Being a non-drinker
I recently received a beautiful note from a lovely girl named Bella. She told me how she had listened to my music for years, read the odd blog post and made a very kind effort to check in and see what I had been up to. Whilst the whole email was beautiful, Bella spoke about a blog post she read a few years ago concerning alcohol consumption and how it had inspired her to stop succumbing to social pressure, and choose not to drink. I was so thankful that Bella had reached out and reminded me of the words I wrote. I thought I should share them again. This post was written in 2013 and every piece of it still applies to my life and Australian culture. I still haven't had a sip of alcohol, and it hasn't been a hard task by any stretch of the imagination. Let's change the norm, make a decision that is best for you, not for what others expect you to do.
I don't drink alcohol at all.
In fact, if you know me quite well you would know that I'm very against the excessive consumption of it. Pairing a nice glass of wine with dinner is a wonderful choice! But drinking excessively because it is considered the social norm is alarming and something that has concerned me since the age of 18.
In Australia, we grow up around social drinking. More often than not the social consumption of alcohol leads to excessive binge drinking.
This happens in every country, right around the world but here we do two very different things to other countries in reaction to this ongoing trend. Both of which if you are Australian, you will recognise quite easily when reading today's blog post.
Firstly, a hangover or an incident relating to an individuals intoxication from the night before is often treated as a trivial event. Essentially it has become somewhat 'hilarious' and even more alarmingly acceptable to be ill following alcohol consumption. And whilst we as adults more often than not laugh at those with a sore head or a not so pleasant stomach, our younger generations watch and accept this behaviour as the social norm.
Do we ever think about what morals we are instilling unknowingly by having children watch their parents and friends joke about drunken incidents and their illness from intoxication?
Alcohol is a drug.
It inhibits your ability to act in a way in which you can make sensible decisions. So we are therefore saying that by ingesting this drug to the point that your body physically repels it is not only socially acceptable, it is encouraged and makes you a form of entertainment.
Secondly and perhaps most frustratingly we exclude or question those that chose not to drink. I can't tell you how many times I have been to a party and heard the statements 'Why are you not drinking? Are you pregnant? That's boring, you're boring! No Fun! Driving right? Do you ever have fun?'
Yes, I do have fun! I just don't have any inhibitions to lose. Furthermore, the suggestion that alcohol needs to be consumed for anyone to become 'fun' is in fact an alarming indication that you yourself are unable to be comfortable in a social situation without you and those around you drinking excessive amounts.
I sit very much in the minority as a non-drinker in Australia and in my family. I've seen friends and family do ridiculous things, get injured and say things that ultimately alter or damage relationships because of the amount of alcohol consumed in a social situation. Every time I am witness to it, I question why each generation continues the cycle of binge drinking and ultimately encourages it.
I implore you to change your attitude towards the consumption of alcohol. If someone makes the choice not to drink, don't ask why but rather pat them on the back for making a healthy and individual decision to have fun without following the crowd.
Finally, I ask you this...
If it were considered socially unacceptable to drink would you do it?
Question just how much you follow the crowd in social situations and be strong enough to make a decision that will benefit not only you, but generations to come.
If you found yourself disagreeing with, rolling your eyes at or feeling uncomfortable reading this article then read it again, because all of what is said above applies directly to you.
P.s Before you ask, I'm not religious at all. My concerns stem only from the continued culture that has become a societal norm.