- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
I stopped drinking three years ago when I started taking medication for a chronic illness that mixes badly with alcohol. It’s totally worth it – I have a form of narcolepsy and the medication I’m on has completely transformed my life.
So I don’t drink. It’s not a problem for me – I never felt I needed to drink to have a good time, I don’t make a big deal out of it, I still enjoy going out with my friends and I surround myself with people who don’t care if I drink or not. Most people don’t notice I’m sober, I’ve even had people insist they’ve seen me drinking as they assume my Diet Coke had whiskey or vodka in it.
But every now and then, I encounter someone who does have a problem with it. And it annoys me. Why do some people have the attitude that, if you’re not drinking, there’s no point you going out? Why do some people think it’s weird if you don’t drink – or that you’re somehow judging them? It’s not like I stand in the corner with my arms folded while everyone else goes to the bar!
Last night, I went out to dinner with some friends. One of them brought along a couple who were visiting from her hometown. The girl heard me order a Diet Coke (everyone else was sharing some wine) and said: “Are you not drinking?” sounding all astonished – I find that rude, so I just ignored it and pretended I didn’t hear.
Later in the night, she said she was going to a hen do (the British name for a bachelorette party) but it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal as the bride was pregnant and wasn’t drinking.
I said, well I don’t drink and I actually ended up having two brilliant hen nights.
She said: “You don’t drink at all?”
And then she said: “Are you pregnant?”
I just said no. I didn’t explain why I wasn’t drinking because it’s none of her business – it’s not like it’s some big secret but at the same time I don’t get why drinking is seen as the default position and if you don’t drink then you have to have a reason for it. Okay, I have a medical reason, but I also don’t mind not pickling my liver, and I don’t miss hangovers!
There’s nothing I can do about it, the situation has passed, I just wanted to vent, and wondered if anyone else shared my frustration.