*stands up* Hi, my name is Tim, and I am teetotal.

Suicidal Zebra

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*stands up* Hi, my name is Tim, and I am teetotal.

*takes a deep breath*

So, I am 21, at University, and one of those rarest of species, a teetotal Student. I.e. (for those that do not know the term) I don't drink alcohol. In fact, I never really have, and friends express shock as I tell them I have never been drunk. I used to be proud of that fact, but much less so now. Almost everyone else that I know does drink, to a greater or lesser extent, which got me thinking 'why?'.

This is not the 'why do they drink?' why though, for those reasons are easy to see. It tastes nice, they enjoy it, and so on. So long as their drinking does not impact on me why should I give a monkeys?

This is the 'why don't I drink' why. So, lets start from the beginning:

I grew up in the South Wales Valleys, where young kids (>10) going out of an evening to 'go down the park and get pissed on cider' was the typical form of recreation. Many reasons for this, but they don't really matter in this discussion. My parents never really approved, and being a rather precious child I would never join the kids my age.

Yes, I would still lie about my alcohol consumption to seem 'normal', as did many in all likelihood, but apart from trying lager at 13 (and hating it) never touched the stuff until the day I moved to South East England (14). And to this day didn't regret not joining them. However, that decision may have resulted in a great deal of the bullying I did experience in the final year of my living in Wales. They came to believe (rightly as it turned out) that I was as straight-laced as they come.

When we moved to SE England I started playing Rugby with the local team. Now, as anyone who has played rugby will know, alcohol plays a very large part in 'team building', yet it was at that time that I decided to assert that I 'didn't drink'. The reasons that I gave, and still give to this day are...

1) I don't like the taste. Rather weak really, there are so many beverages out there that I haven't tried that I cannot really say this with any real knowledge.

2) My half-brother (whom my parents say I take after a lot) is a selt-loathing/depressed drunk (possibly prone to suicidal feelings), and my worry is that I will take after him. This is all very well, but there are many things that my bro has gone though that fate willing I will never have to, so that is not really much of an excuse.

Though I played for two years, and had a lot of fun doing so, I think that to a certain extent I didn't embrace it fully, and that resulted in my quitting the team. Not by any means because they wanted me out (in fact I was just starting to really find my feet and play well consistantly), but rather I just felt uncomfortable in social situations.

This extended when I went to Uni, when I had the perfect opportunity to just go out and give things a try. And yet, I still clutched onto my teetotal-ness like a shield.

So, I am wondering if I simply don't drink because it is the easy option not to. This is not to say that drinking alcohol per se is somehow 'harder'. Rather that it is very easy to draw a line in the sand from the outset by saying 'I don't drink' and having done it for so many years it is more difficult to let someone in. Saying No 100 times makes saying Yes once all the more difficult. And does this impact on my social life in more fundamental ways.

For many years I have said to myself and others that even when I don't drink I can have just as much fun at social gathering as others. I think it is more of the case that I am deluding myself into thinking that however, and by going out of my way to make it clear that I don't drink I put up a barrier that stops me from really enjoying myself.

It has also allowed me to find an easy way of refusing or escaping social situations, even with friends that know me well. I use it as a crutch for my introverted leanings, and because it is so easy to use I can use it to justify decisions without really looking at myself as really a problem. It is mayhap this more than anything else that has contributed to me being single for so long.

Many of my friends, and certainly my family, admire me for my abstinence believing I have have great willpower, mentioning 'peer pressure', and 'how big a part alcohol is in society', but I tend to think that they are foolish to do so. By letting my nature dominate my decision making in similar ways, I have denied myself a great number of experiences. Be they beneficial or not.

And so I have come to the conclusion that my attitude has been harmful rather than helpful. There are plenty of people that do drink and can control it, the vast majority in fact. And also it has lead to my intolerance of errors that people make. Errors that I could never make as I could never be in the same position. An intolerance not truely justified.

And to bring up another question, who is the better man: A man that has a habit and controls it, or one that never let himself be tempted into the habit, and has missed out on so much because of it.

So, what is the point of this rant I hear you ask? Well, it is two-fold. One is to hear your opinions (am I right, or is this just another delusion ;) ), especially the opinions of other teetotalers. The other is to ask if moral decisions should be treated as absolutes, or rather the decision making process should me made from a position of strength through knowledge and experience.

Thanks to all those that read and respond.

