I feel kind of like Spongebob with the title of this blog post when he goes off shouting “I’m ugly and I’m proud” but of course I do have a point to writing this. Todays post was supposed to be a review of a restaurant in Bristol called Salt and Malt but due to unfortunately being too unwell to attend the lunch, I had to find a post to slot in place. I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while, wondering whether to post it. Since being in the blogging and chronic illness community I’ve realised I’m totally not alone in feeling this way though, so I’m feeling more confident in uploading this now.
There is so much pressure and so many people around saying your teens and twenties are the “best years of your life”. I completely get why, you’re sort of in the middle with a ton of potential and multiple unexplored and exciting paths at your feet. You’re young enough to get away with things but can also claim you’re not quite mature enough to know better because of lack of experience. Your responsibilities are most likely the lightest they’ll ever be. Although there is a lot of truth in it, I’ve always thought I’d be much happier and better off when I have more of a stable life, income and routine.
The worst part for me is that a lot of people seem to think you’re only enjoying your adolescence and taking advantage of it if you’re surrounded by loads of friends and partying all the time. I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. I don’t want to smoke, I don’t want to take drugs and as much as I enjoy the odd red wine, cocktail or night out with my friends, I’m not a big fan of alcohol either. Give me a bottle of Dr Pepper instead… Just to make it clear, I’m not bashing people that have or want any part of this lifestyle at all.
I’m not going to lie, it can be really hard being around so many people that enjoy these things or centre their lives around it. Regarding the alcohol, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to force myself to like it and enjoy the experience of it as my family do. Since I got diagnosed with my illness, I can’t really drink anyway so that kind of settled it for me. It does make you feel like a bit of an outsider and slightly isolated though because you feel like there’s something wrong with you and like you should be enjoying it.
I completely understand some alcohol tastes good and can be a huge relaxing crutch for some people. I personally think that can be quite unhealthy though (in both senses of the word) if it’s something you rely on and I don’t see any sort of attraction in getting intoxicated to the point of no easy return. I think alcohol is a huge trigger for my anxiety too – along with drugs as I’ve personally seen them cause a hell of a lot more harm than good. I just really dislike how much alcohol changes so many people too. I try not to let it but if i’m being honest, being the only sober one can get really old and lonely sometimes.
I personally enjoy a much calmer life and that’s okay too. It doesn’t mean I’m not living my life to its full potential or enjoying it. It doesn’t mean I don’t let my hair down every once in a while, it doesn’t mean I don’t have friends and it doesn’t mean I will regret it looking back. So what if I want to get a good nights sleep and be productive with the day time? So what if I don’t constantly want to fill my body with substances or spend loads of money on something to forget rather than remember? There are plenty of interesting things about me and I am bubbly and friendly enough to hold my own without needing to drink to accentuate my personality – and I’m proud of that. It doesn’t make me boring.
I also don’t need an excuse other than “I don’t want to” to not have a drink. I am honestly very grateful for the offer as sometimes I do like a tipple or two. But please don’t hit me with “don’t be boring” or “go on, you know you want to” if I politely decline that offer. Alcohol causes a lot of harm to a normal functioning body so I can’t even imagine what it does to mine.
You know what I do like? Singing, books, blogging, puzzles, beauty, walking my dog, tattoos, photography, travelling, food, fashion, music, organisation and the list goes on. That is what I’m going to look back and remember about myself in 10, 20, 30 etc years. Things like how god damn hard I worked on my hobbies, raising money for charity, my bond with my little Nacho. There are a lot of interesting and fun things about me so if you can’t find something out of that list to talk to me about, then without sounding super rude, you must be the problem!
I am NOT boring and I love it.