My last drink was my 21st birthday. I stopped drinking because I became ill (there will be another post on that). I never liked drinking that much but enjoyed one every now and again. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t become ill I would still drink socially but for now I’m temperate in my twenties.
It is strange growing up and adapting to a drink culture only for it to stop suddenly. Drinking and going out go hand in hand and that is something I never realised until I stopped drinking. Being sober for the first time out was bizarre. I had never been as self conscious my entire life as I was in that moment. I was conscious that I couldn’t dance, I was conscious that I looked like I wasn’t enjoying myself, I was conscious of my words, and I was really conscious my termper was so much shorter than usual. I battled with these very superficial internal issues until people started to confirm them.
I found that when I went out I made people nervous by being sober. This sounds strange but in the first year of being sober I spent a night out with a housemate at the time. The morning after I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast and she was sitting there. I started a conversation about the night before when she said “I couldn’t enjoy last night because I was too conscious of you there not drinking. I just felt like you were judging me for drinking and I couldn’t relax”. I actually apologised for this at the time for some reason.
That moment stood out the most but there were others. What I learned was that people didn’t enjoy me being sober on nights out. The amount of people who asked “if I buy you a drink would you have one?” or “are you on antibiotics?”. (The second always made me laugh as if no one in their right mind would choose to be sober unless they were medically advised to be.)
I’m glad I experienced sobriety on a night out. Although being sober has gotten me into arguments I never would have entered if I was drunk, it was definitely interesting. I now fully accept I cannot dance. Not in the slightest. I also realised I am very poor at small talk. I am very bad at talking to who I want to. I also realisde I miss a glass of wine with my friends or a cold pint of Bulmers on a summers day but I’m happy where I am with it all now. I do however need to work on my tolerance for drunk people. I have been watching a few videos where the people are trying sobriety for various reasons, mostly different than my own here they are if you’re looking for something to watch:
This sounds like I’m moaning, I’m not (well I am a bit). I’ve come to realise that people who get agitated about me being sober, well, it says a lot more about them than it does about me. Being able to drink in moderation but choosing not to is liberating. Though saying that there are times where I wish I didn’t seem to stand out so much. That’s for another blog post.