Christmas is a time where many of us drink to excess and it's almost second nature to have an alcoholic beverage in our hands, but for a vast growing number of adults alcohol isn't an option at Christmas anymore. There are many reasons people abstain from alcohol, where it be previous addiction problems, health issues or the simple fact that they just don't want to. Today, I'm writing this post to say 'Hey, it's OK... to be alcohol free this Christmas'.
As I've got older alcohol is playing less of a part in my life, gone are the days where I would be out until 4am throwing up in a grimy club toilet hoping no-one would notice. For a lot of people the best thing about getting older is being able to enjoy alcohol and having the freedom to drink as much as they want, but for me the glory of alcohol has died down. I've never been a heavy drinker, but I'm starting to realise as one hangover after the next creeps in, that alcohol is the like the devil in liquid form - it feels good and naughty to begin with, but really screws you over the next day.
Recently I have had to give up alcohol for health problems - drinking alcohol causes my stomach to go into painful spasms as my bile ducts aren't working properly and trust me, after one of those attacks, drinking alcohol doesn't seem worth the risk anymore. Cutting down and almost eliminating alcohol has been a real learning curve for me and a great eye opener. I have realised that life can still be fun if I don't drink and I don't need alcohol to fit in with my real friends, that said I've also encountered the stigma that goes with being teetotal and pressures from people I wouldn't have expected to be like that. 'It's okay to have a few drinks you know, it won't kill you' one person said...well actually if it reacts to my medication it might...'you'll be boring without alcohol' said another....are you implying that I'm boring on a day to day basis as I'm not permanently drunk you know. Final most absurd comment "you're bringing the party down"...how does my life choices bring a whole party down?
These comments have been from a few short months of not drinking...well drinking to bare minimum when not on medication. As an adult society we place too much emphasis on alcohol when it comes to having fun and as a nation, many of us need to work on being more accepting to those that do not want to drink. In fact, a lot of people can be even more fun without alcohol as they're not throwing up, getting aggressive from having one too many or crying on someones shoulder for no apparent reason.
For those looking to have an alcohol free Christmas, there are more alcohol free substitutes in supermarkets now more than ever before. From Aldi's Raspberry Prosecco to Eisbergs alcohol free wine in red, white and rose. M&S have also brought out an alcohol free mulled punch, something I'm definitely looking forward to drinking this Christmas.
So this Christmas don't criticise those who do not want to drink alcohol, make them feel welcome and if you dare, give it a go yourself. Alcohol may be fun and exciting, but not drinking can be just as fun and exciting too.
Have you tried cutting down alcohol