This is a question from James Carmichael on YouTube.
Quitting Drinking and Going to Bars and Clubs (Transcript)
First of all, I was never really into going to clubs, so I can’t really answer that part of the question. I presume that it’s similar, much the same as going to bars.
I can only really talk about my own experience; I think everyone is going to be different.
I think it’s a difficult thing to do for a number of reasons. My biggest reason was I just found it boring. I found everything that was going on around me boring. The whole reason I was there in the first place was to drink. Take that out of the equation… it just didn’t work for me at all.
The Odd One Out
The thing about drinking is you’re generally going to be mixing with people who are doing the same thing. You’re mixing with drinkers. That tends to be your one bonding element, the one common element that binds everyone together. I think when you take that out of the mix, there’s a certain element of distrust there. People don’t like it when, all of a sudden… this thing that everyone does, everyone goes in [to the pub] and has their few pints at the end of the day, all of sudden you’re there and you’re not drinking anymore.
I found people were looking at me differently, they tried not to treat me differently, but it was obviously going to happen. If you think about it, when you go in and you have a few pints, you need the first two or three pints to relax and chill out and just get into the whole roll of the thing. You need to get away from your day job, into the relaxed mode. And then you start to let down your guard, you start to laugh and joke, you start to just act the fool etc.
When you’re drinking water, you don’t get any of that. You stay at the beginning. You don’t go beyond that level. You might start relaxing; I never did though… because you’re not getting the one thing that you were always in the bar for. So your brain is always missing this one thing.
Our group of friends used to always get into the round. I’d buy a round of drinks, and then it would go to the next person, and the next person. When you’re not drinking, it’s nearly impossible to do that. Or it’s very expensive. Because you’re drinking maybe a diet coke, or whatever it is you’re drinking, I was drinking water. By the time they’d finished their first pint, I’d only be half way through my first water. Unless I was thirsty so the first one would go down quickly, but then the next one…
It’s very difficult to drink the same volume of liquid when it’s not alcohol. It’s the biggest marketing trick ever, to convince people that their thirst is being cured by alcohol. It doesn’t cure you thirst at all. It makes you thirstier. The more you drink, the more you want. And you’ll keep going until you’re heading is spinning or you’ve run out of money. It never cures your thirst. But your thirst is being cured by the water.
The round doesn’t work [for the non-alcohol drinker]. Then eventually you’re just left out of the round. And it’s another way that you’re left out of the group.
I never really went to bars anyway after I left Ireland. For the last year that I was drinking, I was only drinking when I was going out with my family, on social occasions, that kind of thing, or obviously with a meal. The most of my drinking was being done at home. It’s so cheap to get wine over here, or beer from the supermarket, dirt cheap…
For me, would I still do it, no! I wouldn’t go near pubs. I’d go into a pub to have a meal. I’d have no problem with that, even with people drinking around me. I’m doing something. I go into a pub now to watch a match. Again, I’m actually doing something. I’m focusing, there’s a reason to go there. But to actually go to a pub and sit with all your mates while they’re drinking and you’re not, I think it’s just too much. You get left out. You get the piss taken out of you, which is no problem. But, you’re isolated; you become more and more isolated from the group. People [the drinkers] don’t want you around. They don’t want somebody sober there. Not in my experience anyway!
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Onwards and Upwards!