You don’t drink alcohol? You’re no fun!
You don’t drink alcohol? You’re no fun!
Recently I was with a group of people and the comment was made that “you’re no fun” because I had not been heavily involved in smoking tobacco, taking illegal drugs or drinking alcohol.
Although the 'you're no fun' was delivered as a joke, I felt the pressure of not going along with these common social activities.
I came from a family where both of my parents rarely drank alcohol and never smoked cigarettes. My first experience of smoking was while on holidays in Queensland as a fifteen-year-old; my cousin and I smoked a cigarette. 'Yuk! How horrible!' I thought as I coughed and spluttered. That was my last cigarette.
As a sixteen-year-old I felt I was grown up when I bought a large brown glass bottle of beer and drank it with a few teenager friends. I ignored how horrible the beer tasted because the drinking of beer was like a rite of passage and based on my understanding of social standards, I was now an adult because I was drinking beer.
My adult drinking
Shortly after I received my driver's licence at 18, I went out to a party and drank alcohol. I remember waking up in the morning and not being able to remember driving home. This shocked me into not drinking alcohol for years and to never drink and drive again.
For my 21st birthday I had a party with about thirty friends at my home. I drank alcohol that night and at 2 am when my mother said I needed to clean up the house before I went to bed, I felt how hard cleaning up was after I had drunk so much. Once again, I stopped drinking alcohol.
Throughout my twenties, drinking alcohol seemed to be the ‘done’ thing and anybody who did not drink it was ridiculed as a teetotaller and not cool. In my mid-twenties I started riding motorcycles and thankfully I had a friend who insisted on not drinking any alcohol before riding. This became my reason for not drinking, which seemed an acceptable social excuse.
That is, until my late twenties when I started drinking alcohol regularly every Thursday night with a group of work friends. I drank rum and coke because the sweetness of the coke masked the taste of the rum. I drank to fit in because I thought it was great spending regular time with a group of friends. On reflection we just sat around a table and said the same things and laughed at the same jokes and then felt sick and tired the next day at work. Not really much fun at all.
One night when I was thirty, I was at a party and a woman I was having a conversation with passed out and collapsed right in front of me. I was shocked. Because I was drinking too, I had not noticed how drunk she was. This incident stopped me drinking alcohol forever. For the next year I went to parties and did not drink any alcohol, though I always walked around with a glass of water to avoid being constantly offered a drink. Eventually I stopped going to parties and spending time with this group of people.
My last drink
Over the last thirty years, I have only drunk alcohol on one occasion. I was at a wedding and accepted a glass of champagne thinking that it was harmless and the right thing to do to toast the bride and groom. I took one sip and it tasted disgusting and I decided ‘never again’.
I am now happy and comfortable with not drinking alcohol and I am so clear in my choice that I do not feel any pressure to ever drink alcohol again.
In my experience, when a person drinks alcohol or takes other drugs they can laugh and seemingly enjoy themselves, but I feel these substances disconnect them from who they truly are and therefore I am not able to make a true connection with them. This separation is no fun to me.
What is fun?
So, what is fun for me? As a child and teenager I lived in a street adjacent to a large park. All the local kids of all ages would gather and play games where everyone was included and nobody tried to be superior by being better than anyone else. Everyone was equal regardless of age, gender or physical ability. This was fun.
Now as an adult I enjoy spending time with one or more people harmoniously, either having a genuine conversation, preparing a meal together, working in the garden together or being involved in an activity that brings members of a community together where there is no need for alcohol or drugs to be consumed. This is what I call fun.
I have attended Universal Medicine events presented by Serge Benhayon and read books written by Serge where alcohol and drugs have been discussed. These discussions have done two things: one, to reinforce my decision to not drink alcohol or take mind-altering drugs and two, to have more understanding of why people drink alcohol and take drugs.
We may drink alcohol because the sugar in it can give us a short burst of energy, helping to counter our underlying exhaustion. And alcohol numbs the nervous system, resulting in a numbing of our physical, mental and emotional pain. Alcohol can be used to help us fit in socially, helping to overcome shyness and awkwardness and to release and relieve our stress and tension. I understand why people would want to drink alcohol for all these reasons.
Mind-altering drugs can take us away from being present in our bodies and help us to escape from the reality of the world around us. We are very sensitive to our environment and feel the disharmony around us acutely. This disharmony is very unsettling in our bodies and the chemical high, the disassociation from our bodies, the images and/or the spiritual insights experienced when under the influence of mind-altering drugs can make them seem attractive. I understand why people would want to take mind-altering and pain-relieving drugs too.
Serge’s presentations have helped me understand how taking alcohol and drugs can become important ingredients in the lives of many, and they have also reinforced and confirmed for me all that I have experienced in my life – that they truly are ‘no fun’ and ‘no thank you’.