This is my first blog post in 7 ½ weeks. Like many blog owners, I do prepare posts in advance (well, usually, although I am guilty of doing things on the fly), however in this particular case not even the prepared posts were enough for the length of the impromptu hiatus. It may not have been planned, but I do feel it was necessary for one important reason; I didn’t want to drink alcohol.
Make no mistake; I love mixology, cocktails and alcohol just as much as I did 2 years ago when I started this blog. I doubt that will ever change, but now and then I go through periods where I simply don’t feel a desire to indulge in this particular hobby, and you know what?
That’s absolutely fine.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend I had a break for lofty reasons or for my health, although those are also perfectly good reasons to not drink alcohol. Those reasons are acceptable because ANY reason you don’t want to drink is a valid one. I’m sure you’ve all heard it a million times before, but in the immortal words of Captain Holt ‘you’ll hear it again!’ because it is such an important thing to understand; You should never feel forced to drink if you don’t want to. Always remember that ‘No.’ is a complete sentence, not just for refusing alcohol but for anything in life.
I’ve seen so many people badgered, coaxed or outright told that they have to drink and it’s sad to see. We shouldn’t judge people for enjoying alcohol, but equally we forget that we shouldn’t judge them for not drinking. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve heard someone say ‘Oh go on, have a drink!’ or ‘Just one more won’t change things!’ or ‘What’s wrong, why don’t you want to drink?’ – as if there’s a stigma if you’re the *gasp* sober one of the group. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if it comes down to the person doing the pestering doing so just so that they don’t feel judged for their own enjoyment of it. I don’t know what it is about alcohol that makes us think we can press further than we would do in any other situation, but it is an interesting – and disturbing – phenomenon that we can honestly do without.
I took a break from alcohol and the blog because I didn’t want to drink. Feeling obliged to drink is a bad thing, and can lead you down some truly dangerous paths, so I urge you to take a break too if you ever find yourself not enjoying alcohol, or not feeling ‘into’ it. It’s better to come back with a renewed vigor and appreciation, rather than letting it have any control over your life.
I hope this hasn’t come across as preachy, but I genuinely think it’s important for the mental health of both parties that we become accepting of all alcohol lifestyles, and that we recognise when we do and don’t have a place for it in our lives.