You would think that as I’ve gotten older, I would learn how to have fun without drinking alcohol. I would settle down, find some things that interest me, and maybe learn to just have a drink or two with friends rather than getting totally wasted every single time. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.
I didn’t drink as a teenager.
I didn’t have my first drink until I turned 21—yes, seriously—so it’s not like I developed a pattern when I was young that I can’t break or anything. But for some reason, once I did start drinking, I was hooked. I’m not an alcoholic or anything—I don’t drink every day or even every weekend. I’ve never had any legal problems related to alcohol and no one has ever told me I have a problem. I’m also responsible about it; I always, always take an Uber home! It’s just that if I’m in a social situation and I want to have a good time, I can’t seem to stop myself from boozing it up. Long islands, anyone?
I have other hobbies.
I swear I do! I enjoy playing cards, going to movies, and I like going to the gym. I do yoga once a week with some friends and I try to go hiking and camping several times in the summer. However, if you ask me if I want a glass of wine afterward, I’m probably always going to say yes. (Or, let’s face it, if you ask me if I want a glass of wine during my hobbies, I’m probably going to say yes too!)
It makes me feel better than anything else can.
Typing that out makes me sound kind of like I am an alcoholic, but I can’t think of anything else that makes me feel as good as alcohol does. Is that a sign that I have a problem? It’s not that I chase that high all the time because I really don’t. Still, if you give me a drink while I’m doing something, the thing I’m doing is going to be immensely more enjoyable than doing it without alcohol. Just being honest.
<y ex-boyfriend once made a joke that after I have one drink, I’m “normal.” Basically, as he put it, I function like the rest of the world when I have alcohol in my system. I laughed at the time but I think it might actually be true. My mind is running a million miles a minute all the time and I can’t ever shut it off. Drinking alcohol is the one thing that shuts off my constant stream of chatter in my head and allows me to relax and focus on the present. So in that way, it’s kind of like meditation, right?
Most of my friends drink too.
It’s extra hard to say no to alcohol when all your friends are drinking too. I think sometimes I convince myself that if someone else is doing it, it’s fine for me to do it as well. If my friends start doing shots, I’m never one to say no. Peer pressure is definitely still a thing as an adult, I guess!
What do people do other than drink?
I honestly don’t know. What do other adults do together for fun besides drink? It seems like every adult I know, whether they have kids or not, gets together and drinks. Even if they have a hobby like boating, fishing, board games, or whatever, it usually still revolves around alcohol. It loosens everyone up and helps them relax. Maybe that’s a sign that all of our lives are too stressful. See, it’s not my fault!
I drink with my family.
It’s not like my grandparents and I are going to the bar and getting trashed, but the best thing about the holidays is that you can have a few too many glasses of wine and even your great aunt doesn’t judge you. How else are you supposed to tolerate your creepy uncle or your great grandmother asking when you’re going to get married? I’ve never done it without a glass of Pinot!
For now, I’m going to keep drinking.
Until I find something that makes me enjoy my life just as much as a cold beer or a glass of good wine, I think I’ll keep imbibing. Bottoms up!
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