Why I Choose Not to Drink Alcohol: Exploring Sobriety and Personal Choices
Alcohol consumption has become a topic of increased interest, and soberness is becoming more accepted in society. As alcoholism continues to be a growing issue, particularly among women, there is increasing research about the potential benefits of limiting alcohol intake. The impact of wine culture on women is another interesting topic to explore, take a listen to this episode of the podcast to learn more, Wine Moms & Alcoholism with Kathleen Keating-Toews Ep. 71; get it here (or search where you listen to podcasts).
In this blog post, I want to share my personal journey of choosing not to drink alcohol and the reasons behind it. While I understand these issues can be complicated and vary from person to person, I hope to provide some insights into my decision and offer tips for those who also choose to abstain from alcohol.
Growing up in a Christian household, alcohol was frowned upon for various reasons. While I won't delve into the religious aspect here (which are up for debate), the avoidance of alcohol was a family practice due to personal beliefs and family history. As a result, I was initially scared of alcohol but have since overcome that fear. In my late teens and early 20s, I often found myself being the designated driver (much to the joy of my friends), opting for fun without the need for alcohol (given I was outgoing and hyper I didn't feel the need to have it to have fun). Even when I eventually tried it, I discovered I didn't enjoy the taste and experienced negative effects on my stomach (which would leave me feeling ill for about a week, even just half a drink or less). These experiences and the realization that I could save money by choosing alternatives solidified my decision to abstain from alcohol. I should clarify, I am not against it, nor am I committed to never trying it again, it’s just something I generally don’t do. Every few years I try again, and after being sick to my stomach for about a week, it is enough to remind me for a few more years why I should not drink.
In addition to these reasons, in recent years due to certain medical conditions and medications, I have been advised against alcohol consumption. Over the years I have come to understand that I am perfectly content without it. That being said it is not always easy, and I have a few tips for those of you who don’t drink.
Embrace Mocktails: The availability of mocktails has increased, providing a wide range of non-alcoholic drink options that are both fun and enjoyable. No need to feel left out of the party atmosphere.
No Explanation Needed: Remember that "no" is a complete sentence. You don't owe anyone an explanation for your choice not to drink.
Get out of your head: I find people don’t care and don't ask why I don't drink. Often the judgment and concerns are coming from what I think people must be thinking about me, not what they are actually thinking, so get out of your head.
It Gets Easier: While it may not always be easy, staying committed to your decision becomes more manageable over time. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who respect your choice.
Respect Others Choices: Whether someone chooses to drink or not, no moral judgment is attached to it. Everyone should have the freedom to make their own decisions without feeling judged.
Choosing not to drink alcohol is a personal decision with various factors influencing it. I hope sharing my journey helps others who make the choice to not drink feel less alone. Whether you drink or not, remember that these issues are complex, and it's important to respect and support one another's choices. So, raise a mocktail or some wine, and let's toast to living our best lives, whatever that means for you.