Thursday, 3 November 2011

Staying Sober

A massive symptom of my Fibromyalgia is an intolerance to alcohol. Yes you heard it correct, I can not drink any amount of alcohol or I have a reaction very similar to food poisoning. As you can imagine at the age of 19 this is very annoying as in the UK the legal drinking age is 18 so all my friends are having a drink when were in the pub, out for a meal, on a night out or having just a girlie night in. 
I have never met or heard of anyone with FM having this symptom before, but my doctor has assured me it is from a chemical intolerance associated with FM and I have read bits on the internet that is can be common for FM sufferers to have this symptom. 

So please if any of you have this symptom let me know?!

But not all symptoms of Fibromyalgia are a negative because as annoying and frustrating it is not being able to drink alcohol and join in with everyone I wouldn't change it for the world.

My car is definitely the 'party bus' as I always do lifts as I'm always sober. I love being able to take my friends out on a night out save getting taxi's and I can just come home whenever I want. As I am so good at putting on a brave face and a shield as I like to call it, I am definitely not the type to need alcohol when I'm out. Most people don't even know I have an intolerance to alcohol and are very shocked to find out as they think I am drunk.

However, even though there is huge positives for me not drinking alcohol it's not always something I'm happy about. In the culture of Britain now it is seen as being extremely 'weird' and 'boring' to not drink alcohol and I find the easiest way of explaining to people who don't know I have FM is by telling them 'I am allergic to alcohol' even though that's not true. I do feel like I am missing out sometimes as I find it hard to socialise sometimes especially when my other symptoms are getting me down. I can't have a glass of rose wine with a meal when I am in a restaurant, I can't have a celebratory glass of champagne at Weddings, Birthdays and New Year and I can't have a cocktail on holiday lying in the sun. I do have to put my shield up sometimes and pretend that it doesn't bother me. Even though in the back of my mind I am yet again thinking of how my Fibromyalgia is holding me back from what everyone else my age is doing.

If I had a choice I would not go back to drinking alcohol even if I didn't have a reaction! Also a tip for anyone who do has this symptom, bar staff are normally very sympathetic and I have had 'mocktails' (non-alcoholic cocktails) made for me and free cokes given to me on nights out!

The idea behind this post is that I will always try and find the positive in something so negative.
There will always be a silver lining, it may just take a lot of searching through the cloud.
However I am still trying to find the positives in any of my other FM symptoms!


  1. I can't drink either, but I wouldn't say I'm "allergic." I do sometimes react differently to medications/chemicals than others would. It's just that alcohol intensifies my pain symptoms the next I rarely ever drink if all. But, cannabis helps relieve many of my symptoms and where I live I can get a doctor's recommendation to use it. So I don't know what the laws are there in the UK regarding cannabis but, IMHO it's way more fun than alcohol and you never get a hangover ;)

  2. ahh really, i never noticed an affect on my pain symptoms. i'd just be violently ill after having any amount of alcohol. as well if it comes in contact with my skin it's very itchy depending on what alcohol it is. i don't think we're missing out by not drinking, as long as you can have fun without it :)

    yes, i tried cannabis in amsterdam for that reason and it helped my symptoms a lot but the laws in the UK mean i wouldn't be able to get it off the doctor unfortunately :(