Tales of a City Girl

Feel free to go alcohol free? Why more of us should

If you’re a Londoner who loves a bit of socialising (who doesn’t), alcohol is undeniably a factor – whether you want it to be or not. It’s kind of like Breaking Bad. One of those things that everyone is meant to be so into, that if you’re not, you feel you need to explain yourself. Even though an entire episode once centred around a fucking fly. Anyway, I’m veering off topic, and I haven’t even started. Here, my friends, is why alcohol free needs to become more of the norm.

This post is dedicated to Mary-Anne Murray; Jacqui Speers; Jade Johnson; Lucy Mitchell-Kennelly and Emily Curran, who requested it on Facebook. May your sober choices be lauded ladies, and may no person, sober or drunk, ever ask you if you’re pregnant by not drinking.

Going entirely alcohol-free on an evening out has, worriedly, become kind of unusual.

For me, whether it’s a glass of wine with my Mum over dinner or a full-blown night out with the girls, I can’t remember a time when alcohol wasn’t a short-hand code for relaxation and for revelry.

Alcohol, over the years, has been a great friend and a bloody awful nemesis. I’ve cemented friendships at the bottom of wine bottles and also ripped them apart. And you know what – I feel safe saying my story is not a rarity.

Of course, as with all these things, moderation is absolutely key. I get that before you wheel out that one.

But, I also think, there is a definite feeling that bypassing the booze entirely is an anomaly or something to be ‘talked out of’. That’s where my pet hate is. From half price alcohol in Happy Hour (but still full-price soft drinks), to well meaning friends who want to get you on the sauce, the sober life is hard – and I haven’t even really given it a proper go.

I can’t even lie, I’ve been one of those people on the sidelines trying to persuade someone to have ‘just one drink’  as well, although I would hope that I do this rarely enough now.

Because if anything, mate, we need more of these people. They’re going to be the ones ordering you an Uber after that Jager.

Plus, going alcohol free is notably healthier and kinder on your pocket. You can actually wake up in the morning and do stuff that doesn’t involve weeping into a toilet bowl. You have the sharpness and clarity to be confident you had a good night, all on your own accord and not because of the contents of your drinks glass. Aren’t those things we all want more of?

And for all you sober types –  if all else fails, get your pisshead mates to promise to do what they said they’d do when under the influence. That should help.