Recently, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people question me, with a look of concern, as to why I’m not drinking – so I thought I’d address it.

Now before anyone says – “But I saw her drinking a glass of wine!” or whatever – I’d like to note that I haven’t stopped drinking entirely, just considerably less frequently than I used to.

My main reasoning for not drinking is because 99% of the time, I don’t enjoy alcohol. I really have to be in the mood to have a drink and that is normally only when I haven’t had a drink for quite a while – and even then – I’m talking a glass of wine or a couple of cocktails. I’ve found myself in many a social situation, with a glass forced into my hand, feeling pressure to drink because otherwise I’m ‘boring’. And I just thought to myself – why am I giving into that pressure? Why am I doing something that I don’t want to, just to please other people? So, I stopped.

I’m almost completely opposed to British drinking culture. The thought of drinking copious amounts of alcohol, just to get drunk, seriously baffles me and it’s not something that I want to be a part of anymore. I’ve been there, done that, faced the consequences. I started drinking when I was about 14, in the park with my friends or at house parties. At 16, I had a fake ID and started going out to town. In that time, I had my fair share of drunken mistakes, nothing too regrettable but things that I learnt from and swore I would never do again – most things that wouldn’t have happened, had I been sober. And besides, the novelty kind of wore off, for me, after turning 18.

Granted, handling my drink is something that I’ve learnt with age and I know, now, when to stop drinking to avoid getting myself into a state – but I just don’t feel the need to be drunk to have a good time. On the very rare occasion that I go out to a bar or club, I might have a drink or two before I head out because it gets me in the mood to get a bit dancey but it makes a much cheaper and pleasant night out to stop drinking once I’m there – and as long as there’s some good music to dance to, I’m happy.

Another reason to stop drinking so much is because I cannot hack the hangover. I know I’m only 20 but it takes me a full day to recover. I wake up the next morning and literally feel like I’m dying and when you work Monday to Friday and the weekend is the only spare time you get, you just don’t have that time to waste, feeling sorry for yourself, in bed. Not to mention the fact that it puts me off having a drink at all for a loooong time.

So, to all the non-drinkers or moderation drinkers out there, you’re not alone. We don’t need to feel that pressure to have a drink. And to all the drinkers who don’t understand why, I hope this helps you to understand.

Cheers to accepting other people’s choices!

*raises cup of green tea*