Before I start this post, I want to put a disclaimer out that I am in no way saying that I am/was an alcoholic or am I degrading anyone that genuinely suffers with any problems in relation to alcohol.
December 6th 2014.
I turned 18! Hooray! Finally an adult, and finally at the legal drinking age. I can finally go out to clubs and bars. What an amazing new world… or was it?
It was an interesting new experience. Going out with friends to clubs, having pre-drinks, getting drunk. It all seemed like so much fun. You seem like you are waiting your whole life to get to the legal drinking age, so you can have fun. But why is it that society make us seem that drinking alcohol or getting drunk is the definition of fun?
However for a couple of years, I did enjoy this… I think.
Then university happened.
Freshers fortnight. 2 weeks of constant nights out. You go out, party, go to sleep, wake up and prepare for the next night out.
Freshers fortnight… or freshers year? Because this seemed to be the reoccurring experience throughout the whole year. It seemed to be the only thing that happened in first year. Now, I did first year twice (I didn’t fail, I just changed courses), so that was 2 years straight of this same cycle. It became a habit. I needed to drink/go out to have fun. I would beg friends to go on a night out to get drunk. Why would I do this? Why couldn’t I be satisfied with a quiet night in? I led myself to believe that the only way to socialise and have fun was through drinking?
Now we edge to near the end of my third year at university (or second year on my current course) and I start realising how much I actually HATE drinking. What about it actually seems fun? You get to a state where you are not in control of yourself. You don’t know what you are doing. You can’t see. You wake up with an awful hangover, and on top of all this, you can’t even remember the night. Let’s not even mention the anxiety hangover (yes it’s an actual thing). What part of me thought that this was fun? Was it the confidence alcohol gave me? Did I not think I could be fun and confident without it? There’s huge chunks of my life that I can’t remember because I was drunk. Isn’t that just wasting my life? What’s the point of making memories if you can’t remember them?
“I like liquor, it’s tastes and it’s effects. And that is the reason why I never drink it.” -Thomas Jackson
I don’t know why I got to the state where I needed to be drunk. Was it the way society functions? If you think about it, pre-drinks are just the stage of the night where you aim to get yourself drunk. You play games that involve drinking a lot of alcohol, or even mixing drinks, and you call each other weak if they can’t handle their drink. Was it that I had to prove that I wasn’t boring?
Was I in that much of a bad mental state that I needed to be drunk to not feel anything? Was I abusing alcohol to numb my pain?
Was it the people I hung around with that made me believe that I needed to drink?
I don’t know what caused me to believe that I had to be drunk, but what I do know is that I completely HATE the idea of it.
So now, while I’m writing this post, what is my relationship with alcohol?
I can tell you, I haven’t cut out alcohol of my life. However, I have cut out being drunk. I refuse to drink enough that will get me to a point where I don’t feel in control of myself. If I start to feel drunk in the slightest, I will get extremely anxious, or even have a panic attack. I will feel like I can’t breathe or see and it becomes difficult to tell what are the side effects of alcohol and whats the symptoms of anxiety. This has even escalated in the sense that I can’t be around drunk people. If you are drunk and I can see that you are not in control of yourself, I will really start to panic.
When people ask me ‘Do you drink?’ my go to answer is ‘no.’ because it’s a lot easier to say no, than to explain that I will only have 1 or 2 drinks. Many social gatherings are based around drinks. How many times have you heard ‘Do you wanna go for drinks?’? A lot. So yes, I will go out for drinks, but I won’t get drunk.
My question to you guys, do you believe that alcohol is bad? Do you believe society should change its views on drinking?