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Teetotalism

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by PatrickUK, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. PatrickUK

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    For reasons I won't go into here, I decided to stop drinking alcohol around 18 months ago. I thought I would miss an occasional drink, but I actually don't miss alcohol at all. The worst part about being teetotal is not having your wishes respected by other people and having to push back against pressure to drink.

    I read an article online a few days ago that suggested more and more people are going teetotal and wondered if anyone here has given up drinking? The article also claimed young people are increasingly shunning alcohol and I wondered how our young members feel about drinking?

    Not asking people to state reasons for giving up drinking or refusing to take up drinking (unless you wish to share), but just wondered if it was something of a trend.
     
  2. GazesToClouds

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    Heya Patrick, as a young person myself (21) i agree, drinking is a waste of money and time and not drinking is a very responsible habit. I myself dont drink except on very very rare occasion (i think ive had one drink in the last 2.5 years) and thats because it was peer pressure and since then ive decided not to drink. I dont feel the need to drink, it seems to me that its a very old fashioned tradition and i think its one that could be left behind. I would never stop someone else from drinking, i couldnt care less but its just not something i want to partake in. Perhaps ive not found a drink i actually enjoy but as it stands i dont see the appeal.

    I have quite a few friends my age who are very into the drinking and party culture but i have an equal amount who are like me and dont see the appeal. It seems almost a 50/50 among my peers. In my case i think it has alot to do with what "group" you were apart of at school. Rowdy popular kids vs more reserved and academic. Just an observation of mine. Hope this helps!!
     
  3. Rayland

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    I like drinking, but only, when I'm in a company of others and there is something to celebrate. Of course you don't have to have a drink to be able to celebrate or enjoy the company of others.

    It's just that everyone who I talk to usually (between 18-30 age group) drinks and sometimes you don't want to be left out, even though there are times I say no as well.

    I haven't been drinking any alcoholic beverages, since june 2021, because then there were all the birthday celebrations, but also because of my health too. Sometimes I do feel like having a drink, when life becomes too much, but I don't get a drink, since I don't want to become an alcoholic and my health is too important.

    I have seen what alcohol does to people. People in my country drink a lot. We even travel to Latvia, just because the alcohol is more cheaper there.

    Some people, become fun and laugh a lot, when drunk, others become angry and stir up fights. I have seen lots of fights, because alcohol was involved, ever since I was little.

    Teetotalism is a new term for me.
     
  4. Unsure77

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    I have a friend who gave up drinking for health reasons and I think a couple of friends who gave it up because it had become a problem. I’ve never drinker a whole lot (because I grew up Southern Baptist, and they think any alcohol at all is a sin and talk about seeing beer bottles as if it’s a scandal). I drink occasionally, but pretty much only on weekends, rarely more than one or two, and mainly for the taste. I’ve never been a binge drinker.

    Ironically, my last therapist actually encouraged me to take up drinking more and try to experiment some to see what my limits were. (Mainly because my limits on drinking kind of come from the same place me suppressing feelings for women came from…my religious upbringing. She was intentionally trying to get me to break some rules. I think she knew my anxiety would keep me from doing anything too stupid with that.
     
  5. LostInDaydreams

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    I have heard that younger people are drinking less, so it will be interesting to see what our younger members think about this.

    For myself, I have maybe had a sip of something a handful of times, but I’ve never been a drinker. The few times that I have tried it have been mostly down to peer pressure, including from my ex on one occasion.

    As for reasons, I don’t really like the taste, which is a argument that drinkers have often quickly shot down with “it doesn’t all taste like alcohol, try…”, as if me not drinking is a problem to be solved. I’ve also had people indicating that they would by me a coke and vodka, for example, without my knowledge, rather than just a coke, so I felt that I had to be a bit cautious at university. For context, I finished university over 10 years ago. For me, I also think part of it is/was fear of not being in control and behaving in a different way if drunk. It’s just never appealed to me.

    From my experience (past and current), education and academic ability don’t indicate whether or not somebody will be a drinker. There was a very big drinking culture when I was at university and most people who I work with are drinkers (most of them have degree level qualifications at least). We have a work group on social media and every Friday evening is people posting photos of glasses of wine, etc. and there are alcohol related jokes fairly regularly. It gets rather boring!

    I’ve never had any very negative reactions, but most people don’t hide that they find it unusual. I do get quite anxious about telling people and normally just nod along when people discuss alcohol, which is not very authentic of me, I know. I’m not often in a situation where it’s apparent that I don’t drink, as I don’t go to clubs and pubs. When I am in such situations, such as Christmas parties, I do feel like the odd one out.
     
  6. alwaysforever

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    I think that an increased awareness of the health risks related to drinking has lead to a decrease in consumption. For myself, I have some allergies to the ingredients in a large portion of fermented beverages, which has shaped my decisions surrounding it. Depending on where people live, there are also safer alternatives to alcohol, and that may also be shifting consumption, when it comes to social settings. I don't miss drinking.
     
  7. HM03

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    I've noticed a decline in people drinking from my school days to now, my mid 20s. People still think you're boring if you don't drink though.

