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Topic: The society pressure of always having to go out and drink when you're 22

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. bonbon1
    bonbon1 avatar
    1 posts
    25 January 2020

    Hi all, newbie here.

    Wanted to see if I wasn't alone in not wanting to go out and drink with my friends.

    For the past couple months I've been doing the best I can to avoid social outings, but only with a particular group of people. I don't have many friends and I love these people as if they were my family, my family away from home I call them. I just don't want to go out and drink with them, I've realised its become very bad for my mental health, I'm beyond happy doing anything else with them, just not to go out and drink or party you might say. I just don't know how to tell them. I adore their friendship, I just don't know how or know why I don't want to go out and have a "good night" cause "we're only young once" with them. Please tell me I'm not the only one? I just don't want to feel alone anymore.
    Also, I don't suffer from social anxiety or anything so I'm just not sure.

    I know this sounds like such a little thing and that I should just go talk to them. But I've been struggling with this for months now and not sure who else to talk to. So I thought might as well give this a go, as this is the first time I've actually said (well wrote) this out loud.

    If anyone is reading this and is thinking the same, even if they just don't want to go out and drink and rather stay in every weekend at the age of 21/22 please know that you're not alone. I also hope this thread can help someone else see that they're not the only one.

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    9106 posts
    25 January 2020 in reply to bonbon1

    Dear Bonbon1~

    Drinking is not compulsory. Neither is going to parties. Some people prefer one-to-one, some prefer activities with others that do not involve alcohol.

    For a short period in my teens I drank a fair bit with freinds, but it palled , and the sight of my freinds becoming incoherent or at least a bit irrational was not that pleasant when I was the only one sober. Even their idea of what was funny tend to seem a bit pointless.

    As I result I picked my occasions and did more one-to-one. By your age parties had disappeared from my life. Perhaps my thoughts might have been a little different from yours but I simply told everyone I wanted to drink a well known soft drink and that was that -still applies today.

    If you do want to join them but cannot think how to tell them just invent something, there a whole host of medications for example that prohibit drinking. Adverse reactions to alcohol can be another reason, as can driving. Being a designated driver has its advantages.

    In short you are not alone, and your choice is a perfectly acceptable one .

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    785 posts
    25 January 2020 in reply to bonbon1

    Hello

    I read your post earlier and didn't answer as I thought I'd leave it to the young ones to respond. But I just want to let you know that my son is the same. He is around your age and never really got into drinking. He probably got drunk only a couple of times in his teens and decided that it just wasn't his thing. Good on him I say. It does take a bit of courage to defend your choices when you're young, if they're a little different to the norm. But they're still your choices and I think it's great that you've made that decision rather than just doing something because 'everyone else does it'.

    Also, good on you for coming here to share that, and to normalise it for other people that will be reading and not commenting for whatever reason.

    Best wishes, Katy

    1 person found this helpful
  4. continuousventer
    continuousventer avatar
    60 posts
    29 January 2020 in reply to bonbon1
    hello I'm 21 and I'm also a fellow non-drinker

    yes, I agree we are at that age where social outings involve drinking. I always have that one friend who wants to go to the bar. When I suggested he organise a house party, he said "but you don't even drink"
    I've never really drinked anything except for a cider because of my mental health. Even now, it is not really good. I can't afford drinks.

    I think true friends would respect your wishes. Yes I've had my drinking friend challenge me on my non-drinking view, but he doesn't make me drink

  5. iamanxiety
    iamanxiety avatar
    79 posts
    29 January 2020 in reply to bonbon1
    Hi all,

    it is a huge pressure in our society and even more so in that age group. most of our social functions revolve around drinking.

    I'm 39 and still feel that pressure when I am at a social engagement. I am much more confident in myself to say no now but it does cause a social disconnect to be the sober one in a group of drinkers.

    you are in a way blessed that you do not enjoy it even though it may not feel like it right now. I lost many years drinking and it had a serious and negative affect on my mental health and life in general.

    you will find many of the relationship and experiences had while drinking are quite shallow.

    be strong and don't be afraid or ashamed to be yourself. in time you will find others that may share a similer stance on drinking will gravitate to you and vice versa. the relationship you build this way will be much more meanifull.

    I wish I had been more self aware at your age and didn't just go with the flow. I am paying the price now.

    all the best
    Andrew
  6. Blufftuff
    Blufftuff avatar
    145 posts
    29 January 2020 in reply to bonbon1

    Thank you for being honest and sharing.

    When I was your age I was in the exact same position, All my mates wanted to go and drink but because I am strong meds I was unable to.

    I did not share this with everyone but I was surprised as the ones I tell ended up respecting me for who I was

    This I found to be valuable lesson to me and I am no longer ashamed about my situation but instead this has made me a stronger person on the inside.

    reading the other posts I can see clearly we are definitely not alone in this

    All the best.

  7. Blufftuff
    Blufftuff avatar
    145 posts
    5 February 2020 in reply to bonbon1

    Hi bonbon,

    I just want to follow to see if you found any of the posts helpful

    would be very interested to hear you are going.

  8. Blufftuff
    Blufftuff avatar
    145 posts
    9 February 2020 in reply to bonbon1

    Thank you for sharing with us,

    I was just following to see if you found any of our posts helpful to you in any way

    All the best on your Journey.

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