Apr 7, 2016

An Update on the Teetotaling Lifestyle

I somehow just realized that 2 months have gone by since I wrote about giving up alcohol and it's close to three months since I had my last ever drink (a beer in a pub in Australia - consumed primarily because we were playing a trivia game and while Team 'Murica could not answer questions for shyeeet, we certainly could win the between-round games for free beer).

It's a little ironic, I suppose, that my last drink was beer, since it's not one I've ever enjoyed that much.  But it doesn't really matter.  I mean "going out with a bang" never turns out that well with giving up unhealthy food, so maybe it's just as well that my last few drinks were not enjoyable.

There's not much point to this post.  But if any of you were curious about what it's like to live without alcohol, I'm about to ramble all around that topic.

I haven't made a big deal about it.  Unlike this blog, where my intentions are loudly and grandly announced whenever I make a decision, I don't tend to fill people in unless it's relevant.  So we gradually started going out and attending events.  It was easy to turn down a drink or two in a smaller context - just a few people hanging out, whatever.  I didn't even have to explain why most of the time.

As it came up in conversation on various outings, friends had different reactions.  Some were disappointed, some were supportive.  Some that I had expected to be supportive were disappointed and vice versa.  But overall no one made a big deal about it.

Each outing that we attend and where I don't drink feels like an affirmation.  This was absolutely the right decision.  It gets easier and more natural every time.  I'm completely comfortable talking about it, and I don't need to rely on a drink in my hand to socialize, even when it's a crowd I don't know as well.

I think the most alcohol-centric event I've been to since quitting alcohol was a night out dancing a week or so ago.  I offered to DD, but even so my group did ask if I wanted a drink at the beginning of the night (we typically buy the DD a drink early on and then they switch to soda or water).  In addition to being out in a crowd of drunken bodies waving erratically on the dance floor, we were combining a few different friend groups and trying to find common ground - not always an easy task!  But you know what?  It was fine.

I talked to whomever I felt like, danced with people I'd just met, and was amply supplied with water by my awesome friends all night (and I needed it!  Dancing is so much work!).  There was not a single point that night where I wished I could have a drink.  And the next morning?  Waking up refreshed after a night out is such a new experience that I almost didn't know how to deal with it.

At one point the next day, Roommate asked, "Wait, you weren't drinking???"  Apparently when we'd come home from the bar, I'd been so giddy and chatty that he just assumed I'd had a few.  Nope.  I can do that all on my own.  Alcohol not required.

Have you given up alcohol or another social habit?  If so, were people supportive?


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10 comments:

  1. Good for you! People are always shocked when I tell them I don't drink and either assume I'm an alcoholic or that I haven't "found my drink".

    You should check with your local bars, a lot of them offer DD's free drinks. Water, soda, etc. You could at least reap some benefits from your awesome choices. :)

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  2. I totally admire this! I have never once seen my father take a sip of alcohol. In all my life. Never once. My mum - only a glass of wine on special occasions. Its totally doable.

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  3. I never understand why someone wouldn't be supportive. I have a couple of friends who don't drink or drink very little, and it literally doesn't affect me at all. Everyone makes their own choices, I feel no need to 'pressure' another person into drinking or any other activity they don't want to do. None of my business!

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  4. Look at you rocking the no drinking. While I don't understand how people cant be supportive of their friends decisions, it never surprises me to hear some aren't. Just the way it goes I guess. I think its funny you said your roommate thought you had a few. Amazing that it is entirely possible to be fun and chatty without alcohol, right??? People always assume that because I chose to not drink sometimes...or just have one drink...that I am not going to have fun. I have plenty fun without drinks, thanks!

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  5. I'm not a big drinker myself. I don't care whether people drink or do not, provided they aren't reckless if they do drink, and I would certainly support anyone who made a choice to stop drinking. I guess some people don't like it when people change; it makes them a take a harder look at themselves. Some avoid doing this at all costs.

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    1. I do think this is definitely a part of it. I've had people not be very supportive of other positive life changes, too, like trying to eat healthier, and I think the idea of someone else improving can make us (generally speaking) defensive, or feel judged if we don't also want to do that. And I think you can probably tell how comfortable someone is with themselves and their own decisions by how they react to someone else's choices.

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  6. The best part of not drinking during a night out is the next morning. It's always such a validating feeling, to be able to get up and get right down to whatever it is that you wanted to do with your day. I'm glad you're still finding this to be a productive and helpful life change!

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  7. this is awesome! you go girl. that sucks that some people were disappointed though. i think some people would act like you were shaming them or think you are better than them - at least, that's what happens to me when i choose not to drink or get drunk. i like alcohol, we've talked about this i think, but i don't ever want to get out of control and it's not something i ever want to be a crutch. anyway, sometimes we'll go out and if i don't drink, i instantly get comments about 1) being pregnant, or 2) being no fun or 3) oh don't judge me! um, i'm not judging you. calm down. people. i think what you said above about how people react to someone else's choices shows how comfortable they are with their own decisions. anyway, congrats and high five girl!

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  8. So, I had to look up "teetoling" lol. Learn something new everyday! I was actually quite curious about how this change would affect (or not affect) your social life. Your friends should be your friends whether your drinking or not, and though I would be surprised if a few of my friends quit, I wouldn't judge them or side-eye them, but encourage them in their decision. I'm happy for you this change has had a positive effect on your life and general well-being!

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