍

Also not had the chance to go on holiday lately to test that theory due to being in a bad place but getting a lot better so fingers crossed, and like you say this place and the people on here have been really helpful and supportive.

I do miss my holidays though been to Egypt like yourself loved it, went to Sharm el sheikh, full board 5 star hotel with a swim up bar free drinks all day, every day but wont be any use to me now though lol but I did enjoy that when I was fit and well. I'll go back one day but wont be as stupid as I was last time, that's for sure.

Take care


Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to Ashw88

Hi Ashley,

Your doing amazing ! You already have the positive thinking, I need to start keeping fit 🙈, but unfortunately my mobility is not so good at present but hey ho ! I'm thankful for still being here .

So you went to Sharm ! Not been to the red sea area but I can imagine how fab it was , you will go away when you feel the time is right.

You take care 😊, and thank you for your kind reply

Best wishes..linda

Hi Chris,

I was alcohol dependant for years before TP and have signed a promise to abstain for life. I mainly socialise with family who know I can't drink.

Think of it like this you can laugh at those who drink until they're silly-daft and know you still have you're self respect intact.

I actually have nightmares that someone has spiked my drink or I start drinking again which I think is why I haven't yet gone out of my comfort zone.

If you haven't been sober long it is hard to adjust but it does get easier.

All the best



I have Nash caused by meds from my drs over the years but I totally understand that drinking alcohol can become an addiction which is an illness, I have total respect for all of you either carer, patient or someone who has lost their partner , friend or relative through alcohol, you are all an inspiration to us all. Love and hugs to you all Lynne xxxx

Trust1 profile image

Thank you everyone for such brilliantly supportive comments. Hopefully you have found them helpful Chris.

Warm wishes


Thanks for your post Chris. It’s given us a chance to have a good think about something really important for us all - managing change in ourselves alongside the people we care about who haven’t had the realisations we’ve had and who don’t want to change their habits because they don’t ‘get it’ and haven’t suffered. I still don’t want to be in the company of anyone who’ll become less of themselves by choice. It’s an upsetting waste of time and energy for me and makes me feel I’m causing myself suffering. And it feels a lonely place to me, among people who’ve become not the people I know. I hope you keep letting us know how you’ll manage this going forward and I wish you all good things.

Its a tough one, and more because its not the drink. If it was I'd have a good reason to not want to go out where drinks are involved. I think a lot of it is down to how i feel about myself and how i think others perceive me. I feel as though I'm Mr goody 2 shoes in the corner with my oj (or strong coffee if i want to go bonkers) whilst everyone else is smashed and having a crazy time. Also my wife spends a lot of time checking I'm ok, its lovely she does but i feel like I'm holding her back and being a burden. I've a couple of social events coming up so i will see what i can do to enjoy the night more. Will keep you informed and a huge thanks to everyone, you're a great bunch and it really helps to have this forum in my life :)

On a side not, not had a drink since november 2017.

in reply to Chris-harris

I wonder if it could help you to speak with a specialist/addiction therapist, someone who’s objective and familiar with such situations. It seems to me we make most of our own discomfort but it takes someone else to point it out. But it needs to be someone who has no agenda as friends and family would. 🙃

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to

I had counselling for alcohol, not just withdrawal but the mental side of my thinking, it did take a good year, maybe more with the help of cbt too but I found it really helpful for me , it has also given me the "tools " so to speak to cope if a situation occurs I cant handle.. very good point raised there 😊

in reply to Millie09

Thanks Millie09. I'm pleased for you that you got some help. Often people think it rude to suggest therapy - I don't know why. To me, therapy is what stops me going mad, not what I need when I've gone mad! :-)

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to

Oh your very welcome, I think therapy in any form is good, haha ! Yes indeed 🙂.. I totally agree with you .

I had counselling and cbt therapy chris , It really did help me to move forward so to speak, even now i still use the techniques learnt if i feel the need to .

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