HOW/WHAT/WHY : HOW TO SURVIVE BEING THE NON-DRINKING FRIEND

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hellooo everyone !

Two days off blogging is a blessing and a curse - time to rest and bake, watch some SATC; but then you have a billion blogs to catch up on. 
Major side eyes.

This is another one of those HWW posts close to my...preferences ? It's not close to my heart the same way healthy eating is but it's a choice I've made from experience, mostly not enjoyable.



Drinking is quite a cultural thing across the world, in the UK especially with pubs everywhere, clubs, drinks to celebrate birthdays, exams, a team's win, a baby, waking up before 12 - maybe, maybe not. I'm not an expert.

Obviously growing up around adults, they drink at meals and as you get older 'getting drunk wooooo' seems so fun. I remember it well, you wanted to get in on the red wino but 'no you must wait until you are 18'. As time goes on you find ways to get drink underage - family, friends, friend's fam, bartering, pure god damn luck - and this whole new world comes out to play. You can go talk to that guy you're crushing on, you are 'fun' and want to dance forever, you are so chatty ohmagawd u r hilarious gurl. 

I did enjoy that period of time, because you don't have much to worry about and alcohol is mainly sugar and sweet tasting - if you are not hardcore like me. I'd have some WKD here and there, vodka shots, Martini Asti with the fam and at special events but I wasn't always out 'on the lash' and around parks getting drunk on Strongbow.
I'm pretty much a lightweight; okay back then I was a lightweight, now I just sniff it and I'm drunk. I no longer have the stamina to drink, nor the desire.

After a bad experience on my 18th, awful nights out, and eventually feeling pressured constantly by others to drink out socially to be 'fun' I was like 'enough, no more'. I was conscious of my health; I wasn't going to down empty calories every weekend and waste all the hard work I'd put into my body with some cider.
I did drink occasionally on holiday because it felt okay, I was relaxing and enjoying myself. When someone keeps saying "Oh go on Lauren have a drink" "Why are you not drinking ? You're no fun" you kinda want to hit something round the face and go home.

So if you feel the same, or have chosen not to drink, or maybe you want to cut back, how do you deal with being the only non-drinking friend in your group ?
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1. Create a group where you're the only member and therefore you are not subject to pressure or social interaction.
No I joke, that's not fun at all.
I would suggest, if someone says "Do you want a drink ?" or "Why aren't you drinking ?" you reply as casually as you can and with strength, "Oh I'm not in the mood thank you," or "I'm saving money so I'm cutting back for a while, you go ahead I'll grab myself something!" The more assertive and casual you are, the less likely people can keep on at you. Also if someone buys you a drink and you didn't ask for it, it's their problem to finish it, not yours.

2. Try not to remove yourself from social situations, unless you become uncomfortable.
This is where I have both fallen down and succeeded, and I'll explain how. I have fallen down because I am no longer invited out by people I hung around with a lot to events or gatherings, because I missed out on 'key social times' back in Sixth Form. I never went out for the last day of school, I was always driving so never drank, I wouldn't drink a lot, I didn't go to festivals, and there's probably other reasons but that is a whole other post.
However I have succeeded because I didn't enjoy being in that situation. I hated cramped clubs, where I had to be off my face to have a good time. I hated feeling I couldn't be me to have fun, and I hated feeling that to be with certain people, I needed to have a pint or wine to join in. I'm not knocking those who do, it's their choice - everything is your choice - however it's not mine so I've allowed myself to be somewhat shut out and to move on to others who aren't so focused on shots and more interested in tea and a good movie.

3. THINK OF HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'LL SAVE AND HOW MUCH BETTER YOUR SKIN AND INSIDES WILL BE.
Okay that may have been too much, I'm not trying to make you all feel judged for drinking, but really, it's £7 for a cocktail, £4-5 for a pint !!! You could buy a copy of Vogue, PORTER, a concealer, mascara or even 7 bags of Organic Carrots from Sainsburys for that much !
As a money hoarder, when I set an evening budget and find I could've bought more for my money in H&M, my heart sinks and thinks of the jumper I really wanted but have now spent the dolla on a poor mojito. Cry cry cry.

Eating healthy has made my liver go 'OH HELL NO GIRL YOU ARE NOT PUTTING THAT IN HERE NUH-UH' whenever I have some wine. I had some wine on a night out for my birthday, I had two sips and was gone. Lauren 0 Alcohol 1.
I'm also an embarrassing person under the influence, but I talk more too in a good way. I'm sure everyone else does to, but why should being drunk be the only reason you have fun or talk to others ?
I am sure you (yes you reading this) are a lovely person, with interests and funny quips, so breathe in, breathe out, and imagine you are the best version of yourself and that as of now no one knows this person. Be who you want to be, someone confident, and walk up to people with so much shaapowww - oh dear - they'll find you too amazing to care if you are drinking or not. Take selfies with pride and make jokes, after all that's what people find easier to do when drinking.

Overall, I can't tell you - whether you drink or not - what to do. I can tell you what I've done to make people accept I don't drink like a student, or an occasional drinker, and how I feel from it.
Saying 'no thank you' is the plainest way of saying it, and if people drop you because you don't drink then they're not good pals are they ? In response to that song, you really don't need to drink to have a good time.
Since giving up on drinking, I feel good (because once you've felt bad you know how good it feels to feel good) and I can use the money from nights out on things I need and want - petrol, high-end magazines, make-up, beauty products.
It's how you see things really, for some a glass of red on a Friday night is a treat and reward for a long week, mine is reading Vogue or baking some cookies. One man's trash is another's treasure.

Are you a wine fan, maybe a Cider Black ? Or if you don't drink what do you do ?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x



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