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To think as a teetotal I shouldn't have to constantly explain myself

112 replies

FargoFGS · 13/09/2015 14:20

I'm a recovering alcoholic and I haven't drank for ages but I work in an environment that endorses 'Friday drinks' and my family are partial to the odd drink.

I always have a soft drink which I can pass off as an alcoholic drink but if someone else is buying a round when I ask for a non-alcoholic drink I'm always interrogated as if something is wrong with me. People will ask if I'm pregnant or on medication but the simple truth is just that I don't drink anymore.

Why have I suddenly turned into the gooseberry on every occasion. AIBU to think it perfectly acceptable to just say "I don't drink" and others leave it at that?

OP posts:

Mintyy · 13/09/2015 14:22



FarFromAnyRoad · 13/09/2015 14:22

Just say you're allergic to alcohol. Brings you out in hives or condemns you to an afternoon on the toilet - say anything like that and they'll STFU.


TittyBiskwits · 13/09/2015 14:23


The drinking culture in this country is horrendous and the sad truth is that can be looked on as 'weird' if you don't like drinking yourself into oblivion every weekend or even night.

You absolutely should not have to explain yourself. 'I don't drink' should be more than enough.


Rainuntilseptember15 · 13/09/2015 14:24

I used to ask people why they weren't drinking, it is only through knowing an alcoholic that I realised how inappropriate that was. I would never pass comment now.


Spartans · 13/09/2015 14:25

Yanbu, I only drink very rarely and get this a lot.

It doesn't bother me though. I know most people do drink and assume there has to be reason behind it. I think they usually ask out of shock, which is weird. But I have never felt it's meant as an insult and or in a bad way. I usually just say, I ddon't drink that much.


TheHouseOnTheLane · 13/09/2015 14:33

YANBU many people seem to feel uncomfortable about you have to join them! I hate this.


GhostofFrankGrimes · 13/09/2015 14:35

YANBU. Anything that goes against the grain in this country is treated with suspicion.


TiggyD · 13/09/2015 14:40

YANBU. I get it a lot too. It would probably be easier to lie and tell everybody I'm an alcoholic than tell the truth: It just tastes nasty and makes many people turn into wazzocks.


trollkonor · 13/09/2015 14:41


I love a glass of wine but wouldn't dream about asking or comenting on why someone else didn't drink.


CalleighDoodle · 13/09/2015 14:44

I stopped drinking alcohol when ttc for my now 6 year old. I then brrastfed for 2 years / got pg again / had another baby / breastfed for another two years so i didnt drink a drop in 5 years. I was constantly having to explain myself. And people thinking it is acceptable to oressure you into just having one. One wont hurt. Well maybe not but I actually lost the taste and desire for it. I was in great shape too. And after a night out i didnt lose a day with a hangover. I often drove too so that stopped some questions.


TenForward82 · 13/09/2015 14:44

I don't drink for health reasons, I used to get this, now everyone in my social circle knows why and they don't ask.


RachelZoe · 13/09/2015 14:52

It's the drinking culture here, my DH only occasionally drinks on holiday or similar, he faces similar interrogation.

Congratulations on your sobriety! Flowers Smile


lushilaoshi · 13/09/2015 14:56

YANBU. I think it makes people feel a bit guilty when they're drinking and someone else isn't.

Well done to you, by the way. Not an easy thing to do.


ThroughThickAndThin01 · 13/09/2015 14:57

Yanbu. Just say you don't drink. It's nobody else's business.


WorraLiberty · 13/09/2015 14:59


I often get a similar interrogation when I go out for a meal and don't order a dessert.

I can't eat a dessert after a starter and main course and I don't want to "just have a small bit/try this/order that" etc.

Just do your own thing and let me do mine.


whathaveiforgottentoday · 13/09/2015 15:01

You shouldn't have to explain yourself at all but sadly you probably will continue to get asked the question. Its very much a reflection of our society. The ones who pester the most are probably those who worry the most that they are drinking too much. When I stopped drinking I opted to drive lots as it was much easier to 'oh I'm driving' rather than 'I just don't want to drink'. The 2nd reply tended to be followed up with more questions as to why I didn't want to drink. It got on my nerves.


TwmSionCati · 13/09/2015 15:07

totally agree - the ones that fuss and push at you the most are probably the ones who dont have good relationship with the alcohol themselves and want more people drinking around them in order to justify their own choices.
Just say you dont drink.
Or just shock them a bit by saying you are a recovering alcoholic, that will shut them up.


PacificDogwood · 13/09/2015 15:13

YANBU. At all.

I am not a recovering alcohol, but I drink very little and really dislike feeling drunk, so I often decline alcoholic drinks at parties and when out.
I get quite bolshy when somebody does the whole Mrs Doyle 'go on, go on, go on' routine - "I don't' what one."

In your shoes I'd be so tempted to go with the whole 'I'm an alcoholic' to shut them up. Rude feckers.
You did a hard thing when you stopped, don't let anybody make you feel awkward about it Thanks


LunchpackOfNotreDame · 13/09/2015 15:14


I don't drink because of medical reasons and always get a Hmm look from people who don't know me very well. I find it easier to just say I'm driving.


WorraLiberty · 13/09/2015 15:17

Oh god I just remembered something from my childhood Blush

When my aunt died, we held the wake at our house. I was only about 10yrs old and my parents had asked me and my siblings to help look after the guests.

So my brother and sister went round with the coffees and teas, and I went round asking if anyone wanted alcohol.

I asked someone if he'd like a brandy and he smiled and said "I'm an alcoholic"

Well I wasn't entirely sure what an alcoholic was, so I just looked at him and said "Oh ok I'll get you a double then"

Blush Grin


ijustwannadance · 13/09/2015 15:17

I haven't drunk alcohol for years. I hate the presumptions. Pregnant? Sick? Weird? Most people who know me well don't mention it anymore. Even if I say i'm driving people insist that i'm allowed 1.

People do seem to think it's very odd though. Was even worse when I worked in pubs though Grin,


TwmSionCati · 13/09/2015 15:19

" "Oh ok I'll get you a double then" Grin


tobysmum77 · 13/09/2015 15:21

Yanbu at all.

It's a strange world we live in. I remember a few years ago going out for a meal with friends of dhs, neither of us knew his wife that well. She asks for a non alcoholic drink (fine, no problem thought no more of it. I just assumed she didnt drink tbh) Then about an hour later she launches into that crap antibiotics excuse totally unprompted....... Ah ok you're pregnant then


passthenutellaplease · 13/09/2015 15:21

worraliberty this made me chuckle


confusedalways · 13/09/2015 15:23

I'm only 22 and can't drink much for medical reasons. You'd think I was the first person in the world to this the way some people carry on. No I don't want a bloody shot or you to obsess over what I'm drinking. Why do people do this?

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