In my neck of the woods, 18 is the legal drinking age. I started much younger. It really seemed like the thing to do at the time. Coming towards the end of middle school I had too much newly found maturity and not much responsibility. I remember thinking that drinking would make me more like an adult. After those first few failed attempts at maturing through intoxication I held back, but it wasn’t for long. Not wanting to be “that guy” at the party, I tried to monitor how much I drank.
The only person less responsible than a teenager, is a drunk teenager. I monitored myself having 2 casual beverages. That was enough to loosen me to the idea of shots. The rest is messy history. It didn’t end well, and yet I always thought it would be different the next time.
Eventually the “next time” came. I was able to pull off “a few” drinks and it was fun. The downside is that when you WANT to get wasted, it takes a few more than it did when you were a lightweight. It gets more expensive, and harder on your body. This zone is where I was living for a large part of my 20s.
I’d drink 1-3 beers a night during the week, and then on the weekends I’d be shocked at how much beer I was able to drink. Because I was spending so much time tipsy, I also never knew how drunk I really was. I’d think I was on the charming side of tipsy, and minutes later be asked to leave. These were the moments when I started to think I had a problem,
When I first tried Sober October I really didn’t think it would have a big impact on me. I remember thinking that it would prove I didn’t have a problem. Making it 31 days without alcohol proved I could stop any time I wanted.
It also proved how dependent on alcohol I was. It proved that my body would ache, and my brain would revolt without alcohol. It proved I was strong enough, but I wasn’t ready. It proved I had a problem.
Finally confronting that problem came later. It took time and effort. I hope at this point in the journey you are enjoying your time away from alcohol, and that you can envision a life free of its influence. Even if that future is a few more Octobers away.
Want to read more about sobriety and other stop drinking solutions?