Since I’ve started to openly talk about drinking and not drinking I’ve had a lot of responses from girls saying they loved the fact I was talking about it and they felt more confident to say they weren’t drinking in social situations so I wanted to do a little update.
A friend once told me when I think of you I literally picture you with a glass of red in your hand. Red magazine once wrote an online piece of me which described me as being just as likely to have a green juice or a glass of wine in hand.
At the start of this year I wanted to stop drinking.
I really really wanted to stop. I had such a wonderful New Year’s Eve but I felt so yuck the next day and resented alcohol and myself for making my first day of the year like that. Luckily everyday since has been amazing but it really made me think and question why do we do this to ourselves.
Personally I react quite badly to drink, I’m not aggressive or angry but I just don’t feel in control and make rash decisions that I definitely wouldn’t make if sober – pretty normal your thinking but is it really? We’ve just made it normal!
The next few days after a night drinking I feel all emotions from paranoia to depressed to panicky and I can’t focus for more than 2 seconds. Since not drinking for the first four months of the year I saw huge improvements in my mood, my PMS, my skin and I didn’t once feel like I was missing out. I grew more and more confident in my decision and voiced my reasons for not drinking openly to friends and family who asked why but I also knew I didn’t need to- a simple no thank you is just fine too.
As we edged into Spring I started to get small occasions when I felt like I wanted a small glass of wine or champagne. I found out my big brother and his wife were pregnant so I had a half glass of champagne, I had a night out with a bestie who asked me to be her bridesmaid so we had a martini and I’ve been on two holidays 1 with my boyfriend and 1 with my Mum where I’ve felt relaxed, content, loved and had a glass of wine or 2 with my meal.
I haven’t regretted any of those drinks because I really wanted to have them, I didn’t feel pressured in anyway. I made the decision to drink for me and I enjoyed and appreciated every sip.
I’ve also been in soooo many situations when I could have just drank because everyone else was and haven’t, I’ve danced the night away in Soho completely sober and stayed up till 3am at a festival drinking tonic water to name a couple. The people I’m with, the energy of a place and music is what fuels me.
I want to make this conversation more open.
More and more people are talking to me about how they feel the same way towards drinking, not really wanting to, makes them feel crap, always feels pressured, can’t feel like they can say no, it effects there work life, relationships, mental health.
It’s okay not to drink.
It’s okay to drink, (in moderation).
Don’t tell people.
But do what YOU want to do, do not feel pressured even if it is your great aunts 60th and she’s saying oh darling don’t be silly you’ve not got a problem or anything have you just have a drink or it’s your best friends wedding and the shots are coming out and someone’s tell you you’re boring- (believe me you’ll still dance your socks off on lemonade)- no seriously listen to your body and make the wisest most self loving decision for you. That person pressuring you does not care if you wake up feeling like crap or not and they don’t have to deal with your to do list for the next week.
Reasons I say no to drink
I’m coming on my period
I’m feeling stressed and anxious already
I have a busy work week ahead
I want to have a good productive day/week the next day.
If I know I’m only drinking to wind down and feel loose, (there’s more effective and less self destructive ways to do this- long bath, delicious homemade meal, long open chat with loved one.)
Reasons I say yes to drink
I really really fancy one
I’m in a safe environment for me with people who love me unconditionally and I have absolutely no obligations the next day.
Because I want to, not because I feel pressure from anyone.
I realise I’m 26, you might be thinking you’re so young and these are your best years to let your hair down and be wild. Well quite frankly I know these are my best years and I want to enjoy every single moment of them feeling the best me I can feel because I believe my thirties, forties all the way to your nineties and hundreds can be the best years of your life too but I want to get there feel healthy, vibrant, full of life and with strong loving relationships.
Drink and I now have a pretty great relationship, I don’t ever drink for the sake of it, I stop when I’ve had enough and I only drink drinks that I know I can tolerate which is pretty much only a good quality red wine so 1 or 2 glasses is enough.
I’m pretty lucky I have the best kind of people as best friends and my boyfriend who’s ideal Friday just like mine, going somewhere with amazing food followed by tea and chocolate curled up on the sofa watching Netflix or chatting the night away.
Here’s some alternative drinks I have when I’m out with friends, at a party or on holiday.
Sparkling water with elderflower syrup
All the fever tree tonic waters (my faves are elderflower and ginger ale is pretty nice too)
Seedlip distilled non alcoholic spirit with tonic.
Soda water with fresh lime juice and slices of lime.
I’d love to hear from you if you can relate to this post in anyway.
Love, Lottie x