*sits down*

My apologies for the rather selfish way I wrote this :).


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Don't drink because "everyone's doing it". That's lame.

I've got several good friends who won't touch a drop. I myself love the sweet nectar. It's never really been a problem. Offer to be the DD, tell them you just don't drink cause you never got into it, hang out with mormons, but don't feel you have to drinl to be normal. I liked alcohol from the first time I tried it. Cigarettes I hated when I tried them. result? I drink and don't smoke. Smoking/dipping in the Army is every bit as big as drinking in college and it really isn't an issue to anyone but you, trust me.

Edit: and if you are an introvert sober you'll be an introvert drunk. if you have an issue with how you are then change yourself not your drinking habits.


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Most people drink to deal with their problems. I guess it comes as a release to them or something. If you don't have major problems, or don't enjoy it...there's no reason to drink. You should be proud of yourself.

Suicidal Zebra

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dantose said:
Don't drink because "everyone's doing it". That's lame.
No, of course not. However, maybe I should not knee-jerkingly say no just because that is what I do. Maybe, as you have done, I should experience things before getting on my high horse.

This for me is not about whether I should go out and get lashed every once in a while, but rather if because I am so uptight I don't enjoy some of the good that others that control their drinking do. It may not mean that I start drinking, but rather that I am relaxed around poeple that do and don't have a problem.

At this stage, change is pretty nigh impossible without more info. I need to understand why I do certain things to change, which is partially what this thread is about.


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I have yet to drink alcohol, and i have no plans to in the near future. Alcohol just seems like an easy way to get lost and not get back. And i have another addiction thats even stronger...caffiene (specifically Dr. Pepper) I believe that alcohol and drugs are just not what i want in my life, so i wont ever have them. You just need to ask yourself are you really missing out on much by not drinking...do you really wanna experience a hangover just for the experience?


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I think that anything, in moderation, is okay. Have a glass of wine with dinner when you're out with friends. That's not a big deal. But think about what happens to people when they are completely loaded. That's why I don't drink much.

Glacial Trail

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Well I'm 19 and I guess you could say I'm 100% teetotal (never heard that term before, is it American). Though I'm heading off to Uni this year, so should probably change.


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*Stands up and applauds Suicidal Zebra*

This is my last semester of college, and I have never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I completely understand what you're going through, as I've experienced it myself. It seems odd to be the one person in a room of 150 who isn't drunk. I've learned, though, that it matters not. I truly do have just as much fun as other people, without the aid of alcohol. There's nothing they experience that I don't, other than a few extra trips to the bathroom and a hangover. And the puking. And the alcohol induced fights. And the date ****. And the loss of motor skills. Ok, so there's nothing GOOD that I'm missing out on.

Don't take me to be an alcohol hater here though. My roommates and I throw parties, we get people drunk, and I help pay for it and distribute the alcohol. I have no problems with anyone who wants to drink. I have my own reasons for not drinking, but they're my own. I don't try to convince others not to drink.

The simple question you need answered is "do I WANT to drink?" You're not sure if you're just saying you have as much fun? Just decide if you are. If you're really set on it, get drunk one night and find out if you're missing out.

But forget about eveyone else. What they think is not the issue. Everyone I've told about my choice is surprised at first, but that's as far as it goes. They don't try to get me drunk, other than joking around. As "odd out" as you feel, people really are accepting to it.

Good luck man. Lemme know if you want to talk more. I've got a lot I can say on this topic.


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I've been quite smashed in my life, so I've experienced that side, and honestly I agree with Ev, you're not missing much. Many drink to escape, others to fit in, variety of reasons. I myself only drink maybe once every year or two, and then usually with my wife alone at home. This is usually on special ocassions, aniversary or such, and never drink socially. I dont have any less fun sober, even compared to times when I was wasted as a teen.

Drink if you want, but you're really not missing anything I can think of, besides maybe some problems you dont really need anyhow. Want that drunk feeling? Hold your breath and spin around until you fall down, just about the same. Dont let social pressures get to you, you're better off the way you are, I think. Being sober doesnt make you a 'nerd' or 'dork', it (in most instances) makes you the smartest person in the entire room


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Choogy said:
I have yet to drink alcohol, and i have no plans to in the near future. Alcohol just seems like an easy way to get lost and not get back. And i have another addiction thats even stronger...caffiene (specifically Dr. Pepper) I believe that alcohol and drugs are just not what i want in my life, so i wont ever have them. You just need to ask yourself are you really missing out on much by not drinking...do you really wanna experience a hangover just for the experience?
Why does everyone here seem to think that drinking 1 glass is going to get you completely drunk? If you drink in moderation there will be no hangover, no puking, no addiction and no loss of memory..

