Personal // On Why I'm a Tee Totaller

October 12, 2018

Have you ever wondered why I’ve never been one for sharing a photo of a glass of wine on Instagram? Or a perfect, barista crafted, coffee like 99% of the rest of instagram and this millennial generation? It’s because I drink neither alcohol nor caffeine! I'm completely tee-total. I’m not sure if this is even worthy of writing a blog post on? But people seem to look at us {my husband is the same} and wonder why, in our society where it’s become such a big thing and really a whole lifestyle, that we don’t. {Or maybe they just wonder if we’re secret Mormons or something, haha joking! Some of our v good friends are Mormons}.

The truth is, I have an extremely addictive personality and both Ben & I have seen our parents umm, slightly battle with their relationship with alcohol. They’re not alcoholics by any means, and I’ve asked their permission to write this. But it would be fair to say that my parents struggle to moderate and enjoy alcohol. When to say no, feeling rubbish from it yet still craving it. Do you have a midweek glass of wine or will that lead into wanting almost a bottle? Do you have lots of social events where it’s near impossible to say no? Especially if you feel more fun with alcohol and all your friends are drinking. I know that I’d be the same, it’s just in my personality. I know what I’m like with trying to limit myself on sweet stuff so surely alcohol would be worse?

There are a few other reasons. I once got so drunk as a teen, in New York of all places on holiday with my grandma.. umm don’t ask, that feeling so poisoned and ill the next morning and not remembering a thing, scared me. I like to think that it was a real blessing in disguise, putting me off for life.

It’s no secret that as a teen I also suffered from an eating disorder {that I've talked about on this blog a couple of times before}. And whilst most people my age would be out getting drunk, eating junk food and then spending their next morning in bed, I didn’t want to waste those calories and sugar on alcohol that I hated the taste of, and I’d rather get up feeling fresh and go for a run! Something that whilst I’m now healthy and recovered, has stayed with me. I’d rather eat ice cream than drink. It’s probably why my husband & I are so dessert focused/gelato obsessed, it’s our version of alcohol and a treat! Sugar is my alcohol. Wild I know...

I’m sure, as I’m so similar to my Dad in many ways, that I’d enjoy and really get into good red wine if I wanted to. Or Rose like everyone and their dog enjoyed this summer. It’s such a social thing, especially when eating out. But nope, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Health wise, it makes sense too. Every week the press seem to come out with some new study about how many units a week are safe and apparently there’s no safe limit? I won’t preach about the dangers but I do feel better in knowing it’s a healthy choice too.

I’m not writing this to be all self righteous at all! You only live once. If you enjoy it, do it! I'm such a huge campaigner for that. My weakness, and indulgence is sugar which I’m sure is just as bad in many ways. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad in the slightest. I’m the weird, boring one here by not drinking. Luckily my friends all know that I’ll never have a drink. And it doesn’t make our nights out any less fun because of it. I’m also the perfect designated driver and never mind! I think because I’ve always had this stance, it’s not even questioned whereas I guess it’s harder if you’re known for being a fun drunk??

It saves us a tonne of money too, especially when eating out. Water please! We never pay for all inclusive resorts for this reason either as we’d be paying for loads of booze we won’t be drinking - although we do enjoy them all the more for the food side if on an all inclusive press trips. Such a treat!

Caffeine wise, whilst I LOVE the smell of coffee {and weirdly sometimes crave the taste of coffee on the off time I’ve had coffee cake or flavoured stuff} and think I’d probably really get into it and that cool coffee shop culture, I just have never been into it and now don’t want to start. Again, I’ve seen people become addicted and get headaches and need their caffeine fix for energy. A cycle I don’t want to get into as I just know I’d be sucked right in. Tea I’ve just never liked the idea, or smell of. Terribly un British of me I know!

Although everyone tells me that I’ll be in desperate need of caffeine to get through the years of having a baby at some point. I just hope I don’t start. I feel like if I can survive without caffeine, there’s no point adding it in now? Especially as my addiction would probably become an expensive daily habit. I’d want iced coffee and on trend turmeric lattes. For now, there’s still enough cool other things to order to hang out, and meet friends in, coffee shops. Juices, smoothies, avocado toast and the like. I’ll have a hot chocolate {which will often give me a headache and I hate it if too milky} or a herbal mint tea occasionally but I’m not that bothered really. I think it’s because it’s not a habit? And I’m happy drinking plain water.

My husband, THANK GOD, is the same. I mean, I’m sure that’s a huge part in the fate of why we met and are so compatible. He doesn’t like the taste/see the point of either either after drinking a lot as a teen and not enjoying it. It would be weird if one us drunk and the other abstained. I feel like the generations are shifting with this too and I saw an article the other day in the Times about how freshers students are requesting more coffee shop activities rather than making it all about booze which made me smile. 

I was out for dinner with some girlfriends last Friday who were both drinking after a long week and the waiter was so surprised that I wasn't joining in. I'm not sure why it should have been made into a thing really. I could have been pregnant, on antibiotics, or as my friend Amy joked 'what if you were a recovering alcoholic?! He could have pushed you over the edge'!. She told me I should pretend I'm a member of Alcoholics Anonymous from now on to make people feel bad for asking me haha. I'm not trying to make light of recovering alcoholics, at all. But nobody should ever be asked why they're not drinking, right?!

So, don’t be offended if I ask you to bring a bottle if you come round for dinner, or look at me weirdly if I say no to you offering me a drink, and you definitely won’t find me the best authority when writing my travel posts on the coolest bars to hang out in. I’m not one for staying up late or laying in nursing a hangover. Am I missing out? Possibly. Am I worried? Not in the slightest.

How about you?? Do you enjoy gin or coffee?

Would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments or on my latest Instagram post if you have time.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Well, I don't drink tea or coffee (I've only ever had 3 cups in my life!)...but I do drink, although not very much as I can't say I enjoy the end result!! I definitely didn't need caffeine with either of my two children, and can honestly say that whoever said that you would just needs to be ignored! Good for you I say, do whatever you want to do...and no one should make you feel odd about your choices. Water is awesome, and your skin will thank you for it when you're older x

  2. Totally get this but for different reasons. My parents never drank at home and it was honestly never a thing for me. Don't get me wrong I tried it as a teenager and I did have a drink the last time I flew and did seem to help feel a bit less anxious. I just feel thats it's totally unnecessary in my life and the thought of my inhibitions lowered to the point of not remembering walking home absolutely terrifies me. For a long time it was a bit of a joke in the the 'goody two shoes' not drinking but I find the older you get the more you meet people that don't drink and a lot of mums that I meet really cannot be bothered with the next day hang.

    I am incredibly sensitive to caffeine as a serial insomniac and switched to decaf tea years ago, didn't make any difference in the first year of having a child. Either your baby sleeps or they don't (until 17 months) and you just have to get one with it! Every time I did have a caffeinated beverage I was woken by him for feeds and then woke up myself for hours in between..totally not worth it!

  3. Totally get your view on it. I’m 42 now and up until the last 3-4 years alcohol and getting drunk was such a feature of my social life, not drinking mid week or necking a bottle of wine as I can’t drink a lot but still enough to get drunk. I became tired of that cycle, the low mood feeling the next morning, the cringe feeling of how I may have acted, the tiredness, and the effect on my bank balance!
    So I rarely drink to get drunk now, it’s lost it’s a appeal but a few of my friends do binge drink and it has changed sadly how much time I spend with them. But each to their own.
    Enjoy 1 or 2 cups of coffee in morning max, if I had one after lunch it would badly affect my sleep which I enjoy too much!
    Love your Instagram btw!

  4. It's so good to read this! I drink 3 or 4 times a year on special occasions and even then only one glass of wine and my husband doesn't touch it at all. He was a bar manager for many years and I had a drink spiked while working in France as a late teen.
    I also don't drink tea or coffee - can't stand the stuff. I drink hot water most of the time - my colleagues think it's weird but who cares. I do have a herbal sleep tea some evenings and like to share a pot of peppermint tea with hubs after a meal out.
    Like you I don't like to drink my calories, I'd rather save them for sweet treats!
    I was heartened to hear that the current student generation are changing their drinking habits - it's got to be a good thing.

  5. this has really resonated with me .. me and my husband are trying to keep of the booze for the next few months .. just fed up of feeling hungover and guilty after big night outs .. or hitting the booze just because we are stressed ! So, 3 days in and I'm feeling nervous about all the parties coming up .. but I'm inspired by this and really want to prove to myself that I can do it !


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