Last updated on July 15th, 2022 at 12:38 pm
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As someone who’s 26 years old (although I don’t love to admit this), staying sober is weird to people.
We are told by other people that we’re young so we do stupid things. It’s fun and normal, they say.
Alcohol is a key element in your youth. It’s extremely common to drink alcohol.
You drink when you celebrate an occasion, hang out with friends, at a party, or even at holiday events. Basically, any type of social gathering.
My Background Growing Up (Staying Sober)
Growing up, my family was never huge drinkers. I have a cousin that loves beer but other than him, I literally cannot think of any family member that enjoys drinking much. I didn’t grow up around that.
For some people, it’s during college when they start getting into the drinking culture.
When I went to school in Boston, I was never into the partying scene despite being in a young and vibrant city. My friends knew I didn’t go to clubs or drink so it’s not something they do with me.
I’m the friend you would call to go try a new restaurant with, which works out great now because I can write restaurant reviews.
There are moments when I can’t help but think if my friends think I’m boring. Although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with staying sober, I’ve had friends complain that they can’t do certain things with me.
People’s Behaviour Around a Non-Drinker
There have been times when I’m hanging out with my friends and I can tell they want a drink. They usually don’t order one because I’m a non-drinker. I insist that they can go ahead if they want but they usually end up getting something non-alcoholic.
Honestly, I’m not sure why they feel the need to do that. Please do have a drink if you want! As long as you’re not so out of it that I have to take care of you.
I don’t want people to feel like they can’t drink around me.
Although I never understood the appeal of alcohol, I do not judge people who drink. Because I don’t like it when people judge me for my decision.
Being Judged Staying Sober
When I say I don’t drink, I am careful of how I say it because the last thing I want to do is to act like I’m ‘better’ than others. However, I still get judged.
A friend once said drinking alone isn’t fun and she wished I drank.
This one girl said she wanted to see me drunk and lose control. It would be funny apparently and she would get a good laugh.
I’ve even had a former friend who kept calling me a prude. She was joking at first so I didn’t think much of it. When that nickname stuck, I told her off. It’s not very comfortable to hear that all the time.
Most of my friends and family have accepted my decision with staying sober although there are still nosy people that keep asking me why I don’t drink.
I usually just shrug because I don’t feel the need to share my list of reasons.
Since my blog is a platform where I’m personal and open with my audience, I wanted to write out the true list of reasons why I am staying sober.
1) Forming Genuine Connections
My best friend, Michelle (her name is not actually Michelle but we decided that was her name on my blog) used to have going out friends. When I asked about her friendships with them, she admits they’re not deep.
They have fun together but they’re not the people she will go to emotional support (but it’s okay because she has me!).
When I first heard Michelle saying that, I was a bit confused. Friends that you can’t talk to about real-life issues? Just partying and having small talk?
I have heard that when you’re drunk, you become BFFs with someone but I want genuine connections where we are legitimately close because of our vibe, our connection. Not because alcohol is linking us together.
I’m perfectly happy with my close circle of friends. It’s not about the number of friends but the quality. It’s a motto I live by and so far, it’s working out pretty well. I’m open to having more close friends but if that doesn’t happen, it’s not something I will be devastated over.
With acquaintances, you might be more careful of what you say because you’re not about to pour your heart out to people you’re not close to.
So you stick to lighthearted topics (although some people like to ask uncomfortable questions and that’s always not fun).
That’s fine sometimes but how can you be close to someone without talking about personal things?
(It can be fun to get to know someone new though!)
2) Having Time to Focus on What You Truly Want
Many of us tell ourselves we will be able to achieve what we actually want if we had more time. The truth is, most of us are pressed for time and alcohol doesn’t help.
(Okay, COVID is a bit of an exception because all we did have was time. Congratulations to those who checked off some items from their bucket list. I know I did and I’m really proud that I started this blog!)
When you’re drinking on weekends, and possibly on weekdays, you can lose a lot of time.
For example, you’re drunk on a Friday night.
You sleep it off and then you wake up the next morning with a hangover.
It might take a couple of hours for your head and body to go back to normal. Even if you want to, it’s hard to go about your day when your head isn’t functioning properly.
Getting a drink here and then is fine but getting blackout drunk means you lose a day and a half.
If you do this every weekend, imagine how much time you have lost throughout the years. That is the time taken away from things you truly want to do.
3)You Can Spend Your Money on Other Things
Staying sober has probably saved me thousands of dollars throughout the years.
I would like to say that I saved up some of that money.
4) Safety Reasons
This might be uncomfortable to hear but the truth is, as a girl, I have to be concerned about my safety. Most of the time, I don’t even like going out in the dark because what if something happens to me?
Drinking makes you more vulnerable and I want to guard myself around people with bad intentions. Sounds pessimistic, doesn’t it?
You hear all of these horror stories whether it’s walking alone at night or being at clubs and parties. Once you hear enough of these, you start to get a bit scared. It really could happen to me.
I don’t completely avoid going out at night. There are some cities safer than others so I’m more open to going out at night depending on where I am. But even still, I still prefer doing most things in the daytime.
Thankfully, the things I like to do are mostly during the day so it hasn’t been much of a big deal unless it’s going out to watch movies (I prefer going at night) or eating out for dinner.
5) Bad for Your Health
I get red easily in real life. It’s not something I can change but I wish I could. I don’t love looking like a tomato. Who does? It’s something I have to learn to accept.
Me drinking alcohol makes me even redder. I experience this normally already so it’s not necessary.
Drinking alcohol is also really bad for your skin.
I rarely go to bed without washing my face and although I can still be better on my skincare routine, taking care of my skin is pretty high on my priority list.
I heard that in Korean skincare, you have to start using anti-ageing products when you’re 25 years old?
Not only is alcohol bad for your skin but it affects other parts of your body too. Cone Health has an article that talks more about this in detail.
Do I NEVER Drink?
The short answer is no. I do drink but very rarely. Hence, the title of my blog post. I didn’t want to lie and say I’m a complete non-drinker because it’s not true.
I drink when I want to but that’s about it. If we’re talking numbers here, it would probably be less than 5 drinks a year. Even less, I think.
Reflecting on My Decision to Staying Sober
There were moments when I did doubt my decision.
I never got to the cute drunk phase that some people seem to have. It goes from I feel absolutely fine to my head pounding. There’s no in-between. Is it my low alcohol tolerance?
If I build up my alcohol tolerance, maybe I’ll understand what the hype is all about. Am I missing out? After all, drinking alcohol is really normal in today’s society.
But as I sit there continuing to contemplate my decision, the answer is always no.
Not drinking is similar to my staying away from social media phase. To this day, I have very few regrets about my past decision so I doubt that I will regret my decision to stay sober in the future.
Now to You – Staying Sober
Do you know any people that are staying sober? What are their reasons for not drinking?
Let me know in the comments down below!