"Do you want a beer? C'mon, Mike. Have a beer with me." My buddy wouldn't stop at dinner last night. He didn't ask me once. He asked ten times. And this isn't the first time. When I go out, I'm constantly asked why I don't drink. And people don't get it. "You're 25. Shouldn't you be drinking while you still can? Beer is soooo good." Unfortunately, the social norm isn't a good enough reason for me to start drinking again.
It's been almost 7 months since my last drink.
Drinking is a social activity. It gives people of all ages a communal place to meet up and a beverage to sip on (or chug). It's a symbol of America, and it comes in a rainbow of flavors. From craft beer to home-breweries, and mass-merchandised cheap stuff, beer has been a staple of the American man (and woman's) liquid diet ever since I can remember.
And I don't want to break that tradition. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade because I'm the sober one. But, I do want to explain why I've chosen to no longer drink alcohol.
Note: I realize some of these reasons can be avoided if I "only have one drink". But, that's just half-assing it. Quitting cold turkey has been much easier for me than having a beer every once in a blue moon (ha - see what I did there?)
The ten reasons I stopped drinking:
1. I'm not a big fan of carbonated beverages
There's something about the bubbly-ness of beer that doesn't sit well with me. And yes, liquor does go down quicker, but see reason #7.
2. It's a waste of calories
Some have described me as a health-nut, a fitness freak, etc. I don't use those words to describe me, but I have made radical changes in my lifestyle. And beer, is one of those beverages that isn't essential to living, so I've cut it out.
3. I hate throwing up
I've only thrown up once. And it was a near-death experience. Enough said.
4. I hate hangovers
I get migraines on occasion. They pale in comparison to the damage my body feels when I'm hungover. I never want to experience that feeling again.
5. It inhibits my thinking
I think a lot. In the car, in the shower, and even on first dates. I'm constantly moving and don't want the influence of alcohol to inhibit what I need to get done.
6. It inhibits others thinking
I don't think I have to say anything here. When you're sober and everyone else is drinking, it gets old fast.
7. Bourbon tastes like magic markers
Really, it does. And not even the scented ones make it any better.
8. It's expensive
$5 for a beer that actually tastes good? And $10 for a mixed drink? I'm going broke just thinking about it.
9. There are better ways to relieve stress
I often remember leaving working saying, "Man, I need a drink". That soon turned into reality, and I drank after work. Now, I go for a run, lift weights, read, and cook. Much healthier decision.
10. I want to remember what I did last night
I'd like my instagram feed to be filled with experiences. Not drunken mugshots.
And just to make you think I'm off my rocker, I don't drink coffee or soda either.