    Drinking just makes me more anxious and depressed than I usually am. Plus I have to do something with my hands/mouth (aka drink) when in social settings, which just exacerbates things.

    Like you, don't miss it at all, just wish people could respect boundaries better.
     
  8. silverhalo

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    I dont drink and like @LostInDaydreams never really have. I totally agree people think it is an issue to be solved or that you are a boring person because you dont which is a shame.
     
  9. Loves books

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    I’m 29 and I don’t drink. I don’t have a problem with it I just never developed a taste for it. I have bought alcohol before and either my siblings steal it or my parents drink it. I have aunts who will repeatedly ask if I want a drink when I’m with them but I don’t see the point in wasting money on something I won’t enjoy. I drink at one event a year because I won’t enjoy it otherwise. It was cancelled last year so it’s been about 2 years now since I last drank alcohol. I’ve tried many types of alcohol and can’t stand it, it all tastes horrible to me. Guinness tastes like poison, wine tastes like vinegar and beer tastes like dirty water. Pink Gin was also foul but it’s my sisters drink of choice. I bought her a bottle at Christmas but it was gone before she managed to get home, and despite my mother saying she kept it I suspect she drank it.
     
  10. Mihael

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    I usually don't drink, because I drive. Moreover, I doubt if I should drink as much as it takes to get me feeling euphoric or something like that. It takes about a bottle of wine or half a bottle of vodka. Or like... a sea of beer.
     
  11. Chip

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    It seems a lot of Gen Z and millennials are choosing not to drink. It may be in part seeing the wreckage from their parents, or just wanting to focus more on health or productivity. Hard to say, I have not read any research on it.

    For myself, I have never really been much of a drinker. I don't think I've had any alcohol in maybe 15 years? And even then, it was probably a strawberry daquari or mudslide or something like that with dinner. Simply not something I need, and I don't like alcohol (or, for that matter, any mind altering substance) makes me feel. I was on a ton of opiates when I was in the hospital several years back and did not like it at all.
     
  12. Canterpiece

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    Gen Z here.

    I drink on occasion, mainly out of politeness because it's expected of me but I don't like the idea of getting drunk. So I'll have one or two drinks. I'll drink it slowly and have food alongside it. I've been slightly tipsy before, but never flat out drunk. Frankly the thought of me doing something stupid whilst drunk and it ending up on the internet is a big deterrent. Social media these days is basically a part of your job application, you can make private accounts but I do worry about such things leaking. So, I'll have a drink and I'll have some tasteful photos as an attempt to prove I have a so-called social life, but a lot of the time alcohol just tastes like cheap fruit juice, smells like floor cleaning products or soap (makes sense since they often contain alcohol). I use it as a prop. The warmth it provides is nice, but you can get that from a jacket.

    The only mind altering substance I have abused in the past was caffeine, back when I was in University. It makes me feel relaxed, numbs my senses a little and makes me sleepy. However, I will admit that I was relying on it a little too much to avoid dealing with feeling anxious / stress. That's why I have cut it out almost entirely. I think I need to start actually addressing my stress rather than just numbing it and introduce more exercise rather than just using caffeine to make myself go to sleep. Plus it's terrible for my creativity.
     
  13. Tightrope

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    I'm not a young member, I don't think, but I'm glad you brought this up.

    It's something I never got into. My friends during my formative years were not interested in it.

    In a slightly later chapter in life, I was living somewhere else and some of my newer friends drank. It did nothing to get me to join them. I made sure I drove. You're right about not having your wishes respected. There was some ribbing about my not ordering alcohol. I didn't criticize them when they had too many and became silly and belligerent drunks. I didn't appreciate being criticized for abstaining.

    I've also seen where people who drink CANNOT understand why someone wouldn't. It's like nicotine, cannabis, sex, and other things people are into, or into in different ways. Everyone goes about these differently. It's personal taste.

    I hadn't really been friends with people who drank prior to this. They turned out to be unreliable friends, even with good backgrounds and good jobs. I was having a discussion with someone about alcoholism a few years ago and they said that it comes with a lot of selfishness. Now, I can see that.
     
  14. Really

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    My question, not to you specifically but in general, why is it more polite to drink than not to drink?

    At one of the early meetups I ventured out to, when the event was ending, one of the women basically chastised me for not having had a drink. Besides it having been in the (early) afternoon and me not being a drinker, frankly, it was none of her business. I found that ruder than not having had a drink.

    Most of the events posted in the two lgbt meetups groups I belong to are centred around drinking (pub crawls, beer tastings) and honestly I’ve got zero interest in these types of get togethers. I suppose it weeds out who i don’t need to invest my time with but still, it’s disappointing.

    Sorry for the tangent. :}
     
  15. Chip

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    Generally, this goes back to shame. The folks who absolutely cannot understand why someone else would not drink are, almost without exception, the folks who drink too much (or think they do), and they feel guilty or shameful about it. They want to be you, but since they can't do that, they want to bring you (as they perceive it) down to their level, because if they can get you to drink, they don't feel so bad about their own behavior.

    Alcohol use disorder (and, for that matter, any substance use disorder or substance misuse) pretty much inherently comes with self-centered behavior. At their root, these are trauma responses; ways in which their brains and behavior adapted to deal with pain. And that usually manifests in some sort of self-centered behavior which, ultimately, becomes self-destructive unless addressed.
     
  16. Mihael

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    Interesting insight. I never came to this conclusion myself, although I noticed that some people behave this way about some not-too-clever behaviours, including drinking but not only that. It always baffles me why they can't understand how someone might just feel about something differently. It's pretty simple that different people like different things or have strong feelings about different things for example... I can't comprehend what is difficult to understand in it. But yes, the shame and guilt hold as an explanation of this weird behaviour.
     
  17. Unsure77

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    For me, it can feel like a politeness issue when someone had put a lot of pride and/or effort (and sometimes money) into choosing the alcohol. I have a friend who is REALLY into craft beer and puts a lot of thought and effort into finding interesting beers and figuring out the perfect beer for a given person. So, if he hands me a beer that he brought specially or if I’m at his home, I’m going to drink it (even though I don’t really like beer because I don’t like bitter drinks…I don’t like bitter coffees either). Just like, if I’m at someone’s home and they cooked a meal for me or purchased a fancy cheese or dessert or something and hand it to me, I’m going to eat it unless I have a good reason not to. (If I’m on a restricted diet, I don’t)

    Not everyone who drinks does so to excess or is a selfish, horrible person. And frankly, having grown up Southern Baptist…not everyone who shuns alcohol is noble. Some people do, in fact, just like the taste and typically drink in moderation. My middle aged friends with kids aren’t drinking to get drunk or because they have an addiction.

    That said, if it’s a hard line you’ve taken to not drink, that should be respected.

    But…I feel like it can be like sexuality where everyone on all sides struggle to understand how other people feel. Maybe it’s an empathy issue. You get gay people shaming people who are bi. People who are bi or pan talking about gay people and lesbians like they’re vapid or monsters because they only like one set of body parts and then the straight people…. People need to accept that people have different preferences than themselves and that doesn’t make anyone superior or make other people bad. It makes you different. People who drink do, in fact, sometimes like the taste and them drinking doesn’t make them morally weak or irresponsible humans. People who don’t drink may just not like the taste or have concerns about the effects of alcohol or may not have the money and energy to spend on it. All parties should quit judging the people who are different from themselves.
     
    #17 Unsure77, Oct 26, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  18. Canterpiece

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    Tradition and social expectation. It provides people with an excuse to sit and bond whilst feeling like they are engaging in an activity. Alternatively, if people are getting hammered then it provides them with a reason to let their guard down and engage in behaviours that they otherwise would not, since it is deemed as an acceptable time to do so. It's a bonding experience because you're all invoking the same state and going through it together, a bit like watching a Horror film and then seeking comfort from each other to feel safe and connected. That's the idea, I think. A shared experience born out of tradition. So written into our cultural code that it can be deemed rude to not engage.
     
    #18 Canterpiece, Oct 26, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  19. Chip

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    Sorry, I completely disagree with this. Nobody is ever obligated to drink or eat or ingest anything, under any circumstances, and especially not out of politeness. For the individual in recovery, that one beer could lead to months or years of relapse. For the person who knows they have issues with alcohol, and chooses not to drink, this one beer could be the one that flips the neurochemical switch that leads to dependency.

    One can easily and gently explain that one does not drink. No explanation as to why is necessary or appropriate. It's as simple as saying "Wow, I can see how much effort and love you put into brewing that, and I respect that. I'm sure it's delicious and amazing. I also hope you can understand that I don't drink. It's not personal and not a reflection on your taste or the effort you've put in. I'll enjoy it vicariously by watching you and our friends enjoying it."

    There is simply no circumstance where not drinking is "impolite" if it is properly and respectfully explained. If someone considers it rude that you won't drink, and tries to push it on you in spite of a statement like the above... that person is not respectful of your boundaries. I would not consider someone like that a friend.

    Did anyone imply that? I certainly have seen no evidence of that in this thread.

    Agreed. The majority of individuals who drink alcohol do not have problems controlling their use, or have any negative effects from it.


    Yes. Provided that everyone honors everyone else's boundaries and doesn't try to force someone else to drink under the guise of politeness or social expectation.
     
  20. Unsure77

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    If I were a recovering alcoholic or still a staunch Baptist, then, no I wouldn’t feel the need to accept a drink. And I ate keto for a year and totally turned down food. But, there’s a huge difference between that and beer just not being my preferred drink. Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t drink beer. But I don’t have an objection to alcohol.

    Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I was raised that if you go to someone’s home, you eat and drink what you’re given (again, obviously, unless you have a hardline restriction that prevents it).

    I may be reacting overly strongly to the talk of people who drink a lot being unreliable. I grew up in a church environment where alcohol (and anyone who consumes it in any quantity) was wholesale demonized so I may be too quick to see that.