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Why my not drinking really isn't a big deal

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Being the only sober person in the room sucks. I've heard this over and over. People say it to me when they're asking how I do it, when they're encouraging me to drink, or when they're downright confused by why the heck I'm at a club then.

I need no artificial amplification. My personality is big enough on it's own, and I don't really enjoy getting drunk. So I don't.

But people always wonder why in the world I spend time with people who do, when I don't. There are a few reasons that it works for me:
1. I am very particular about my friends. People get dumber when they drink, so I keep people around me who can keep up while sober, and at least make an attempt while drunk. My group of friends accumulated around me during university, and if they couldn't keep up drunk, I did not put myself into a situation where they would be my entertainment while drunk.
2. I'm not shy. I go to clubs to dance. Period. I'm not afraid of doing so, and if someone gets grabby, I deal with it and then go back to dancing. Why in the world would I spend 7x more on booze at a club than I would at home? If I didn't want to dance, I wouldn't be there. I'm certainly not looking for someone to take home.
3. Excluding the select few who do not understand that sobriety and fun aren't mutually exclusive, as long as I'm chatting, dancing, and having fun, no one gives me guff about it. There's always that one person who can't help but obsess over my lack of inebriation, but once I get away from her (and it's almost always a her), I can have my fun secure in the knowledge that I won't regret my decisions in the morning.

To me not drinking when I go out is a no-brainier. I don't have to worry about someone putting something in my drink. I don't have to worry that I'll get left behind at the end of the night (as I'm the driver!). I won't be forgetting my wallet, purse, or phone in a cab. I won't be dropping hundreds of dollars on drinks. I don't need to worry about making decisions I will regret. And I'm still having a blast!

I understand that some people require "liquid courage" to get up and go. I'm not one of them. It has never made sense to me that someone needs alcohol in them to dance. I was a figure skater, people. We're INFAMOUS for being terrible dancers. I only got better because I stopped caring how I looked and just enjoyed the music. Eventually -- with much practice -- I got better. But then, I had a harsh teacher I didn't think the kids in high school were laughing at me, I knew it.

At the age of 16 I realized that people are always laughing at you. Sometimes with intent to hurt, and sometimes merely because the situation is ridiculous. However, if you laugh at yourself in all situations, no matter their intent (malicious or benign), they are laughing with you. And I enjoy a good laugh.

Life is too short to take it seriously. It's also -- in my opinion -- to short to measure the success of an evening by how little of it you remember.

Experiment with me. If you need a little red cup with something colourful in it to make you feel better, go for it, but see if you can enjoy a party with sober eyes. If you can't, it might not be the booze you're lacking.

Good luck!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Where I work, alcohol abuse is usually a matter of course, and most of my colleagues and contacts are genuinely perplexed and intrigued when they find out I don't drink. I get the same incredulous comments: "You mean, you don't NEED alcohol to loosen up and have a good time?!" Heck no! I can laugh and joke even better if I'm drinking water rather than wine!

    I love my family of winos and I'm quite impressed with my parents' collection of bottles (and riding around in a limo for my mom's 60th birthday to 6 different wineries was amazing), but it took me a long, long time to figure out that alcohol was no buddy of mine. I'm incredibly lucky to be free of it now.

    Awesome, awesome post - thanks for putting it up!

    1908 days ago
  • KONRAD695
    I love your post. After many years of working in the bar I've seen all of what you're speaking of. Now I'm one of the non-drinkers too. It's funny how some people just don't get it.
    Once again I like your style. Dance on my friend emoticon to whatever moves you.
    1908 days ago
    I like a good glass of wine now and then, but I don't pay restaurant prices for it very often and usually it is a complement to my meal. I never went to a club, but I did used to go to dances. I am awful, but I love to dance anyway. I too do not need a drink to improve my good time. I don't need a drink to get through things(most of the time) I slipped up when my husband died.
    Nice blog.
    emoticon emoticon
    1908 days ago
    I don't drink and never really have as well. Seems to become less of an issue as you get older too. When I used to go to clubs it was for the same reason - just to dance. Still sometimes it's hard finding others who don't drink at all, since it's so socially accepted, for whatever the reason. I normally didn't/don't because I like to be in control of myself at all times, and it's not good for health. Sure, wine aficionados will state heart health, but you can get that in other ways.
    1911 days ago
    Great post!! I too have been there, gone out and didn't drink and people couldn't understand. I had a stretch where i didn't drink for about 3 years. I do drink now but rarely. I am a major light weight. So 1 glass of wine and I am feeling it. I also love to go out dancing but I never drink when I go, I am also ways the first one on the dance floor of my group of friends , while every one else is still drinking there first 1 or 2 drinks!!! emoticon emoticon
    1912 days ago
  • SLEE103
    oh so wise...great points. I've been on "both sides" so to speak and it's about finding balance and not using it as a shield. very astute :)
    1913 days ago
    Very well stated! You Go Girl!

    emoticon emoticon
    1913 days ago
    I also can dance without needing alcohol.
    You go girl! emoticon emoticon
    1913 days ago
    See - that isn't just drinking, that is alcohol abuse. I think SO many people misuse alcohol to have a good time. I enjoy drinking in the sense of going to like - wine and cheese tastings where it is more on small sips, flavors, and the experience of the combinations. I am not drinking to get drunk or to feel more confident. I think you CAN have one or two drinks without needing any background reasoning for it - but soooo many people these days don't drink that way!

    Also - people are so darn judgmental! What if you were like allergic to booze & drinking it would kill you? Leave you alone - it is your choice and your life!
    1913 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/28/2013 1:30:24 PM
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