I’m 24 years old and I’ve never been drunk in my life. Yup, you heard right. I’m not allergic to alcohol and I don’t have any deep-seated issues with substance abuse in my background or anything. It comes down to simple life choices and I’m pretty pleased with mine.
Alcohol has been in my life for as long as I can remember.
Growing up, alcohol was always around me. My parents had their friends over for drinks every weekend and a family vacation was not complete without an assortment of liquor and beer. Basically, we were known as “the party family.” I saw how alcohol altered people in good and bad ways and while nothing traumatic or anything happened, it changed my perception on being drunk.
I’m not against alcohol, I just don’t like it.
Once I tell someone I don’t drink, they start to feel a bit awkward, especially if they have a drink in hand. They fear judgment or think I will be uncomfortable, but the truth is, I couldn’t care less. Being around alcohol has become a norm to me – a norm I simply choose to ignore. My personal preference for not drinking stems from a number of things.
I absolutely hate the taste.
Just because I choose to not get drunk doesn’t mean I haven’t tasted alcohol. I’ll occasionally try one of my friend’s drinks to see if I like it, but it’s always the same result. Whether it’s beer, wine, a mixed drink, or straight liquor, it all has the same underlying taste of rubbing alcohol.
My anxiety has zero chill.
I’ve always dealt with chronic anxiety and I worry about what will happen if I get drunk. I remember the first and last time I ever got tipsy, and it pretty much sealed the deal. I was a sophomore in high school and my parents allowed me to drink while on vacation. The moment I began to feel a buzz, my anxiety instantly kicked in. I hated the feeling and wanted to be sober ASAP. Ever since then, I fear what my anxiety would do if I decided to get drunk.
My future family has a lot to do with my decision.
There were several times during my childhood that I would sit and wish my parents weren’t drunk. It worried me thinking that if something bad were to happen, my parents wouldn’t be able to protect me. My mom is also a very mean drunk. To this day we don’t get along because of her drunken arguments, most of which she doesn’t remember. Because of these incidents, I never want to put my children in the same situation. Choosing to be sober now is choosing to be a good mommy in the future.
When it comes down to it, I simply like a challenge.
At first, it started out as a little game. I bet myself that I could graduate high school without drinking. Sounds simple (and legal), but considering my family and friend group, this was pretty major. After that was accomplished, it became finishing freshman year of college, making it past the age of 21, and soon enough, it was to graduate college without getting drunk. I never had a desire to drink, which made things simple. Still, going 4.5 years at a Big 10 university completely sober was a pretty fun challenge to beat. The longer I go, the more accomplished I feel. Not drinking also has some crazy positives to it.
My friends and family can rely on me to look out for them.
As annoying as being the DD all the time can get, it gives me peace of mind knowing my loved ones will be safe. One of my biggest pet peeves is drunk driving, so when I can prevent someone from being reckless, I am more than happy to help. I also keep everyone in line while out on the town. We all have that one friend who loses their wallet, tries to go home with a stranger, and cries with the slightest drop of alcohol. I’m like the sober, cool mom who watches over their children while having fun at the same time.
I save ridiculous amounts of money.
Whenever I go out with my friends, I’m amazed at the amount of money they’re willing to spend on alcohol. I’ve had friends blow $80-$100 in one night alone, meanwhile, I’m sitting there with a pocket full of cash. The less money I spend on alcohol, the more I can spend on food, right?
The moments I capture are priceless.
I think one of the best things about constantly being sober is getting to live in the now. I get to experience things with a clear mind and remember all of the great memories I make. I’m not saying you can’t do this while drunk, but I tend to retain a lot more while sober. My friends and I literally live for storytime after a night out where we sit and laugh about all of the funny things they did but don’t remember.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder what being drunk would be like but I stand by my choice.
Staying sober makes me feel strong, independent, and unique. I get to make the choice to say I tried something but didn’t like it. I don’t give in to peer pressure, even when I’m the only odd-ball out. I get to keep my friends and family safe and enjoy my time in doing so. Being sober is a simple personal preference and I wouldn’t have it any other way.