I’ve been teetotal for three years this month. While I don’t consider it to be an ‘achievement’, it’s still nice to note. Obviously, I’m used to it but I’m always surprised at the reaction I get from others. To be honest, it’s mostly positive and the majority of people are understanding.
I think it’s becoming a lot more socially acceptable not to drink, especially with the rise of zero and low-alcohol options. I’ve noticed that bars and restaurants are really catching on with their choice of mocktails too. It’s not just a glass of flat lemonade and a packet of Scampi Fries anymore!
People are always intrigued at my reasons for not drinking and it’s nothing ground-breaking. Alcohol doesn’t agree with me and that’s that. Both my mum and dad don’t drink so I’ve never really grown up around it. My stepdad likes a beer but nothing out of the ordinary.
As a fitness lover, drinking doesn’t suit my lifestyle. I like to wake up early, eat sensibly, exercise a lot & get to bed early. None of which I could do with alcohol in the equation.
I know people can live a healthy lifestyle & still enjoy a couple of drinks but I can’t. Even if I had one drink the night before, I’d be suffering all day. For me, it’s not worth it. I’m just too busy to be taking days off from self-inflicted illness!
I have nothing against drinking or people who do drink. To be honest, I don’t know many people who don’t, apart from my parents! If you enjoy it, try to be as sensible as you can and if don’t mind the hangovers, then crack on!
Don’t give in
However, I will say if you don’t enjoy it but feel compelled to drink for confidence, fitting in or simply because “it’s the norm”, then please don’t succumb to the pressure.
If you don’t want to, then don’t. There’s honestly nothing wrong with saying no. And if people don’t accept it, then that’s their problem not yours. If they’re good friends/relatives/colleagues, they will totally get it and appreciate you regardless.
Cheers to another year of sobriety!