Going Teetotal

air balloon, freedom

Going teetotal may be the best decision you ever make!

DryChick talks about her going teetotal experience and the peer pressure around alcohol consumption

Thinking of going teetotal? Well, you’re not alone! More and more people are going teetotal and taking a night off the booze more often. They’re doing it for their mental and physical health – just like me; DryChick, the founder of DryScene. Here, I share my experiences about going teetotal, and how I came to be sober.

I always loved a good party.

I was usually the first to arrive and the last to leave, and I made sure everyone’s glass was full (especially my own).

I admit I enjoyed partying a bit too much at times, so I decided to “go dry” to preserve my health — and my sanity.

By going teetotal, I had a few dry runs where I abstained at a party here, a night out there, and I realized it wasn’t that hard. I arrived late and left early. I ordered the alcohol-free ginger beer, the diet Coke in the skinny glass or the virgin mojito. I was still funny (and arguably more attractive without the usual slurring) and no one was the wiser.

Going teetotal is a struggle for many as a lot of people who become sober struggle to be around alcohol or people who drink, and that’s ok.  The peer pressure — and the temptation — can be immense. For me, I wanted to stop drinking but not drastically alter my lifestyle (i.e. still go to bars, clubs and parties, what I call “Sobriety for the Real World”). But even though I was happy with my choice, I still got so much flak from friends and strangers alike that I quickly understood why some people who give up drinking give up their social life as well. That’s why I started DryScene, to offer support and make it ok to say “I’m dry.”

There are several non alcoholic bars London and you can read about them and find out more here at DryScene. Many are not, and you’ll read about them here as well.

DryChick wants you to keep one thing in mind: your social life doesn’t have to end just because you’ve stopped drinking and you’re going teetotal.

I won’t lie: the initial month or two was difficult and awkward and I wouldn’t go through that again. But after I gained my sober confidence, learned a few tricks about what to order when I’m out, even navigated a first date “dry,” I was enjoying my nightlife again. And it became easy and all I knew, once your mind gets used to the idea of going teetotal, you will begin to accept how great life can be!

So easy in fact that sometimes I forget that I don’t drink anymore.

Case in point: Having made my way though security at Heathrow one morning, I saw a line of people formed at the Duty Free shop to sample a very expensive scotch (GBP250 a bottle) that I remembered fondly from a tour of Scotland. I stepped right into line (never mind that it was 10 a.m.) and smiled at the guy in front of me thinking, “I can’t believe our luck!” I stood there a full two minutes before my face turned red and I thought, “What am I doing?!” I theatrically looked at my watch and proceeded sheepishly to the gate.

I had a good laugh on the plane at that.

Likewise I’m still eager to give friends unsolicited wine advice which is always met with puzzled looks. (Hey, I’ve had plenty of experience drinking it, why let it go to waste?!)

If you had told me a year ago that I’d not only be a teetotaler but also organizing parties without alcohol I would’ve called you crazy to your face. My last night imbibing the full-proof stuff was New Year’s Eve 2014. There’s a lovely photo of me on the bar’s website, looking glam and holding a glass of Perrier-Jouet champagne.

I still love that photo.

This year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s at DryScene’s gala in London. Hopefully I’ll be looking just as glam as last year, holding a glass of (alcohol-free) bubbly. And I’ll be ready to greet 2015 hangover-free.

Will you join me?

DryChick lives in London. She started DryScene to show people that they can have fun without alcohol. She wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and connect like-minded people through her events, where the focus is on the fun and not what’s in your glass. Contact her at drychick@dryscene.com.

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