My latest post on being three years teetotal has gone down so well, that I thought I’d follow up with the harsh realities that not drinking comes with.
Personally, the upsides of going teetotal far outweigh the downsides, but that’s not to say I haven’t made sacrifices either. Ditching alcohol is a complete lifestyle change and it hasn’t always been easy. I’m well used to it now but here are some things I’ve experienced:
There are some friends in life who are purely ‘party’ friends. They love getting dressed up, having a good time and getting drunk. Nothing wrong with that. But when you stop drinking, you might find that the invites for nights out start to dwindle. Some friends will accept your habits and ask you out regardless and others will just think you’re a ‘party pooper,’ even if they don’t say it aloud.
Always being the designated driver
Get used to this one. People will automatically assume that you’re a taxi service if you don’t drink. I’ve spent several nights out driving people to and from bars/nightclubs. Fine if you want/offer to do it. But be warned: people will use you for lifts and you will end up waiting around for people until they’re ready to go home. Set your boundaries.
Social gatherings won’t be the same
Weddings are weird. Concerts are weird. Christmas parties are weird. When you don’t drink, social gatherings are a completely different experience. I’m very sociable without alcohol anyway but imagine if you relied on a glass of wine to loosen up? Lots of people do. And have you ever been the only sober one in a room full of drunk people? There’s only so long I can do it for!
Being called boring
Thankfully, I very rarely get called boring because I don’t drink. If you’ve met me in real life, you will know that I’m a bit of an extrovert at times. I definitely don’t need alcohol to have fun! Unfortunately, not everyone will understand your lifestyle, especially if alcohol plays a big part in their own lives. However, true friends will totally respect your wishes so stay with them and forget the rest.
It might be harder to meet people
As I’ve mentioned, some people find it difficult to socialise without drinking. It’s an ice breaker: “Can I buy you a drink?” and also a talking point. At first, I found it hard at to meet people whose lives didn’t revolve around nights out. But don’t give up, join clubs/classes with like-minded people and stick to your guns. I’ve got lovely groups of friends now who are understanding/supportive! Plus, a boyfriend who is active like me and rarely drinks himself. It all works out.
This isn’t meant to be a negative post, it’s just a truthful one. There are endless reasons to go teetotal but they come at a price. My number one tip is to enjoy your life as you seem fit. Don’t feel pressured to drink and don’t feel guilted into not drinking. Only you know what’s best for you!