Mental Health Other Reviews

I Don’t Drink. So What?

Christmas was a time to ‘eat drink and be merry!’. New Year was also a time to drink to the future – and to the past – to new starts and new memories. But what if, like me, you don’t drink? (Alcohol I’m talking about here, not just liquid in general. If that was the case, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this blog post). Before Christmas, I took my frustrations to Twitter (as we so often do these days) and the reactions and replies I received prompted and inspired this blog post and I wanted to think and talk about alcohol. Why I don’t drink it, why it’s okay not to drink it and why oh why some people look at you like you’ve got 3 heads when you tell them that actually, it’s Christmas and I’m still not going to have a drink.

i-dont-drink-so-what

The tweet that ignited this burst of inspiration was this one, pictured to the left. Now, before I start, I think I’d better clarify that I don’t drink. I don’t drink wine, I don’t drink beer, I don’t drink spirits and I don’t drink cocktails. I won’t 15590003_10211345234096900_8210233484884966609_nsay I’ve been teetotal for X amount of years now because there has been brief moments over the past few years where, *gasp*, I have drunk some alcohol but as of right now, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had any. I don’t think about it, even during social conventional periods – like Christmas, New Year or my birthday.

I stopped drinking around the time my anxiety started. My anxiety was sparked by a awful bout of the flu in 2011 – if you need more information on that, I wrote a post on it here – and, I was so ill, I constantly felt dizzy, light-headed and sick. Does that remind you of anything? I felt so awful during that period that when I got better, the thought of drinking alcohol and having that sensation again was jut a no-go for me. And that, more or less, is the reason why I don’t drink.

Now I don’t feel like I need to justify myself and the reasons why I don’t drink. To be honest, it’s nobodies business and the fact that I don’t drink does in no way affect you and your drinking habits. I’m not judgemental to those who drink and those who drink a lot – before my anxiety started I was a big drinker and I loved nothing more than going out with my friends and getting drunkety, drunk, drunk. I know how much fun it can be, I’ve been there, I’ve done it. But I don’t any more. So why do other people feel the need to judgemental about those who choose not to drink?

I can’t speak for everyone who doesn’t drink as I’m sure there are plenty of stuck-up, snobby people out there who feel like they are above and beyond people who drink and get drunk but I am not one of those people. And the majority of us aren’t. We don’t judge you so being asked why you don’t drink and being told, “go on…” isn’t just incredibly annoying but it’s also disrespectful to others and their personal choices.

Christmas can often be one of the worse times for this. With most people letting off steam, drinking with families and15673040_10211345233976897_606581194576446903_n friends and often drinking a little more than usual, those of us that don’t drink stand out like a sore thumb. But, the fact that it’s Christmas really does make no difference to us and telling us to, “go on have a drink, it’s Christmas“, is just a naïve and frankly pointless comment to make. You wouldn’t say, “go on, have some turkey, it’s Christmas“, to a vegetarian, would you? So what makes one of those things okay and the other one not?

I’ve quite literally lost friends over the past few years because I don’t drink or enjoy going out to pubs and clubs anymore. I didn’t realise that my old friendships were so focused on those things and it does make me sad. I’ve heard things like, “just have one, it’ll make you feel better” and, “go on have a drink, it’ll make you less anxious“. And I can’t help now but roll my eyes at those comments. So, with Christmas and New Year out of the way now I wanted to write this post for anyone who, like me, doesn’t drink and didn’t drink over the holidays.

Also, for anyone who has someone in their life who doesn’t drink – please refrain from making these ignorant comments. Leave people to their own vices. Curiosity is okay but judgement is not. Especially for something that has no impact on you, whatsoever.

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

67 Comments

  1. […] Neither, I don’t drink alcohol. […]

  2. I don’t really get why people go on about insisting people should do things when they say no I guess it’s the Mrs Doyle in all of us “ahhh go on”. But I think to be honest, people don’t mean any harm in it (if they are just saying go on, if they are being rude well obvs). I am always on some sort of diet and alot of the time it can affect wether I am ill or not so I hear you about the alcohol but people are exactly the same with food! People say things like ‘don’t be a spoil sport’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’ / ‘you are being fussy’ about a dietry requirement and i’ve heard someone say just eat meat at christmas to a vegetarian btw. It’s completely stupid like obesity or alcoholism isn’t an issue but at the same time I think it really is just a knee jerk reaction when someone says ‘go on’ , they are just stuck for what to say next either that or they are playing devels advocate. As for all other comments just smile and say ‘most A&E call outs are at christmas too’.

    Jen xxx

  3. themymanylovesblog says:

    Love your turkey/vegi comparison it’s so true! I totally get you, wish more people thought like that. X

    1. Haha thank you, I was quite proud of that too (; xx

  4. Such a great post girly, I didn’t drink until this year (I’m 19 and in Australia so I was really late to the party haha) and I think it’s so sad people don’t know how to have fun without drinking. Great to hear you speaking out about this topic xx

  5. I’m not old enough to drink in the US but I really don’t intend to anyway. I managed to have fun so far in my life so I don’t see the need tbh.

    A Sparkle Of Grace

  6. Love this!! I’m not a big drinker … although I can’t say I don’t drink occasionally but theres absolutely nothing wrong with it when people chose not to drink. I hate it when I chose not to drink and someones sitting there saying ‘you’re not having fun because you’re not drinking’ xx

    Jamie | http://www.jamies-corner.com

    1. That’s literally the WORST thing to say to someone like who are they to tell other people how to have a good time?! Sigh xxx

  7. This is such a great and well-written post. I probably drink a little *too* much (hic), although I am trying to cut back.

    I would never push someone to have a drink – I have quite a few friends who are tee total and we always have a fab time when we’re out, whether I drink and they don’t or we all don’t drink; it makes no difference. I think it’s really cheeky people try to get pushy with you about drinking. I have friends who don’t drink for very personal reasons and I can’t imagine how frustrating it is when someone says “oh go on it’s Christmas” etc!

    Thank you for sharing this, it’s a good reminder not to be *that* person who tries to encourage drinking!

    Kate x
    http://www.findingkate.co

    1. Thanks Kate! It’s great that it doesn’t matter to you and your friends who’s drinking and who’s not. It’s totally not about that anyway, is it?

  8. I’m not a massive drinker and I hate being told to just have a drink, it’s so frustrating!!! Loved reading this post!

    1. Right?! If I wanted to drink, I would. I’m an adult and quite capable of getting a drink if I want one without people badgering on asking why I don’t! Ugh!

  9. thereluctantteetotaller says:

    I have literally dedicated my whole blood to this topic. Sometimes when I say it’s for medical reasons (in my case a liver syndrome) people even then say “but you’ll drink again in the future?” – No!
    That said, I haven’t done a teetotal xmas yet …. weddings have been an eye-opener though!!

    1. I don’t think anyone should be questioned on why regardless of the reason! If someone tells you they don’t drink, just leave it at that. No more needs to be said. It’s infuriating isn’t it? xx

  10. […] came up with a tag post for the book which I was tagged in by Ellie! As you probably know by now, I don’t drink, so I had to check that the questions weren’t drink related otherwise that would be the most […]

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