In a world where drinking enough to blow a .341 (that’s A LOT) is basically applauded, I have always stood out as someone who doesn’t really like to drink alcohol that much. Despite a few years in college where I let my wild side come out, I have never been a big drinker – even now, when I’m old enough to do so legally. All of my peers, who take every opportunity they have to get wasted, don’t understand this. And while I’m okay with the fact that I don’t really drink, no one else ever really is. To be honest… it kind of makes me feel like an outcast.
Alcohol has just never really interested me that much. Sure, in high school I drank once in a while – but that was mainly because everyone else was doing it and I didn’t want to feel left out. Then I started dating a straight edge dude who didn’t drink at all and I rarely touched the stuff for the next four years of my life. Like I said, I had my phase in college, but once that passed, I was just kind of over it. Now I barely ever drink and when I do, it’s only a very little bit. I am constantly disappointing my friends by turning down free shots or declining that third drink or shaking my head when they ask, “Are you drunk yet?” I get it, I’m a party pooper. To that I say, sorry I’m not sorry.
There are a lot of reasons I’m not into drinking and even though it’s really no one else’s business, I always feel the need to explain myself. Most people don’t understand why I don’t do it very often. So, I guess I’ll explain here.
I still remember the very first time I got drunk. I was 14-years-old and my parents went away for the weekend. I had a little party, drank maybe two beers and proceeded to say ridiculous things and eventually fall over a two foot fence in front of everyone. The next morning, I woke up slightly confused and very agitated. I had found that being drunk made me feel completely out of control. I hated it.
I’m no perfectionist, but I am someone who enjoys having control over every situation I find myself in. I’m shy, quiet and reserved and I don’t like making a fool out of myself by saying or doing stupid things that I can’t take back. Being drunk makes me act like a completely different person. I become the girl who will talk and flirt with anyone. I say things I would never normally say. I (try to) dance in public. I take endless pictures where I stick my tongue out like it’s cute. And the whole time, I feel like I have no control over what I’m doing because being drunk makes me feel like I don’t care. But when I wake up a few hours later, sober, I do care.
Some people love that alcohol makes them act like a different person. I know a lot of people who rely on alcohol to have a good time and let loose, because without it, they can’t. I was one of those people, for a little while when I was in college. I spent a few years enjoying the fact that I could let myself do silly things once in a while. But that quickly passed and I realized that I actually didn’t like it… I had my fun, but at the end of the day, it stopped being fun and just got old.
Even when I was into drinking, I was really a terrible drinker. I was too anxious all the time! I am the kind of person who over-thinks every single thing I do. I care about consequences. I worry way, way too much. I can’t just down six beers and two shots like it’s no big deal. Every time I drink, I spend the entire time reminding myself not to mix different kinds of alcohol. I stress over how I’m going to feel in the morning. I think about how I’m going to get home. Basically, I just think too much and it kind of takes the fun out of drinking.
The other thing I hate about getting drunk? The hangovers the next day. There are few things worse than a really bad hangover and I will do anything I can to avoid them – even if that means avoiding alcohol all together. I hate feeling sick to my stomach. I hate feeling like I can’t move out of my bed. I cannot stand waking up in the morning with a pounding headache and only fuzzy memories of what happened. For me, getting drunk isn’t worth feeling that crappy for an entire day. Yeah, I had fun the night before, but the next day I’m completely out of commission.
Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who feels this way. All of my friends love to drink so much that they actually tend to get mad at me when I won’t drink with them. When I go out and strangers offer to buy me shots, they give me weird looks when I say, “no thanks.” These reactions are a big part of the reason I rarely go out partying anymore. I hate looking like the grandma in a group of people who are all slurring their words and saying things to me that make no sense. And I really hate when people make me feel like an alien for being sober.
Look, I have nothing against people who like to drink. You want to get wasted? Go ahead (as long as your legal, girls). I don’t judge people for that stuff. So I really, really don’t appreciate it when people give me a problem for my choice not to drink. I mean, I drink once in a while, I just don’t like doing it all the time – and no one can understand that. It is so frustrating to me that it bothers other people so much. Why can’t you just let me do what I want without making me feel bad about it?
I guess that if enjoying being sober makes me weird, then I like being weird. I love a good night out with my girls every once in a while, but for the most part, I like staying in. I’m not ashamed of that and I’m not afraid to say no to people when they try to pressure me to drink, but I would like it if everyone could just get off my back. Just because it feels like most of the people aged 16-30 want to be wasted half their lives doesn’t mean all of us do. You do you and I’ll do me, okay? Thanks.
Do you feel the same way I do? Are you a big drinker? Do you think I’m weird? Tell me in the comments.