Somehow living an alcohol free life

Somehow living an alcohol free life

First some clarification. I am not a former alcoholic, and I don't abstain from drinking for religious reasons. I have simply never had an alcoholic beverage in my life. Not when I was younger, not two weeks ago, not ever. I typically don't go around advertising this fact, but as you can imagine the subject has come up, oh about a billion times in my life and probably 100% of the questions that come after that statement can be boiled down to this one question: "but how do you survive?!?" Well, it's a combination of food, water, exercise, and the like, but I'm going to tell you why and how its all magically possible. To do that, I'll just attend to the myriad of questions and comments I've gotten over the years?

1. Why don't you drink?

When I was eleven, I got a phone call that my best friend was in the ICU. She had apparently gotten off her bus, and proceeded to walk across the cross walk when a drunk driver hit her in broad daylight. He was so drunk that he dragged her body down the street about 3 blocks before some bystanders managed to corale the car and stop him. Because of this, she ended up in a halo where doctors have to drill 4 screws into your skull and place this metal device that looks kind of like a halo around her to stabilize her spine. She also had vast amounts of road rash (flesh torn off by scraping the cement), and several broken bones. She was lucky to be alive and to be able to spend months recovering where as you know, many never get that chance. This moment in my life impacted me a lot. I felt even at eleven that I never wanted to be the reason someone was in this position, and so in that hospital room, sitting next to her battered and broken body, I swore I wouldn't drink. Now I realize I was eleven then, and believe me I know there are tons of people who can and do drink responsibly (my friends being those people), but I suppose like becomming a Vegetarian for some people, it is a choice I made and have just stuck to it.

2. How can you know about alcohol and how you'll handle it, if you've never tried it?

I have this crazy thing called free will, and it says, I don't have to try anything I don't want to. Plus, its not like you can experience the drink through me, so what would be the purpose of you getting to know that information.

3. People like you seem really immature to me. Like they refuse to grow up.

Does drinking help me pay my bills, maintain a job or friendships/relationships, live in my house, and take care of my family. No, it doesn't. I do that, alcohol free.



4. You must be a bore at parties.

When you were 20 or some young age before you started drinking, when you went out you didn't need alcohol 'to survive,' you were whatever type of person or partier you were without a drink in hand. I've always been outgoing, and I love to dance, but again, for me, I don't require a drink in hand to do that. When I say this, those same people often scoff only because they refuse to believe that this can be possible only because they cannot go to a party or a wedding or an event without getting a drink and doing what they do with drink in hand.

5. How do you socialize? I bet people don't invite you to the bar?

My friends love me for me, but also because they can drink at a bar or club without worrying how they are going to get home safe b/c they know they have a designated driver. Other then physically seeing someone ordering a drink and drinking it, or being drunk, how do you know anyone in a bar is drinking or if they are doing what they are doing because of a drink. You don't.

6. How about I buy you your first drink or here, have my drink.

Peer pressure to drink was intense in my college/high school days. Every party there was alcohol and lots of it, but to avoid the, have a drink questions, I have forever followed the advice my brother gave me after he gave up drinking for a month to help cut weight, and that is to go to the party/club/bar and grab a solo cup or whatever glass people are drinking and fill it with water, juice or soda. People just naturally assume you are drinking because you have a cup and they are drinking. Totally worked.



7. Sober people always seem so judgmental

I have never in my life told any friend or stranger not to drink. The only exceptions have been when someone tried to drive drunk which I would hope anyone would try and stop. You be you. You drink whatever it is that makes you happy. I don't say a word or judge you for it because that is your life choice. Turn the camera around, and the opposite apparently is not true. Some people literally consider me to be some sort of threat to their way of life, like I'm just sitting in a corner scowling at them. I give zero f--ks what's in your glass. I'm worried about me and what I'm doing.

8. Come on, you must have wanted to try a drink

I've thought about it sure, but I can't miss what I've never had.

9. What about dates, how do you handle that

How would anyone handle someone who just sat down and told them they were sober after years of being an alcoholic, you don't then hand them a drink. I typically order my own beverage and then somewhere down the line when or if it comes up, I tell the truth and if someone wants to dump me over that, then they aren't worth having in my life. This has never happened because I'm pretty sure alcohol isn't the thing that makes you love someone and want to be with them forever.

10. You must have a lot to black mail people with being sober and all all the time.

Have I seen things, yes. Have I heard things, yes, but do you keep people around who tell all your secrets and your private business to the world. No.

