I was one of those children who was never really ‘stopped’ from accessing alcohol at an early age – at Christmas I was offered little bits of wine, or at dinners as I got older. No, my parents didn’t push me to try anything if I didn’t want to but as a lot of parents prefer – they’d rather I tried it with them, as opposed to a street corner somewhere as was the trend when I was a teenager.
When I did start dabbling in drinking, I was in my early twenties. I was
quite happy drinking glass after glass of wine either with meals out or when out socially – even sometimes at home in front of the TV. While it may be great for some, I soon realised that it isn’t the life I want to lead and I just wasn’t comfortable with who I had become. When people I was around were drinking, they became loud and obnoxious – a trait I disliked – until I realised very quickly and soberingly (I know, soberingly isn’t a word but hey – I felt it!) that I was also loud and obnoxious.
Now, I know why I drank. I drank to be comfortable in situations that my social anxiety would often bubble under the surface. If I had a glass of wine, it stopped me feeling that pressure – and when it bubbled again, another glass. The same cycle, the same end point. Why? I’m not dealing with my anxiety by drinking, I’m masking it and falling into a lifestyle that just isn’t me.
Not to mention, towards the end of 2016 I was spoken to by my GP about my cholesterol level. Not only that, she had some sharp words regarding my liver too – my liver function wasn’t the best and she had concerns. I knew at that point, I had to sort things out for myself. I’m coming up to thirty and my cholesterol is too high, and my liver is in trouble – what kind of lifestyle is that? Not one I intend to continue!
Alcohol Free Alternatives
It isn’t all about ordering a Pepsi or Appletiser when you go out – although both are a treat. You can explore the ‘mindful drinking’ movement and head to an alcohol free drinking spot. Bar None MCR is a blog following the dry spots in the big city, while Dry Scene is based in London it has a good amount of resources for the none-alcohol inclined. They even promote totally alcohol free events!
As for sourcing alcohol free drinks – I know this is a road I want to take but it doesn’t stop me missing the old drinks I used to covet such as Gin & Tonic – the internet has come to the rescue.
It might seem counter-intuitive to be writing this as an alcohol free post yet sharing alcoholic drinks.. But everyone quits drinking for their own reasons and they might enjoy the taste of certain beverages. I enjoy the taste of certain beers, so I don’t want to leave that taste behind. Just the alcoholic content.
Motivation To Stay Alcohol Free
This is a free resource you can sign up to, setting goals and updating them as you go if that’s the way you prefer to do things.
Another resource, although this you have to pay for. I thought the payment plans were quite steep so I haven’t explored it, but if you do feel free to let me know how you get on.
So, now you know. If I share a glass – it’s probably filled with Shloer. I stopped drinking at Christmas in 2016, and while I’ve had a little wine since I’m thrilled with the fact I’ve gone from so much so barely a glass – and from today, none. I have no excuses anymore, and the fact I’ve opened up on my blog means it really isn’t private.
I call upon all my friends and family to be supportive of this – I never realised how hard giving up alcohol would be just because people see drinking it as such a social norm now. I don’t need to be drinking to be fun, I don’t need to drink to be confident – I’m still the same person without it! I see so many pulled faces when I mentioned I don’t drink now. Instead of allowing me to make the choice, I get asked why? – how can I do that? – am I not fun anymore?
No. Don’t question, just support. Everyone has their own reasons, and while I’m a lucky one as I have a blog I can explain on.. Not everyone is comfortable sharing. Besides, if someone really does prefer not to drink – is it really your business to question that? They’re still the same person, and they aren’t preaching at you to stop. Just take a moment to understand it really is their choice of lifestyle, and they’ll explain when they are ready.