I totally understand what you're going through! I didn't tell anyone except my (ex now) husband and I was stunned to realize how much every social situation in my life revolved around alcohol! Parties, weddings, "let's get together", restaurant dinner we always have wine, and now the table isn't ready so let's go to the bar for a drink while we wait for our table, wedding and baby showers, everything!! Intellectually I knew that lots of people don't drink, when I looked back at all our family vacations and various family outings like camping or boating, I knew that while I drank beer or wine at all these things, my teenaged kids had a good time without ever touching alcohol, so seriously, i know it can be done it's just....I'd never done it!
Anyway, for me, I avoided many many social situations for the first year or so. After that, I attended a few parties and asked for nonalcoholic drinks at the bar, and no one asked me about it! I figure either they thought it was awkward because maybe I had a problem with alcohol that they didn't realize, remember I'd been out of that social scene for a year, or they just didn't notice. I've come to realize that most people are much more interested in themselves than they are in anybody else!
Finally, as far as excuses, I've come up with a bunch, because I have no intention of telling my friends about this. I'm dieting, watching my calories or carbs, I have a slight headache and I know the alcohol will make it worse...yes I've already taken ibuprofen thank you...I'm feeling a bit tired right now and I know that wine will just put me right to sleep.
I actually had a very hard time giving up alcohol. I missed it, I still do. I didn't drink large quantities at all, but I liked my wine with dinner or a shot of whiskey in hot tea with lemon and honey on a cold night, cold beer while out boating, etc. Not every day, but at least two or three nights a week. I never missed it enough to risk trying to take a drink and hope I don't get tested though!