When I was a little kid, my parents would let me have a sip of beer or wine once in a while. I always hated it because it tasted gross to me. As I grew older, I developed a taste for the finer things in life, aka, anything alcoholic. As time went on, I noticed that I had some really bad side effects from anything with alcohol. Even just having a few sips would cause me to have a headache and get really tipsy. I am an extreme lightweight. Once I started listening to my body, I decided that I am going to make a change.
A Union Full Of Delicious Tastes
And so I did. I have almost completely given up on alcohol. Not gonna lie, I love the taste of good red wine or a fruity cocktail. Whenever I go to a bar or am at a dinner party, my first thought is to get a drink. Once in a while, I do drink. It is hard not to drink because I live in the Netherlands, which has so many delicious beers. Belgium also has amazing beers. I live like 10 minutes driving from the border. And when we travel, I always want to try all the local specialties. I do mostly stay away from alcohol though, especially if I need to do anything the next day like work or something.
This is especially true when I am in an uncomfortable situation when I met my boyfriend’s family for the first time several years ago. Using alcohol to get yourself through a situation is not the way to go. I have taught myself to just drink my cup of coffee or tea and breathe through it. Everyone is super nice so there’s no reason to try to medicate me through the situation. Obviously, now that I have known his family for a few years, that nervousness is mostly gone. I rarely drink any kind of alcohol at family gatherings anymore.
That Evening and the Morning After
I don’t drink because it doesn’t make me feel good. A few sips of wine make me tipsy and feeling sick. I get a headache instantly and get extremely tired. If I drink something like a glass of wine at dinner, I am three sheets to the wind by the time I am done eating. All I want to do is go to sleep. And that’s no fun for anyone, not for myself and not for the people around me.
The day after drinking anything is pretty horrid too. I always have a headache. I feel completely out of it. Like my head is full of air and foggy. I have no energy to do anything. Feeling like that is just not something I wanted to continue feeling. So I forced myself to start listening to my body and saying no. When someone offers me a drink, I just say no.
A Boat Load of Alternatives
There are plenty of good alcohol-free beers out there. My favorite one is Franziskaner Weissbier (white beer). The beer is from Germany and tastes really good. It’s perfect for a hot summer day. There are plenty of other alcohol-free options like cider and virgin cocktails. I usually stick to the white beer or just drink a cup of coffee or tea. It doesn’t take a lot to please me.
Though I know not drinking alcohol can help you lose weight if that’s something you’re interested in, I haven’t noticed any weight loss. It would have been nice but what do they say? Man plans and God laughs. I’ve noticed though that I don’t have all the headaches and fatigue that I used to get during and after a night with my friends or family. I feel so much better.
This past weekend I decided to indulge and have a few glasses of bubbly wine to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Instantly, I was reminded of why I try to stay away from alcohol. I had a headache, was exhausted, and worst of all, I had the worst stomach pain all night. I barely slept because my stomach was trying to attack me.
Social Norms and Pressures
The hardest thing about drinking isn’t refusing a drink but explaining why you’re not drinking. So many people don’t really understand where I am coming from. Thank god most of my friends have accepted it and don’t bother me about it. I did have one friend that would refuse to accept it and kept pushing me to drink. We ended up parting ways for many reasons, this one being one of the reasons.
If you don’t want to drink for whatever reason, just don’t do it. Some people enjoy themselves when drinking and other people don’t. Both are ok. There’s no rule that you have to drink to have fun. True friends will accept that you’re doing what’s best for you. You should always do what’s best for you. You are living your life, no one else is living it. So live it the way you want to live it.
How do you feel about drinking alcoholic beverages?