Twenty-two year old Jana hasn’t had a drink in several years and according to her
words, she doesn’t miss it. Despite that, she still meets people that don’t understand
her, people that consider alcohol a completely normal part of their life.
You did drink before. What happened?
Yes, it used to be like that. I come from Moravia so I could almost say I know wine
and Slivovice (Plum brandy) from my childhood. When I was 16 and everyone
around me was drinking I thought I might give it a shot. I didn’t find anything I liked,
which might have been a good thing. Just like with any other food: If you don’t like it,
you don’t eat it. I also have bad experiences with alcohol.
Inebriated people act differently than usual, everyone knows that. Unfortunately, I
have many bad experiences with drunk people, who don’t exactly act nicely.
Suddenly they blame you for things, are aggressive and attack you, just to not
remember any of it tomorrow. Just to leave the emotional scars to the sober one.
Unfortunately, I came very close to this sort of thing when my ex-boyfriend hit me.
Naturally, the closer someone is to you, the more he knows you, the more he can
abuse you when drinking. Compared to someone random somewhere at a bus stop.
Have you encountered any negative responses are people okay with you not
Being an abstinent is not completely usual. If one is not excused by medical reasons
or something such as pregnancy, society tells us, there are no reasons not to drink.
When I say that I don’t want beer, that I won’t have any of the wine and that they can
keep the Vodka for themselves, people usually wonder. I hear: ,,You’re an
abstinent? Like seriously? Why?” very often. I encounter these typical question quite
commonly. After I tell them I don’t like alcohol, many people try to list things I haven’t
just tried yet and things that I would absolutely love. I answer that I know most of
those drinks and that they won’t convince me, I get labeled boring and weird. I don’t
like when people force others into things.
How do you solve social events such as toats at celebrations?
I just don’t drink. I will have water, juice or some other non-alcoholic drink. It strikes
me when it’s someone’s birthday and they have the need to get me to drink. ,,Come
on, it’s my birthday, have a drink.” I wouldn’t dare to say: ,,Hey, it’s my birthday, so
eat this steak.” to a vegetarian. I find it rude and intolerant. I don’t tell others not to
drink, they shouldn’t force their view upon me either.