A note on sober nights out

A note on sober nights out
pint of diet coke

Just as a little caveat from the start, no, I am absolutely not pregnant. As y’know, the moment you say you’re not drinking without any ‘valid’ reason, that seems to be the first assumption.

Not drinking without any ‘real’ reason seems to really unnerve people. I’ve been that person that even as a student has had nights out which are a night off from booze, and the moment people realise, it seems to throw them off. Why would I be here if it wasn’t to drink? What will I drink instead? But WHY am I not drinking? The list goes on.

I will happily hold my hands up and say that sometimes I just don’t fancy it. There’s no big, underlying reason, I’m not driving, I’m not on antibiotics, I’m not struggling with a hidden addiction, I’m not hiding an accidental pregnancy, I just don’t feel the need to drink. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some of the best nights whilst necking jagerbombs at 3am, but I’ve also had some fantastic nights sipping a diet coke too.

Trust me, if you’re that person who is a bit of a dick about someone sticking to soft drinks and tries to peer pressure them into having a pint, why not take it as a compliment that someone is going out of their way to spend time with you and doesn’t need to be impaired by alcohol to enjoy your company?

When I go out and don’t drink, it’s usually because I’m struggling a bit with my mental health that week. For me, it’s about not losing control and I know that two drinks in, I will stop giving a shit about my bank balance, what I eat, how much sleep I get and how I’ll feel the next day. If you’re already feeling a little on edge or like you could be easily thrown off balance, drinking can be a minefield of disasters waiting to happen. But sober? I’ll have one or two soft drinks, head home and cook my tea at a reasonable time and won’t wake up with a hangover. And not only that, but there’s no bigger sense of achievement than knowing you haven’t given in to temptation.

With the right people, sober nights are fun. If you know that you’re with people who can look after themselves and don’t need parenting when they’ve had one too many, it’s honestly fine. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend going out with the kind of dickheads who start fights/drink until they can’t walk/have a tendency to cry hysterically over nothing in the toilets, as they’re not exactly a delight to be around. But the people who have a few, get a bit giddy and have a laugh? They’re a hoot and the best kind of friends to have.

In the run up to Christmas, nights out will be in full swing with trips to the German Christmas Markets, festive drinks, after work drinks, Christmas parties, going to the pub on a Wednesday as what else is there to do in November, I could go on. But taking a few nights off will not only save you some serious dollar when there are Christmas presents and party outfits to buy, but will give your liver a break that it will almost certainly need.

Worried about staying sober on a night out as you think you’ll get grief? Whilst I’m not usually one to recommend justifying yourself to anyone, here are some responses for when you’re asked why you’re not drinking, whether they’re true or not:

1. I’m driving tonight/later/tomorrow
2. I’ve got shit to do tomorrow and don’t want a hangover
3. [Holding up a glass] It’s vodka and diet coke/lemonade
4. I'm trying to lose weight and trust me you don't want to       witness the meltdown I will have pre-Christmas do if I don't
5.  I’m not drinking tonight
6.  I just don’t fancy it
7.  Fuck off

Are you a fan of the sober night out? Let me know in the comments.

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