***

So how have I survived all these years with not a drop of alcohol? Just fine. Being sober or not drinking is your choice and you should never feel pressured to do what you don't want to do. Sure alcohol plays a part in a lot of the social things we do in life, but it shouldn't prevent you from socializing, or finding friends, or success. I mean, I've never had a hangover, never had to pay for alcohol, I've never been unaware of how I got somewhere, I've never risked my own life or others driving drunk, and alcohol has never contributed to a health issue or weight gain. Pluses for me. I've often found that people who would judge you for not drinking are often insecure about themselves or something they personally are doing in their lives. My not drinking should not in anyway affect what you have chosen to do with your life. The older I have gotten, the easier it has been because there is just less pressure to go out and get drunk, have 'fun' or whatever, but it is very possible to survive high school and college without a drink if that is the choice you want to make.


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What Guys Said 12

  • I don't drink either, I've tried it before and didn't like it. People have always told me that it's an "acquired taste" but I'm sick of that phrase. The only alcohol that I liked was rum but you don't get that at parties, it's always some cheap beer.

    I would never be a designated driver, I'd rather call a cab for someone.

    It's always better to be sober since you should always be aware of your surroundings.

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  • I don't drink alcohol either. I've tried it but I think it tastes disgusting. I don't really have any moral or religious objections to it.

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  • Good for you. If you don't use alcohol, you don't need it.

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    • by the way, I do drink, moderately (not everyone can). It doesn't make me smarter or more attractive.

    • well not drinking doesn't make me smarter or more attractive either, so I guess we're in the same boat, LOL!

  • You sound kind of defensive. Actually something like 38% of US adults don't drink alcohol at all.

    Though I'm sure the percentage of those who've NEVER had alcohol is much smaller.

    by the way there were two members of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors who had never had alcohol in their lives. One decided to change that by having a little of the victory champagne, the other did not. So you are not as rare as you think.

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    • (Scratches head) I'm not quite sure what you just read, but technically every human being on the planet, including twins, is a unique individual, so in that sense, yes, I am unique. Not sure what two basketball players drinking or not drinking has to do with my life, but I'm glad you know some facts and some stats about some other people. Cool, man.

  • Good for you. I have so much respect for you.

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    • I'm not sure I simply deserve respect for that, but thanks

  • I have a simpler explanation: Jell-O shots taste disgusting and make me woozy. Mike's Hard Lemon tastes like a marker. And O'Doul's is disgusting in spite being alcohol-free. So beer and liquor are disgusting to me. Add to that, I can't consume barley, and hops are used to make beer. So why drink? Besides, if I wanna be in an altered state of mind at a party, two Pepsi drinks will do that. Caffeine plus adrenaline.

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  • One tramautizing event has led you to not drinking alcohol. Not everyone who drinks drives drunk.

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    • Thanks for pointing out exactly what I've already said in my take above. I don't drink for my personal reasons, and as I've stated, all my friends drink responsibility and I put no judgements on them because they can do what they want and can make their own choices, as can I. I've not said anywhere here that everyone is a drunk, or drives drunk.

  • I am a former alcoholic that has been completely alcohol-free for six years, the reason that I don't drink is simple. I don't want to or need to, I can have fun and be myself with or without the alcohol, I simply choose to be without it for the rest of my life.

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    • Good for you man.

  • I don't care if a person does or doesn't drink. As long as they aren't hurting themselves and especially others and it doesn't get in the way of their life then I see no problem. You can say that about anything really. When it's in moderation, it's fine. When someone becomes dependent on it then it's an issue.

    I have a few friends who don't drink and one who's a total alcoholic and should give up drinking. One doesn't drink because he's worried about becoming an alcoholic. Another quit because he couldn't handle himself when he got drunk. He wasn't an alcoholic but he'd just get crazy when he would get drunk (not drive drunk luckily). He also wanted to focus on grad school which I can't blame him.

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    • Just because a person is sober doesn't mean they're boring. Actually, if a person needs to get drunk or to drink to be happy then they're the boring one.

      I love craft beer and everything, but I still have never felt the need to drink in order to function or anything. I imagine it'd be a nightmare if I needed alcohol to keep going. Your take is great and I am gonna type a question soon similar to the subject.

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    • People celebrate falling in the streets drunk? Sounds like a bunch of idiots. I mean getting drunk is fine as long as it's in moderation and you keep your shit together but if you get so drunk that you have to be babysat so you don't hurt yourself and others lots of times then it's a problem.

    • "Actually, if a person needs to get drunk or to drink to be happy then they're the boring one."

      I agree, I say this all the time.

  • I have a friend like you who also doesn't drink as a matter of principle but doesn't mind me drinking when I visit. Good enough for me really. I'll be completely honest though, I still think he's missing out on something quite nice but at the same time at least he's guaranteed of not running the risk of drinking too much or using alcohol as a coping-mechanism. Self-control is such an easy thing to give up on after all.

    However, my mentality is different. Not trying something because of some sort of principle is not my jam, but I understand your rather tragic reason for not wanting to.

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  • I do'nt know why poeple have such problems with drinking, I drink sometimes I get little drunk but I have LIMITS. If you have limits it's okay.

