I am teetotal. It’s been well over a year since I last had an alcoholic drink.

This wasn’t preceded by anything dramatic. It’s not a big deal to me in any way. I drank like everyone else when I was in university. I realised I was getting ill when I could drink to the point of oblivion without getting drunk at all so I stopped drinking.

I’m also on antidepressants. It’s not my place to say anything about anyone else’s doings but alcohol is a depressant and I feel it would be counterproductive to voluntarily use a depressant while I’m trying to get well. Not a big deal.

I come from a country with a big drinking culture. I now live in another country with a prevalent drinking culture. I know that consumption of alcohol is usually a part of social gatherings. I don’t mind this in the slightest.

What amazes me though is how all common courtesy just goes out the window the moment people find out I don’t drink. Once they find out I’m drinking a pop or a tonic water, the most natural follow up question seems to be to ask why I’m not drinking alcohol.

I don’t think people understand what a personal question it is. Usually they start verbally wandering with a statement like ‘so, is it a health choice or…’ before letting it die down.

Or? Or what? Am I just not feeling it today? Am I saving money? Am I pregnant? What?

This is potentially a really sensitive question. I could be a raging alcoholic for all they know. (In case you’re interested, I’m not.) I’d just like to point out at this moment in time that I have never once asked anyone why they drink alcohol. That’s because it’s none of my business. If someone drinks a lot, nobody asks them why they do so.

Why is it that me drinking a pop does warrant follow-up questions but drinking alcohol doesn’t? If I just lied and said I was drinking a vodka and coke or a G&T, no further questions would be asked. Why is that?

Another side product of this phenomenon is that people start making unsolicited statements about their drinking.

“I don’t usually drink that much but I thought I’d make exception today…”

“I do drink but I do it in moderation.”

“I couldn’t do what you do, I love drinking!”

Jesus Christ, nobody asked. I don’t care!

Also, if you feel like you need to start defending your drinking to a random stranger just because she ordered a coke you might want to think about cutting down. Just saying.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out in any way by not drinking. It may cause me to make some alterations to my schedule if I’m going to be around a lot of drunk people because there’s only so much drunken gibberish you can listen to when you’re sober yourself. This is fine as I need to keep a regular schedule for my medication anyway.

The reason why I’m talking about this is to offer some insight to those who are not teetotal. If you’re in a group of people for example and one person is not drinking, don’t ask about it. It’s none of your business. It’s not that big of a deal. This could be due to something incredibly personal.

Maybe they were assaulted while drunk.

Maybe they have an alcoholic in the family.

Maybe they don’t like how alcohol affects them.

It doesn’t matter why. None of these things are any of your business. Maybe as you get to know each other better they might choose to tell you. IF they choose to do so. Whatever in the world would possess you to expect a complete stranger to reveal something extremely personal about themselves?

You can have perfectly pleasant conversation without doing that. Just clink glasses with them and ask what their top five favourite animals are, which profession would they do if they were magically given the ability or which sound do they love to hear.

It’s not that hard for fucks sake!

Me reading this post:


  1. I never really drank before I came to uni, and people were really obnoxious about it. You’d be constantly questioned as to why you weren’t drinking, and I found people would be very pushy to get you to drink alcohol. Dude, I said no – back off. I definitely agree with you that it’s none of their business whether you want an alcoholic drink or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dunno – seems to me the opportunity for some far fetched story involving volcanic spewing and trying to ride a rhino might be fun. Fuck them! Make up a cool story, and if you know this person is afraid of something, work that in. The only time it’s ok to ask what someone else is drinking is when you are ordering for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can really relate to this. I’ve never been a big fan of drinking and this is something I’ve come up against time and time again, especially when I was younger. It just makes me wonder why I should have to explain myself to them? Maybe I should start responding with “why do you drink?” and see how they like it. I hate it when people keep going on about it as well. I’ve said no, I don’t want a drink – that’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly, sometimes I think it would be easier to just start drinking again. It took months for people at work to accept that I just don’t drink (the reasons behind it are not for them to know), and I was constantly told I just ‘hadn’t found my drink’ which is the most ridiculous statement!

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.squarespace.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post, thank you so much for writing it. This is such a true statement and what I also find worrying that we live in a culture where drinking so much is considered the norm! Surely that should be the topic of conversation not a pry into someone’s personal choices just because it goes against the grain at this time in society.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading it! I agree, and since alcohol has a lot of adverse effects it shouldn’t be such a shock horror that some people just don’t wish to use it. End of.


      • Very true, I often feel the pressure of people thinking abstaining from alcohol is not “normal” especially from people close to me, so much so I have only just given up again. It is the right decision for myself so now I must remember to stick to it! I personally think it is wrong that alcohol is even legal, if it was a new drug it would have been a class a for sure.


    • It’s so twisted that you’re made to feel embarrassed about it. I’m not judging anyone but there’s nothing particularly virtuous about drinking alcohol, it shouldn’t be such a big deal if you choose not to do it. Good on you for making a positive choice for your health and overall well-being xx


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