When I first came to university, I was a bit of a party animal. Not a crazy one.. But I did really enjoy going out, getting drunk and party the night away with friends.
I had never really been one to enjoy nights out before. In fact, before I came to uni, the furthest I had gone to get drunk was a small, local pub by my house. The city night life was a whole new experience for me, so I was enjoying it as much as I could with all of my new friends, considering town was right on my doorstep.
Half way through my first year, I hit a bad patch in life. I had become ill, but the cause of this was unknown. I would constantly be sick and have breathing problems, and it was getting severe. I had so many tests done at the hospital; including blood tests, MRI scans and an endoscopy, but all results came back negative. I was on medication for about 2-3 months, and going out partying became too much for me.
In my second year (when I was much better), I still didn’t drink alcohol a lot, but I would have enough to enjoy myself. In June, I got put on long term medication (which I am still on now), which meant I could not drink any alcohol, and still can’t.
At first, I was a little annoyed. I thought it would mean that all of my friends would go off and get drunk without me, and I would be left alone at the flat having to keep myself company. But I was wrong.
I went out, and I actually enjoyed myself. I could party the night away, yet keep myself safe too. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t last until 4am partying like all of my friends did – By 1.30am, I was ready for my bed. This didn’t bother me though. I was able to go out and have fun with everyone else.
The one thing that bugs me though, is people judging me. “How can you be out sober?!”, “Why aren’t you drinking? That’s no excuse!”, “For goodness sake, you’ve been on medication for ages. Just have one drink. It won’t hurt”.
People didn’t understand. They didn’t understand that it was dangerous for me to consume alcohol with my medication. They didn’t understand that this medication is what is keeping me going – Without it, I would be a mess.
There are so many assumptions that you need to get drunk in order to have a night out in town, but I have realised you don’t necessarily need to. I enjoy not getting so drunk that I forget what I did, or where I am. I enjoy waking up fresh without a hangover, whilst everyone else is feeling rough.
I even enjoy being “the mother” of the group when I go out. I don’t know why, but some of my friends like to go round tables, drinking random “free” drinks when they are drunk. I can’t even describe how angry this makes me. I have had my experience of being spiked, and I would never even wish that on my worst enemy. I almost died. Therefore, when I’m out, I seem to have this tendency to watch my friends and make sure their drinks are safe, and that they stay safe.
To be honest, I don’t go out very much at all anymore. The thought of a cosy night in watching DVD’s and reading appeals to me a lot more nowadays.. But when I do go out, I do have fun even though I’m sober.
Who else enjoys a night out without having to get drunk?