When I tell somebody I don’t know very well that I don’t drink, I’m usually met with responses and reactions like:
– Assumptions that I used to be an alcoholic
– Assumptions that I’m pregnant
– Assumptions that I’m boring and don’t know how to have fun
– Remarks such as “Oh! You just haven’t had the right drink!” and “You just need to try a good one!”
And to all of these reactions, I immediately retreat to my good ol’ uncluttered answer: “I just don’t drink.”
Unfortunately, that answer is usually never good enough and I’m met with a slew of invasive questions.
I always respond to them with “I just don’t like the taste”.
I find myself becoming impatient and miffed. What if I had pressured them into telling me why they do drink? I can guarantee they would also come up with generic answers such as, “it’s fun” or “it relaxes me”. And what if I had then responded to them by saying things like, “Well, why do you need alcohol to have fun?” or “What is stressing you out so much in your life that makes you feel like you need to drink to relax?”.
No one wants to sit there and tell you their one hundred and one reasons for drinking or not drinking. Especially if you’re not familiar with one another.
Think about it.
Someone is enjoying their time by having a drink and you begin telling them about how alcohol kills brain cells, it’s a depressant, and it impairs judgement.
Or vice versa.
Someone is enjoying their time whilst being sober and you begin telling them about how people who don’t drink are control freaks, they don’t know how to let their guard down, and they’re just straight up boring.
There’s nothing fun about either of these conversations. So, of course, when someone is plastered with prying questions, the simplest answers will come forth.
The truth is; I was never an alcoholic, I’m not pregnant, I do know how to have fun, and I’ve tried plenty of different alcoholic beverages.
I simply just realized I was drinking for the comfort of other people.
I never liked the taste of alcohol. I never liked the feeling of being intoxicated. I didn’t even like how I felt after one drink.
The dry skin, the breakouts, and the excess weight were enough to send me running for the hills, once I got in tune with who I really was.
In my younger days, drinking and going to bars was a way for me to bond with my friends. Everyone around me drank. Some once a week and others 3 times a week. Which means, whenever I’d meet up with them, I would drink too.
This went on for a few years.
The breaking point for me became early 2015. My mother passed away and I slowly found myself attempting to refill my happiness with a drink in hand.
Thankfully I didn’t develop an alcohol problem, but I do remember vividly thinking “Oh my god. This is my way of coping”.
Following my epiphany, I told one of my closest friends (and my future roommate) that I’ll no longer be drinking and the reasoning behind it.
She scoffed and arrogantly responded with “Just because you’re going to stop drinking doesn’t mean I am. I hope you don’t think that just because we’re moving in together I’ll stop throwing parties or drinking in front of you”.
There was no mention of her quitting alcohol on my part, so… ouch.
Not only was I drinking for the sake of keeping friendships, many of these friendships unfolded as soon as I stopped drinking.
Needless to say, I never moved in with her and I haven’t heard from her since.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve tasted a drop of liquor and I feel phenomenal. My mind is clear, my body is healthy, and I fill my life with new, genuine experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to align with, had I still been drinking.
I realize that everyones reasons and personal experiences for drinking or not drinking vary. This is my own.
I’d really love to know what you guys think. Why do you drink? Why don’t you drink? Leave me a comment down below and let’s have an open and honest chat.