COSY does not endorse the use of illegal substances. The following article is intended strictly for educational and harm reduction purposes.  Read more.

I was always curious about alcohol as a kid because it is so ubiquitous in English culture, movies and TV shows I watched, but at the same time strictly forbidden in my religion and culture. This made it seem like forbidden fruit, something I knew I could never really experience.

But I know it allowed people to let loose and make lapses in judgement (or rather, justify their mistakes by “being too drunk”).

Of course, it wasn’t long till my curiosity got the better of me.

Recalling my first drink, I remember the taste of beer being nothing like I thought it was. I found it bitter where I once thought it sweet, frothy where I thought it flat, and altogether repulsive. Everyone can’t stop talking about alcohol, and after all this time it ends up tasting like fizzy piss?

I can surely forgive that, I thought, if it could make me feel something spectacularly different to the mundanity of a sober life.

At my friend’s 17th birthday party, the rules on the Facebook invitation clearly stated: “no smoking inside, no fucking, and no throwing up on the floor”. Since this was to be the venue of my first time getting drunk, I broke every single one of those rules.

Needless to say, I was a complete mess. As I downed a cocktail of various different drinks — vodka, Malibu, gin, beer — I started to feel floaty…happy…giggly. I was already a smoker at the time, and the combination of both felt great irrespective of the decadence. The ascension of fruitless teenage worries, if only for a brief amount of time, was such a relief…

Until I uttered something along the lines of “I don’t think I like myself”, and spontaneously combusted into a mess of tears. Oh, as well as throwing up everywhere.

Truthfully, alcohol has never made me feel happy. I’m part of that camp that experiences all the negatives of alcohol; you know, alcohol as a depressant. It’s frustrating because alcohol is a fixture of nearly every single social event — parties, dates, casual get-togethers with friends — it’s ubiquitous.

But as people begin to open up more, allowing their inclinations to get the better of them, I end up gradually retreating to an introverted pessimism, feeling life is vapid with my emotions too tired and subsided to care. In bars, I don’t feel too chatty — just left out listening to other people talking about themselves too much. In clubs, the volume is too loud to have a conversation anyway.

Honestly, I count down the time to when I can just go home and get high.

Refusing to drink inadvertently presents me as a social recluse, or too many, on my high-horse because I don’t drink and that somehow makes me better than other people. But the reality is that I wish I was into it.

For everyone else, it appears to be a social lubricant into situations that are otherwise unconventional in the sober world. In other words, I have always felt left out in being able to give up control and into my inclinations.

On the other hand, I am generally not a fan of drunk people. They are often intimidating, feeling like they are at liberty to say whatever they want. Some people find drunk people funny because it reveals the missing evolutionary link within a human being, shamelessly pursuing animalistic desires and debasing themselves in ridiculous situations.

I am often wary of drunk white people because I have previously been a recipient of racial abuse, which perhaps contributes to my distaste for the culture surrounding alcohol. I still feel unwelcome walking into pubs, and feel a great hesitation by the overconfidence of people’s opinions when they’ve had a bit too much to drink. But I suppose I also respect the honesty, over the everyday diet racism.

Choosing to drink is like rolling a dice. I might get lucky and feel like alcohol has enabled conversation, make me say things I ordinarily wouldn’t, and generally have a good time. But it’s a 1 in 6 chance of that happening. The other 5 possibilities are sad drunk, the angry drunk, depressed drunk, crazy drunk, or mellow drunk.

At this point, it’s not really worth the effort. Perhaps I should see it as a blessing in disguise.

I personally never got anything substantial from alcohol anyway, but my reason to never drink again goes far beyond the superficial. In a similar way to how a vegan might not like meat but has ethical reasons for not eating it also, is a similar reason to why I am teetotal.

Too often alcohol is a social crutch for a society mostly unable to transgress through their emotional repression. For many, a true conversation cannot progress until we are on the third round of drinks. I detest the lack of respect people have for themselves such that they debase themselves, with their friends celebrating and enabling the decadence further.

I also hate that I feel any kind of social pressure for drinking alcohol, but people are quick to tell me I am a druggie, or a killjoy when they get completely off their face every weekend without fail.

Certainly, the decision to be teetotal will benefit me in the long run. Not only will I age better, be healthier, and save a fuck ton of money, I can save myself from frivolous small talk in the freezing cold with some dickhead asking me for a lighter, and a dreaded hangover the next morning regretting ever trying to push the social boundaries of mere drunk acquaintances.

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