Posted on: April 25, 2021 Posted by: Soreh Milchtein Comments: 5
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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.

I am a sucker for a cold glass of white wine on a hot summer day.

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.

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How do you feel about drinking alcoholic beverages?


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5 People reacted on this

  1. “The hardest thing about drinking isn’t refusing a drink but explaining why you’re not drinking. ”
    I disagree, do people say why they don’t drink coffee or tea? Why they don’t want a cola or a spa blue? You don’t have to justify your self to others, if you don’t want to drink alcohol then don’t. Its no ones business. It’s perfectly normal in the NL to go to a bar and not drink alcohol. If you yourself make a big deal about it, then others will.

  2. Reacting to heather and the article. If the author experienced this, then this is her truth. Apart from that, i had similar experiences, especially in a certain type of setting. As a student there was real social exclusion if you wouldn’t “drink with the boys”. I had to have some serious discussions about this. Ppl could just not imagine have a very low alcohol tolerance and one guy told me tp him it felt like refusing to say hello or shake hands. Ofc i had to option to stay away from “those people”. But it was like 99% of the people, PLUS that explaining did help. Unfortunately for many people it’s hard to empathize outside their own paradigm and experiences.
    Even later on in the “world of business” there were like unwritten rules of comradery and ‘fitting in’. When your ego fragile dominant boss walks up to you with two beers and wants to drink with you it can get tricky.
    Luckily i feel a change in this aspect since like 10 years. Drinking on friday afternoons or bussiness meetings is not the social norm anymore.
    I think there is a wider underlying mechanism at work here. I think it’s very hard for people to imagine sth they cannot imagine themselves by far. Be it very low alcohol tolerance, but this might also pertain to other things like mental issues, cultural differences, etc.
    Ofc it is a challenge to stand your ground and feel unaffected by how people react or might react. And I do agree it’s helpful if u can feel unaffected but i personally felt this as quite a challenge often.

  3. Thanks for sharing. And I agree, there is a weird sort of judgement that hangs in the air when people find out you don’t drink. Even mentioning it makes people feel attacked, like you say, “I don’t drink,” and all people hear is “I think I’m better than you.” Not true at all! Everyone handles it differently.

  4. I don’t drink that’s all I tell people. They don’t need a reason why. My choice. If they feel uncomfortable I think they are surprised someone can have fun without drinking! I have long become designated driver and I am proud of it !

  5. I really don’t see this happening ever. i’ve had tons of different groups of friends here, and barely a couple times have I been asked why I wasn’t drinking. This is not a country where people are bothered by what you choose to do or not. Seriously, I feel like some of your blogs try to make the weirdest points about topics, and it makes no sense to me. there’s interesting stuff you could actually write about, and it’s so disappointing to see that you choose instead to write this trite nonsense so often about completely normal stuff that no one gives a crap about.

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