    It's same for weed or anywhere you need to have your LIMITS.

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    • Addictive personality perhaps as well as other factors? I'm not entirely sure either. It's like how I can have a few days to a week without a beer but my friend who's an alcoholic can't go a day without it where as some people can smoke cigarettes every once in awhile where with me if I start, I get addicted.

  • Been there, drank this, drank that. I still drink a little, a shot or two more as a social thing if anything. I have no trouble socialiazing with people that have been drinking when I am sober. Just have to give a bit of leeway for them, because at one point or another they plainly seem retarded to you :D

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What Girls Said 7

  • i think it's fine and there's nothing wrong with your decision. i know what it's like to have to explain yourself over and over and be judged for something that isn't that big of a deal but people can't seem to understand it.

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  • I've never had alcohol and don't intend on having it. Even when I turned 21 this summer I had nothing but soda. I don't get why people assume I'm no fun or a prude just because I don't want to drink, or get shit faced with them. I can have fun being completely sober. u3u

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    • that's why I say its usually people who 'need' alcohol either b/c they are alcoholics, or can't come to a function/party/dinner without a drink, who are the ones who want to tell you that you are boring or whatever b/c you don't drink. Frankly there was a time in our lives when everybody didn't drink, so to say that is to imply that they were boring, which is ridiculous. Hang around people who get it, and get you, whether they drink or not. If someone thinks you have to drink in order to be interesting, that is there problem, not yours.

  • I've drank before, but I'm not a fan of it to be honest.

    It's especially hard to get people off your back aboutabout it when you're Russian. Everyone expects you to have vodka for breakfast.

    I primarily hate drinking because of the next day aftereffects. The most I hate is the taste of alcohol in your throat for the rest of the day no matter what you eat, it just doesn't go away. And you feel awful, dizzy, nauseous, head hurts, the list goes on.

    The cons very much outweigh the pros of getting drunk, so I just don't do it.

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    • To be fair, one can drink responsibly without getting drunk. It's unfortunate though, that people expect you to drink, but you are your own person, and if you want to buck the stereotype, you can do that.

    • I only drink wine just for a slight buzz, 2 glasses over a period of few hours sipping it slowly.

      Getting pissed is simply not my thing. :/

  • you don't want to just taste it? I've never gotten drunk either.

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  • I love this take, it sums up me and everything I've heard. I decided to not drink because of my anxiety disorder. I typically don't like to tell people that so I just say "I just don't", that and I don't like alcohol all that much. I can still have lots of fun and my friends know this.

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    • Glad you liked it. It's nice to hear from the non-drinkers out there and the ones that 'get us.' Glad your friends are supportive.

  • Loved your take! Interesting point.
    You remind me of my boyfriend, in a way, he also doesn't drink (he has tried it, but didn't like it) and he's a wonderful person and doesn't need alcohol to have fun and that's the problem with most people, they depend on alcohol to be a good person, which clearly is a bad sign. I do drink, but quite rarely and not too much (since I don't want to end up on the floor puking or whatever) a glass or two is ok.

    It's quite ironic that people who don't indulge in these kinds of (dare I say, repulsive?) acts like passing out drunk, or puking everywhere, etc. are looked down upon, but people who spend each weekend hugging a toilet are heroes.

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  • Thanks for posting this. I don't drink, but that is more so contributed to religious reasons, so I loved reading your view point. And I agree that its nice to know I don't have to worry about hangovers or alcohol induced blackouts.

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    • You can still drink without risking hangovers, puking, or blackouts. Not that I'm telling you to drink but I used to get plastered a lot in college when I turned 21 and it got old fast. I might get a slight buzz from drinking every now and then but I just like the taste of a nice craft beer. I'd rather have a few beers and talk with someone as opposed to getting so drunk that I either wanna pass out and can't even stand up.

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    • The choice, though strongly encouraged, is still mine to make every day. Yes i have committed to being alcohol free because my religion asks it of me, but my religion does not take away my ability to choose for myself.

      I have had some people not understand, but for the most part, I avoid situations/groups where I would be subjected to that peer pressure. I have gone out for drinks with coworkers and have been the one drinking the milkshake (they chose to go to Applebees).

      In college, I mostly hung out with people from church, so I didn't have the same college party pressure, but I like your red cup strategy.

      I probably haven't answered all your questions here, so if you want to know more, please ask. :)

    • Made a lot of sense to me. Sorry didn't mean to imply you had no free will, I just know a lot of people who grew up under some form of religion don't think of what they do as having to be a choice any more then will I brush my teeth today. Its almost automatic for them at least as they've told me, but I'm well aware everyone is totally different. And definitely red solo cup it with some juice or water. It's amazing how nobody bothers me. I've been thanking my brother ever since for that golden tip!

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