FRANCESCA

At 29 years old, I have been in and out of phases of my life where I didn’t drink for a year and half, to drinking every day, as much as half a bottle of wine being the norm.

I first became ‘sober’ when I was around 21 years old. During this time, I was going through a very heal-conscious stage of my life- even as far as going to the gym twice a day. When I say I was sober for a year and half, I mean I had a very sugary cocktail once every 3 or 4 months. At parties, I would bring soda water and limes to feel included. Other people would just assume you were.

There wasn’t any options on the market at the time for low and non-alcoholic. Had there been these options, I would’ve opted for the beautiful bottle, as opposed to bringing in the plastic 1L bottle of soda water and some red cups.

Recently I was at an international airport at duty-free, and my instinct was to purchase a bottle of champagne for a friend as a gift, however as I recall the friend was now a non-drinker, there were no other options and left empty-handed.

These days, as much as I hate to admit it, with age, I’ve come ‘handle’ drinking differently. Gone are the days where an order of McDonald’s would just make me bounce back. These days I’m left wondering why I feel not so fresh (not hungover!) after just having four drinks the night before.

I do think as people’s perceptions change towards non-drinkers, it will become socially more acceptable but it depends on the ‘reason’. Simply saying you don’t feel like it doesn’t seem to be enough.

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