18 & Sober

by - 10:00

Growing up comes with a lot of new things, with both exciting and bad things heading our way we all get caught up in the rush of it all. That 'I can't wait to be older' feeling is something that we all experience. Well, I'm older (and I'm assuming most of you reading this are too) and being older has its perks, definitely, but it also has its downsides. One of my downsides is alcohol, as many would consider it a high of being eighteen, I consider it a low.

I've discussed my issue with alcohol before, very briefly, but I want to take some time to talk about it in further detail, to help educate those who don't know where I'm coming from or perhaps help those who are in a similar position to me.


I've always had a great deal of anxiety linked with alcohol. Growing up I witnessed people (family members & friends of the family) intoxicating themselves at parties, pubs and even just casual Friday get-togethers in the house. I remember I was always scared, I can't pinpoint any particular moment or event that made me scared, I just was. I saw so many sides of being intoxicated and a lot of it wasn't pretty and not a single ounce of it made me think 'wow I can't wait until I can do that one day'.

Of course there are different types of drunk personalities, so you have people who are happy or clumsy, and for the most part that can be fun and quite entertaining, but there are also aggressive drunks and the 'omg I'm so drunk I can't even function'. Alcohol has the power to bring out a side to someone that you've never seen before (and possibly doesn't even exist without alcohol), it has the power to lessen your ability to speak, walk, function. That's what scares me.

I've carried this fear with me all of my life and now I'm at the age where drinking is legal. All of my friends drink, they go out a few times a week and I watch it all on snapchat from home. The funny thing is I used to get FOMO (fear of missing out) even though I knew I would hate it if I were there, and the fact is I probably feel the same way about it now.

It's a sad fact that me being a non-drinker does make me feel excluded from my friends. I don't go on nights-out and, at this age, it's pretty much all anyone does. I hate that my fear makes me lose out on being close to people who otherwise I would have great relationships with. I have a great group of friends, but I'm afraid that the majority of them wouldn't even consider me as a friend since I've missed out on so much. 

I'm learning to control my fear little by little, managing my anxiety is something I try to do on a daily basis, but I can't just jump in at the deep end and go on a night out straight away. I can go to house parties, parties with people that I know very well and don't judge me for not drinking. I can drink myself, one or two drinks isn't a problem for me anymore, I do it for the taste not with the intention to ever get drunk (I've never even been tipsy before). I can be around certain drunk people without feeling extremely anxious or having a panic attack. This is all progress for me.

I had a little set-back a few weeks ago on a family holiday. The anxiety was induced by a mixture of intoxicated family members and being surrounded by a lot of people, I ended up crying to myself in the toilets. That was a wobble, and it's something that happens every now and then. I've learnt to accept my anxiety and where it stems from, but I'm still learning how to handle/deal with it. The fact is I'll probably be working on it for the rest of my life.

I choose to not drink excessively and I choose to not go on nights out with friends, I choose that life because that's what makes me happy. If you feel the same way that I do, know that it's okay, you don't have to do these things if you don't want to. Alcohol isn't some initiation test to becoming an adult and it most certainly isn't something to be embarrassed about, if you're surrounded with the right people they will support your choices.

If you know someone who is similar to me, then support them, talk to them, check on them every now and then to make sure they're okay, and make sure you include them. Having anxiety means that you eventually stop getting invited to things, they think "Oh, well she always says no, so why should we bother?", don't do that. Even if someone says no quite a lot, invite them still. Just receiving an invite to something means the world.

There's always a reason behind why someone does or doesn't do something and, believe it or not, sometimes it's nice to be asked why. It shows that you care, and the more you talk, the more you understand.

P.S. Another reason as to why I don't drink excessively is because it actually makes anxiety worse. So many people with anxiety disorders turn to alcohol to numb it & end up becoming addicted. Over time, alcohol worsens anxiety, just like caffeine can. So that's another reason why I keep my distance.

-

I think I'm just going to leave it there for now, if you have any questions write them in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them, or maybe I'll write another post on it sometime.

Thank you so much for reading. If you liked this post, please make sure to share and follow!

You can find all of my social media links here:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email: caityloux@gmail.com

Caitlin x

You May Also Like

6 comments

  1. I am extremely similar! I can't stand the thought of being somewhere with people I might not know as well with alcohol because I don't know how they'll act when they're drunk. I have been out a few times and I used to enjoy it but it's deteriorated over time and now I struggle to say yes :( but I'm starting to come to terms with the normalness of it all xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am exactly the same! I have never really drank mainly because I know I would hate even feeling tipsy. I do understand the feeling of being left out. It's makes me miss the days when we all just used to go to each others house and enjoy a good night in. Now, I just get used to the fact that I come home a little earlier and plan more days out with my friends. They have never known me any different so they do dedicate a few night to go out with me and do something a little less centered around alcohol. I do completely understand everything you say and you are certainly not the only one x
    Claire | clairesyear.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm in the middle I'm not really a drinker but then sometimes I drink a lot on a night out but then won't drink for months! I can understand how it makes you feel socially excluded too x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think it's a shame that people would actually unfriend someone because he/she doesn't drink.. Of course you will offer a drink and maybe insist a little when you're a teenage, but it shouldn't be a reason to shut someone out. But don't worry, you will find a group of friends that are like you and that you'll go out with and everything will be fine :)

    Kirsty
    www.corinneandkirsty.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Caitlin, I think it's really admirable that you stick to your guns and don't get pressurised into drinking and going on night's out! I think that deserves to be applauded! If drinking isn't something that you want to do, you should never feel obligated! I'm sure that your friends still enjoy your company regardless of whether you're there on a night out, and "working up to it" by attending house parties as you're doing right now is a huge step forward, and I hope that it eases your anxieties! There's way more to life than getting drunk and making a fool of yourself, you've just figured that out way earlier than anyone else! You do you girl!

    Abbey 🎀 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. You're completely right do what makes you happy and those people will come and go around you but as they get older they'll realise drinking excessively isn't always a great idea! You'll be the one in the best position!
    So brave of you to share this!

    Ellie
    www.headintheclouds.me.uk

    ReplyDelete