UNITED STATES—I get this question all the time and to be quite honest it annoys me. Why don’t you drink? There seems to be this notion that if you’re in a social setting you’re expected to have a drink, and I don’t believe that. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of alcohol or a drink here and there, but at the same time, it should not be a prerequisite that you drink while with others. Now before you start thinking I’m a prude or something, I have indulged in alcohol, but it is not something I need to function or operate.
Look, there is nothing wrong with having a beer, a drink or a shot. However, if you’re having that drink, shot or beer to kick off your day or function throughout the day, there is indeed a problem. I think the worst hangover I have ever had was for my 23rd birthday, not 21 people. It was so bad, I barely remember it, and I just knew I felt terrible the day after, I destroyed my cell phone and puked over one of my favorite jackets; it was ruined. Was that a sign for me to never indulge in drinking? Perhaps, but I’ve just never been a drinker by nature, I don’t feel the need to.
I do have a reason for not drinking and it’s because there is a strong chain of alcoholism on both sides of my family, my dad’s side and my mother’s side. My mother’s grandfather was a heavy drunk, all of my uncles on my mother’s side drink quite heavily, my cousins drink heavily and then all of my siblings, except for my sister and me are heavy drinkers. The interesting dynamic is my mother and none of my aunts’ drink at all. So, you have one side of the family where alcoholism is potent, and then on my father side you have the same issue.
My grandfather struggled heavily with alcohol, and I think that was a direct result of the horrors he experienced while serving in World War II. All of my uncles on my dad’s side were heavy drinkers, including my dad, who later toned it down. The same with my aunts on my dad’s side, they are all drinkers as well. However, it is my first cousins who are the worst. The drinking on that side of the family is so massive and bad that it just screams danger. I mean I have cousins who are proud to showcase their bars and all the alcohol they have inside their homes. If that is not a bad sign, I don’t know what to tell you, it truly is that bad.
The problem is not that people in my family drink, it is the dark side they emit when they drink. We tend to have a lot of angry or violent drunks and that is a concern to say the least. A lot of people in my family tend to unleash their dark side when they drink, especially when liquor is involved. I don’t like that and to be honest it is something I prefer not to be in the presence of.
I am a firm believer that you do not have to drink to have a good time, if you feel you do, the question you have to ask yourself is why? Are you using alcohol as some sort of coping mechanism? Do you prefer to use alcohol to deal with your emotions? If so, you’re battling a problem people, whether you like to see it or not, and the alcohol is just numbing the problem for the time being. However, once the alcohol fades away those problems still exist.
I know from my family history, genetics and my studies that me indulging in alcohol could be a trigger, and a dangerous trigger that could have an impact on my life that I prefer not to entertain or open the door to. So, this is for all the people who are constantly asking people who don’t drink why they’re not drinking. It is none of your business. However, if someone tells you they’re not drinking, don’t question them why, they just aren’t and that should be the end of it.
Written By Jason Jones