This spring marked one year of sobriety for me. Although I was never much of a drinker before so it feels like longer than a year. But officially, I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since May 4th 2018.
Has it been worth it? Yes, completely. No hangovers, total control of my actions, better health, good skin and funnily enough, no one ever complains buying me a soft drink. Has it been hard? Sometimes. I’ll be honest, it’s not fun being the only sober person at a party. And sadly, I’ll always get the “don’t be boring” comments, the eye roll or the look of disbelief when I order a tea at the pub.
As sad as it sounds, I think I’d have more friends too. Most social events revolve around drinking. It’s embedded in British culture. Weddings. Funerals. Hen parties. Stag ‘dos. Baby showers or (*cringe*) gender reveal parties. Lads night out. Girls nights in. Bottomless brunch. Pre-holiday drinks. Post-holiday drinks. Got a new job celebratory drinks. Split up with partner commiseration drinks. I bought-a-house drinks. I sold-a-house drinks. I really could go on all day!
Have I been tempted? On occasion. For example, when I’m at an upmarket, trendy bar and I look at the botanical-inspired cocktail menu and think you know what? I wouldn’t mind trying that organic lavender-infused gin with hibiscus and goji berry tonic, Fiji water ice cubes, finished with a 24 carat edible gold leaf. Served in a hand-painted vintage birdcage. Oh and a side of turmeric and cumin roasted chickpeas for good measure.
Alcoholic drinks sound far more thrilling than mocktails, which are more often than not naff fruit juice concoctions mixed with equally naff lemonade on tap. I can’t complain because it’s my choice but it can get frustrating when options are limited.
A sense of control
But in all seriousness, I went teetotal purely because I wanted to. I don’t particularly like the taste of alcohol, it tastes like poison to me. Not to mention that I hate being drunk and feeling out of control. And believe me, I’ve had enough messy moments shall we call them, to last a lifetime. Last but not least, I cannot cope with hangovers. Without being dramatic, it honestly feels like I’m dying. I don’t know how people do it every weekend.
Not many people ‘get it’ but I don’t expect them to. Here’s a little thanks to those who don’t bat an eyelid, don’t call me “boring” and accept its just another of my quirks. At least I can remember everything the night before. And that’s not a dig, I genuinely can recall every single detail as opposed to my inebriated peers.
To conclude, I’m NOT against drinking, it’s just not for me. I’m very much into health and well-being and alcohol just doesn’t fit into that kind of lifestyle. So cheers to that. Make mine a G&T, without the G. In fact, I’ll just take a tea!