This blogpost was triggered by this article: Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink
This December, I passed another milestone on my life journey and quit alcohol altogether.
I didn’t grow up in a culture that normalised drinking. But I did grow up in one that taught me to strategically become ‘Cool Girl’ as well as take the escapes where I found them.
In college this meant desexualising myself to the point of being mistaken for a boy several times, just so I would be taken seriously (after all, what’s a rough jolt on the back or crass language when you get heard?). When I hit the working world, mid 00s I realised if I didn’t please the male gaze, I wouldn’t just be silenced, I’d be decimated. And alongside lipstick and laughs came alcohol, heels and late nights.
I gave up vodka in 2007 itself, realising I did not like it while I was consuming it or what it did to my body later. I quit tequila after a nightmarish alcohol-poisoning incident in 2010 (curiously linked with trying to fit in with an abusive partner’s friends). I gave up wine subtly because I realised no one would listen to my saying it was an alcohol too and I didn’t like how it felt in my body. I gave up beer in 2016 following a summer where I forced myself to try it in a bid to be cool. And in December, I chased up a traumatic year of attacks and harassment with ‘rum with the girls’. I was sick for 2 weeks after that (though only initially because of the alcohol).
This year I’ve decided to firmly close the door on all alcohol. And I’ve taken the hits badly (but in a non intoxicated state). What a world you’ve consigned me to, when a toxic substance is the closest thing to a friend I have had.