I made a post on social media last week and it has sparked lots of discussion, so I thought I would also make it into a blog post, so people can access it more easily, because I think more and more people are making this choice or at the very least are curious about it.
So on I think it was the 6th of October, or there abouts, marked 2 years of me being alcohol free and honestly, I’ve not looked back.
I thought about it for a long time before I made the choice, and it took me a while, mainly because of social pressures and judgements of others. Because drinking is so entrenched in our culture, it is almost expected of us to drink and I think it can make some people feel uncomfortable if we choose not to. It changes dynamics, brings into question social norms and maybe even leads to people questioning their own drinking. I also had many friends who didn’t question it at all, which was amazing.
However, it came to a point where alcohol no longer fitted into my life, it didn’t fit in with my values, my lifestyle, and so on. And I think we have all behaved in ways which maybe we wished we hadn’t while under the influence of alcohol. I have also seen many people’s lives negatively impacted as a result of addiction, and personally been on the receiving end of some of that negativity, when you witness this so closely it puts things in a very different perspective.
I was lucky, it wasn’t hard for me to stop once I’d decided to, however even though I made it really clear that I had made this decision consciously and I was really comfortable with my decision, it took a while before people stopped trying to encourage me to drink, and sometimes even now I hear the odd ‘oh go on then…’. It can be tiring repeating the same sentence, ‘I am really happy with my choice of being alcohol free because it no longer fits in with my lifestyle’, however I feel for people who are living with addiction and working on staying sober, because for them this could be quite harmful, so for those of you reading this and have friends around you who choose to be alcohol free, for whatever reason, please accept and respect their choice without judgement or pressure to drink, you may not know the whole story and we all have free choice.
For those living with addiction, or for loved ones of those in addiction, there are many organisations out there who can provide help and support should you wish to make that choice.
Being alcohol free is becoming more and more popular and I don’t know anyone who regrets making that choice. I know I don’t miss the hangovers, I can always drive, I can always get up early, I never wake up and wonder ‘what did I say last night’ or all of those feelings which can come with drinking. It saves me money and empty calories and I am not poising my body on a weekly basis.
And… I can still go out and have fun with my friends who do drink, I can still have fun, still be silly, still go to gigs, festivals, camping, wedding receptions, you name it and it feels liberating, that freedom to say no.
So if you are curious give it a go, if you drink and are happy with that choice, enjoy it! And if you choose to drink and a friend chooses not to, then accept and respect that choice.
Until next time!