Hey gal, love your blog. What are your thoughts on drinking alcohol generally, and especially on how to say no in the face of peer pressure/ still be a wild child at a party without drinking. XX
Hi there!! Thank you 😀
I don’t think alcohol itself is an issue. The problems start with our relationship to it. When we look at the reasons why we are drinking, and how it makes us act and feel, sometimes the results can be illuminating. If a person is drinking because they feel depressed, or socially inept, or in deep pain, or pressured into it, that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. If a person drinks to the point of blacking out, being sick, having a three day hangover, losing memory, missing work and engaging in risky behaviors (drunk driving, unsafe sex, fights) then that’s a problem. It can be really hard to face the fact that you have a problem though – especially when your social life revolves around drinking. When your entire world consists of partying, everyone seems to drink as much, if not more than you.
Lecture over. How I feel about alcohol? I think if you are one of those people who can have a glass or two of wine, enjoy it, not feel the need to drink more, and can wake up without confusion as to who or where you are, you got this. Whilst alcohol is essentially a toxin, in moderation it has health benefits. In excess it can kill you. I am not one of these moderation people. I enjoy alcohol, but I find it very hard to stop after two. I am not an alcoholic who engages in risky behavior, I can count on one hand the amount of hangovers in the past year, and have gone years sans drinking. But when I am in the zone, it is very hard for me to put the brakes on. For this reason alone, I keep a close eye on my alcohol intake. The blood alcohol percentage difference between blacking out and death is marginal, and I like life.
As far as socializing goes – if you have people pressuring you to drink, they are not your friends. They do not respect you or your decisions, and do not have your best interests at heart. None of my friends pressure me into having a drink if I have decided not to; and if anyone did I would inform them to get fucked. I don’t know how old you are or where you are, and I get that how social standing is perceived at 17 vs. 26 is a bit different. So here are a few excuses to get you started:
“I’m on antibiotics”
“I have a (insert sport here) game tomorrow and last time I played hung-over I nearly DIED”
“I need to drive home – want a lift?”
“My parents are picking me up and if they smell alcohol on me I’m grounded”
“I’m still hung-over from last night”
“I’m trying to lose weight”
“I have a massive exam that I need to study for tomorrow”
Edit as needed. I hope they hit the right tone and vibe. I would hope though that you could just say “I don’t want to drink tonight” and they can leave it at that. If you were the designated driver then they would most definitely leave it at that. Maybe try being the designated driver for your friends – at least then everyone would get home safely.
From years of sober socializing, I realized that after about an hour, everyone is too drunk to observe social protocol. There is absolutely no reason to feel self conscious about your conduct, because nobody can tell anyway; they’re too drunk to care. This is so freeing! Everyone you talk to starts to sound and act the same and it can be quite fun to interact with them. It also gets tedious quickly. Luckily Irish exits are very easy around drunk people. So in response to the last part of your question; just do you. Don’t feel a need to overcompensate for your soberness (although nobody will notice if you do), and observe, dance and have fun. Then go home and wake up without a hangover!
One final point, maybe dedicate some time to finding friends whose social lives do not revolve around drinking. Find friends who are active in sport and fitness, like hiking groups, yoga networks, or join a new sports team. Try to develop a wide circle of people who are better in the day than the night. Your relationships with these people will be deeper and more rewarding anyway – rather than conversations that are repeated throughout the night, and then forgotten upon waking up (hung-over).
I don’t think alcohol is bad, if your relationship to it is good. I don’t think an occasional blow off steam involving drinking is bad, as long as you are aware of why you are doing it. I do think friends who don’t respect your decision to abstain are not ideal. And I do think that hangovers are always absolutely fucking terrible.
I hope this helps!
Photograph | Dove Shore