Sophie Guidolin and Nathan Wallace selfie

Alcohol in Australian society

I did a snapchat on the topic of alcohol abuse earlier in the week. I didn’t expect the surprising amount of people to email and message thanking me for it. It really hit home for so many people and resonated with a lot of Australians. This is my take on alcohol in Australian society.  Whilst alcohol binging and abuse in Australian culture is very common, it is NOT normal. In Australian culture, a beer or glass of wine with dinner (7 days) is a totally acceptable drink of choice. In fact, getting drunk every weekend is not unheard of. Particularly those within the 18-25 age bracket.

For a while there, even I believed and accepted that this was normal behaviour. I believed it was a very common way to live your life.

Whilst the next morning tends to be a blur and your head is thumping. I often wonder if people actually listen to the fact that millions of brain cells are telling you it is not the best way to live. When I first met Nathan, he told me flat out: ‘I don’t drink’ (instant love right there ;)) After having people in my life previously who completely change when effected by alcohol, I just love this about him. Watching a TV show recently, it showed a man so incredibly drunk that he went out and got a tattoo that he did not even remember getting. This appeared to be socially accepted.

This isn’t okay. (in my opinion)

Getting drunk to a point where you do not even remember your actions is downright scary- for your loved ones, yourself and for strangers. Having these people in your life can be toxic, not knowing what they could potentially do on a ‘night out’ if they infact do not even remember is scary. I often get emails from women who ask how they stop feeling the sense of peer pressure with saying no to drinking. If you are upfront and stick to your beliefs, people will respect your choices. If you change your mind every week after you have a mad hangover, then of course people are not going to believe you when you say you aren’t drinking. Do I personally drink? Not anymore. Why you might ask? Well, for starters I am a lightweight- I have 2 drinks and I am drunk, I get a headache and I want to sleep. It doesn’t even sound fun! Haha but in all seriousness, with 4 kids, a business and a hectic life I don’t see that alcohol plays a positive role in my life. I don’t enjoy the taste- or the feeling so why would I? When I ask Nathan why he doesn’t, his response is similar; “It doesn’t get me closer to my goals, and it tastes like poo.” :/ haha

I like to live my life in balance, however I haven’t drunk alcohol in years and don’t plan on anytime soon.

However, if you are someone who does like the taste of wine (I grew up with parents who own a winery- so no judgement on the glass of Grenache ;)) Remember that life is about balance, not writing yourself off until you don’t remember who you are or your actions.
  • If you have a friend who doesn’t drink, support their decision.
  • And if you're the non-drinker, do what you say, back yourself and be firm.
  • If you’re single and looking for love and find someone who completely changes when they drink alcohol. Dob't justify it. Don’t settle.
You DO deserve every bit of perfection. I can promise you that there IS a man out there that is YOUR idea of perfection. I remember when I was doing my own thing, I had a chat to a friend who told me my expectations of a man were too high. She told me that no one would ever be able to reach the standard that I had set in my head. I still remember this like it was yesterday. I often ponder on this conversation and wonder if it helped shaped the decisions that I made in the years to follow. I thought to myself, that if in fact no one could reach these expectations, then I truly would rather be single.

When I met Nath, heck- even now. Years on, a marriage and two more kids added to the mix, I truly believe he was my ‘it’. My version of ‘perfect’.

We have had our ups and downs, but he has taught me to love myself. He has taught me to love my beliefs and to be true to what I stand for. Even if that means (it often does) that I am standing alone. With him behind me in the corner shaking his head haha. When I think back to the expectations I had set, they weren’t unrealistic at all. But the Australian society of expectations that had become acceptable were clouding the judgment of that. I know that not everyone is going to agree with my personal beliefs on alcohol. Having first hand experience watching people change with effects of alcohol, I believe that it is one of the most underrated drugs. It does have a damaging effect on not only the drinker and their body, but to those around them too.   Whatever you choose to do in life, do it because it makes you a better person.

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