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When Does Drinking Alcohol Become a Problem?

Between 17 years old and 24 years old, I drank excessively. Caring how others viewed me was none of my concern. Feeling bad about the decisions I made, wasn’t important. It didn’t matter who I was with or whether I trusted them. Eventually, it was too much.

Not all of the experiences were bad. But, I would drink to the point of not knowing who I was with in the moment. And I didn’t care. I’ve peed my pants in front of a group of people. I’ve fallen over. I’ve been aggressive. I’ve called out of work. I’ve lied about being sick (because I was hungover). I’ve peed in parking lots. I’ve thrown up in parking lots. One time, my own mother told me she could smell the alcohol coming out of my pores.

This went on for years. It wasn’t until I moved to Florida in 2015, that I quit drinking. And it took yet another bad experience for this to even happen. I went out with some family and my husband (boyfriend at the time). I drank heavily. The family members with me that night hated who I was when I drank. It was obvious they were annoyed with me. They made fun of me. Laughed at me. Rolled their eyes at me. It was well deserved. I was aggressive. I was dumb. I was careless and completely out of control. That night broke me. That night, in a fit of tears and anger I told my husband I hated me too. I told him why I drank the way I did. I drank to feel numb. To not be myself. To escape. To feel absolutely nothing and not give a damn about anything. I was running from my emotions. I was running from my problems.

As a child, I was sexually abused, was bullied all throughout middle school and high school, and I made choices in my life that made my own family question how I would end up in life. And alcohol, if only for one night, let me escape everything! I didn’t think about my past. I didn’t think about the people I had hurt along the way. I didn’t think about being a disappointment to my family. I didn’t think about my future, or the next morning. I didn’t think. I didn’t feel. I was just there. It actually gave me a false sense of happiness.

Making the decision to not drink alcohol took a lot of courage. A lot of determination. Of course, I wanted to go out and drink with my friends on the weekend. At first I felt lame, boring, and un-fun. But, is it really any fun if I’m making a fool of myself and drinking for all of the wrong reasons? Hurting all the people around me. Nope. I wanted to change the way this world viewed me. I wanted people to take me seriously. I wanted to hold a good job and be a functioning member of society. I wanted to have healthy relationships with my family.

There was no sing into it for me. Head first, no alcohol. It took over a year, before I even had a beer. And I didn’t even finish it. You see, a few years after I quit drinking, I quit smoking as well. Seeing as how I could easily go through a pack a night when I drank, I was so paranoid to drink because I was worried I would spiral out of control and would want to smoke too.

Drinking alcohol has become a rare occasion for me. But, I love the person I have become. I am proud of her. I am in control of her. I know I have the power to say, “NO”. I don’t fear that people will judge me for not drinking. Because, if they care for me they will be understanding. I have the power to choose whether I want to drink socially or not. Most of the time, it’s not. And that’s okay! My advice for anybody who may think they have a problem is to think about why you drink the way you do. Or as much as you do. Is it pressure? Is it to have a false sense of happiness? Is it to feel numb? Or is it just to relax and have a good time. Drinking in moderation is fine. It’s the avoiding the issues in your life, putting others down, and making a complete jackass of yourself on a regular basis that is not okay.

Comment below and let me know if you have overcome your drinking problem. Or even if you drink heavily now and need support, or somebody to talk to as you try to heal, let me know. My goal here, is to help others through situations I have personally been through. It is not complaining, it’s venting. And you are entitled to do so!