I do drink.. But this doesn't mean I am going to get myself completely drunk every weekend, this doesn't mean I try to escape my problems.. I just like some alcoholic beverages, so I drink them..

So you are wondering why you shouldn't drink? If you have some selfcontrol there is absolutely no reason not to drink. Don't drink if you have to drive, don't drink just to get drunk, drink because you enjoy the taste...



Your thread made me thirsty... :D

I think I'll go have a beer.

Oh wait, it's 4:20am... *sits back down*... I should wait another hour, at least. :)


I'm in 10th grade in high school and my school here is very alcohol-based. Seriously, not exagerating, 80% of the people go out to drink and about 50% of those get totally wasted. I myself don't touch alcohol, even my parents have asked me to try it now and then and I've always said no. I have tried various kinds before, the taste just never appealed. I don't feel like I'm restricted in some way at this point, maybe I am but i don't know.


I drink, although I've endeavored not to drink to the point of excess anymore, that is: I don't want to puke. So, I drink slowly and carefully--I'll "make love" to a gin and tonic for a full 20 minutes sometimes. It helps me keep control, and I am still participating in the group event.


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Believe it or not, but I have a friend who used to be in the EXACT same position (minus the rugby) and had the EXACT same attitude towards drink. He hadn´t had a drop up until about two years ago.. not out of some principle but because he "never got into it".

He finally came to the conclusion that maybe he shouldn´t just dismiss alcohol without even trying it. He had no real reason not to try it, so he did. He decided to try having a few beers at parties and joining a group of friends for a few drinks every once in a while. He said that he would give drinking an honest chance and try it out for a few months before deciding wether it was for him or not.

Now, two years later, he still drinks at parties and dinners and stuff and really likes it.

I think that the approach to alcohol that you two share is the best one there is. You´re both a lot better off for not having started when you were young. The younger you are when you start drinking the higher the risks are, for both abuse and for different damages to your body and mind.

If I was to give you any advice I would tell you to do what my friend did. Try giving up your teetotality for a month or two and see how it feels. If you discover that drinking really isn´t for you you can always stop it. Maybe you´ll like it and maybe you won´t. No way of knowing before you try.

About your second question... I think that moral absolutes are positive in some cases but not all. It´s hard to say something general about it since all moral decisions are highly personal but the way I treat it is, try to go by experience most of the time. Try stuff out and put yourself in the shoes of others. That combined with a few absolute principles can be a good middle ground to stick to. Some moral absolutes might be good but not for minor issues. I´m talking about not killing, not cheating in a relationship and such.


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Zelfmoordis, Steve and Dross said it best.

Not much I can add to what they said, but Ill try.
Myself, I drink at parties and such, but I never let myself get wasted. I can take the puking, hangovers (you dont have to get wasted to get one, damn) but what scares me is the loss of control. Im so afraid of doing stuff without knowing, or remembering them later.
Nonetheless, I drink, and quite alot. But I take care to not to drink too much.
I drink because I enjoy it, I enjoy the taste, and I enjoy the feeling that comes along with it.

Dont be afraid to try alchohol now. If you dont like it and go back to being a teetotal (never saw this word before), nothing's changed, but the fact you know more about yourself. I dont smoke and the best reason I can give for it is because I tried it, and didnt like it.


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Well, ironically, my name is also Tim, I'm also at uni and I don't drink.

Seriously though I don't drink for a couple of reasons. The primary one is that I just don't like it. I've tried both beer and wine (although not on any sort of regular basis) and found both to be disgusting. Cider is ok, but I can't say I'm particually fond of it. The other reason is that my grandfather drank himself to death, which was a rather object lesson in the dangers of drink.


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Meh, I don't drink either. In my opinion there's no reason to, even if I'm the only person left who doesn't :scared:

Kinda funny though, considering I'm :xirish: which for some reason bothers people.
Anakha1 said:
Your thread made me thirsty... :D

I think I'll go have a beer.

Oh wait, it's 4:20am... *sits back down*... I should wait another hour, at least. :)
Hey, it's 5:00pm, somewhere! :surprise:

NB :uhhuh: