Two years on and still going strong. Why I quit alcohol.


when i drinkA re-post of an anonymous blog from one of our Community Correspondents

Last year was a big year for me – I decided to begin to put myself out of my comfort zone, buying my first house and exercising much more frequently.  At first I didn’t give up drinking for any particularly valiant reason.  In fact, it came in the aftermath of a few hangovers which I just couldn’t shift and which had affected my mental health and my wellbeing significantly.

I realised that when I drink I say things that I don’t mean and things that I don’t think.  So I gave it up.

As a man in my early 30s, drinking has been a big part of my life.  Some of the best times I’ve had and funniest stories I tell involve drinking.  If you want to meet up with friends or watch the football the first suggestion is “fancy a drink?”.  Societal pressure often feels like an abstract notion but when you feel it first-hand you begin to realise how much of our culture is underpinned by drink and pubs.

I wondered how it would feel not going to the same places and doing the same things any more, but the real pressure has come from others.  About two months in I was at a friend’s wedding where others couldn’t believe I wasn’t drinking for a particular reason – even offering a hipflask of spirits around the room in case it was because I was skint!  Others seem miffed and offended when you don’t take up their offer of a drink.

Walking through Glasgow City Centre at night when you haven’t been drinking opens your eyes to how people behave and how much it affects their ability to be kind and rational.  I didn’t want to be one of those people any more.


What’s your experience? Do you feel there’s too much pressure to drink? Or do people struggle to understand why you don’t drink?

This was originally posted in January 2015

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One Response to Two years on and still going strong. Why I quit alcohol.

  1. Pru Davies January 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    May I just say happy new year to the anonymous community correspondent as well as to all those involved in some way with MindWaves. Already we are at the start of the second week into January but reading your blog made me think what an inspiration this will be to so many others who have “been there, worn the T shirt and eaten the pie”, to use an often overused quote. Personally I gave up alcohol as it didn’t mix with the medication – I would just fall asleep in a corner like a dormouse. But I know of the damaging affects it can have on individuals, families, workmates, the list is endless. It is one thing to give up the drink because you want to do it for “yourself” and it is quite another to write about it as you have done, explaining all the reasons why and the affects it had on you.
    I suppose the final thing I’d like to say which is probably the most important is if you are taking prescribed medication for mental health issues, particularly an anti-depressant, then you add alcohol into the mix, alcohol by its very nature is a depressant so don’t expect to reach a ‘high’ which you come down from very quickly – just saying
    All the best,

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