What I Mean When I Say

No, I Don’t Drink

Whoops, sorry to break it you but I don’t drink. And I’m not an alcoholic. And it’s not because my father was. I just don’t drink. At least not very often.

What? Why? How?! You’d think I’d just admitted to a murder by the kinds of reactions I get when I simply say “I don’t drink”. Maybe there’s something confusing about it. Maybe there’s a culture around alcohol (there is) that means you have to be an alcoholic not to drink. So let me clear some things up.

What do I mean when I refuse a drink by saying, “No, I don’t drink”?

First off, it doesn’t mean I don’t ever have a drink. It just means, by and large, I don’t consume alcohol. My one or two summer beers plus one or two glasses of champagne a year doesn’t really constitute enough for me to say I drink. It’s not my personal life decision to never, ever, ever drink but it is my personal life decision to not drink much or often. So yes, sometimes I drink. But no, I never drink out. I never drink to have fun. I don’t drink to relax. I don’t drink to get drunk. When I do drink, it’s because I want to taste something special, like a really expensive cake.

Whew! That’s out of the way. Now let’s get into the real reasons.

1. I get migraines

This is my number one reason as to why I don’t drink. I’ve only ever found one or two kinds of beer that don’t give me headaches and I have yet to find any champagne that doesn’t either. Wine, well that’s the sulfites. The point is, I don’t want a debilitating migraine. I’m drinking for an occasion, right? I don’t want to be in bed with the blinds closed and crying because my head is splitting open twenty minutes after I start drinking.

Let me tell you, drinking isn’t fun when you have three sips and immediately have a painful reaction to it.

2. I don’t feel good

Another great reason in my book, I hate how I feel when I drink. I don’t put much in my body that’s bad because I’m very sensitive to preservatives so, when I put liquor in my body, boy do I feel it. I’m thirsty, sluggish, and my cardio goes down. As an avid runner, this is not fun for me. It means that day and the next day, I feel terrible when I’m working out and my hydration isn’t optimal.

Okay, okay. That was the health nut in me. Bottom line: it isn’t good for me and I don’t like how unhealthy things make me feel.

3. I don’t like it

If and when I tell people this, I get crazy responses. I think people would be calmer if I shot someone. WhAt?! YoU dOn’T lIkE tHe AdUlT jUiCe?!

No, I don’t. It’s too sweet. And the stuff that isn’t too sweet is too hot, in the liquor way. And the stuff that’s in between, well I just don’t like it. Sometimes I really want some, but only a little because by the end of a glass of anything, I don’t like it anymore. Also, not a huge fan of fizzy.


You know what I do like though? Water. Crazy, I know. I need to slow down. Really though, I grew up on water and a small glass of cranberry juice in the morning. Now, I have water with different things in it like lemon, lime, or cucumber. I’ll drink cranberry juice with some fizzy water in it to dull the bubbles and the sugar. I’m just not a huge fan of liquor. And that’s okay. I’ll stick to my water not because I want to be healthy, or I’m being prissy, but because I honestly love the taste of water.

4. I’m not comfortable

I’m only comfortable drinking with my husband and my mom. That’s it. That’s all. I don’t like letting my guard down and I don’t like being out of control. That means that drinking with other people makes the hair on the back of my neck rise. I don’t like it. I get all jittery and nervous. And again, I can’t enjoy it. If I only have a few drinks a year, I ought to be able to enjoy them. I don’t want to be panicking the entire time because I’m worried about one thing or another.

And yes, this is a valid reason too.

The bottom line to all of this though isn’t that I have to have reasons for not drinking. Because I don’t. Me saying “I don’t want to” is good enough. No one should be heckled for this. No one should be judged for this. No one should be put on the spot and pressured for this decision. It’s just a decision that I am making about me. If you want to drink, go for it! Enjoy it! But treat my decision as normal too. It’s not fun for anyone when drinking is considering normal and choosing anything other than liquor is considered the wrong answer.

Right? Just because it is the social norm doesn’t mean that everyone has to do it. It doesn’t mean that I’m weird, uptight, dumb, or an alcoholic for choosing not to drink just as it doesn’t mean you are a drunk for drinking. It’s downright disrespectful to assume any of those things. No one has to do anything. No one is obligated to drink because you are. Drinking is your personal decision and that’s fine. Be proud of it! ENJOY it. Just because someone is choosing not to drink doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or relax or anything like that. It doesn’t mean your decision to drink is a bad one. Not at all!

So find confidence in your own personal decisions and remember to respect each other. No two people live the same lifestyle. And that’s okay. But respect each other’s decisions. It’s their life anyway, not yours.


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