My relationship with alcohol has been a short-lived one, born out of being in the social life really. It jumped high during college being introduced to that party scene. I really thrived off of the scene and couldn’t get enough of it , that it was insatiable. Three or four times a week, out partying, at whatever party with whatever group of people was perfect. I never craved it, never woke up feeling the need to drink, never thought about it on the hour, nothing like that. The alcohol consumption did bring on some hard-core partying with wild stories, and a lot of fun. Mind you, you can still have fun without it, but in my early twenties , I doubted it.
Once college ended, and I graduated; (Yes, I did graduate with a B average despite the heavy social life) the interest dropped dramatically. Sometimes I would drink, but today many years later, I am a strict non drinker. See, the whole time I drank, I was on a couple meds that dictate not to drink. My psychiatrist and therapist would always warn me but I had no interest in changing my lifestyle. So on I went, like a soldier in war, waging the battle against what I didn’t care to see but knew it was there. Always knowing the truth and logically what was right and wrong, I felt that I should have the freedom to do as I please and not be robbed of a party life. (In another post, I will elaborate the juicy stuff that results of drinking and the pitfalls of heavy drinking, not ready for that though).
Years ago , I decided to never drink again , on my own, and not from the help of any AA group. I did try AA thinking I might benefit and after going to many meetings, I could not relate to the group and the stories that come from it. For fear of thinking I might have a problem I went but their stories were nothing of mine, and especially the fact is I did not crave it or would have haunting dreams of alcohol as others would. Therefore, I stopped going. So, years and years ago, I just stopped. No particular rhyme or reason, just done. Why? Well, as a sufferer of PTSD, Bipolar 1, OCD, and ADD, being a drinker is like rolling the dice to see what you will get. Then put the meds your taking on top of it all that basically tell you not to drink on it, can be disaster. When drinking on these meds, your meds are basically defeated by the alcohol. The alcohol does one thing, and the meds do the other completely on the other end of the spectrum, and they just cancel each other out. Therefore, your progress with mental health goes nowhere, and you end up with more problems in the end. Not to mention it is dangerous to combine meds with alcohol. (Another post of these details).
The way a mental health sufferer is affected by alcohol is very unique compared to a neurotypical individual. Let’s call person X with basically neurotypical drinking five beers for instance. The variables of height and weight are subjective but let’s say they are 5’6 at the weight of 130. Then take person Y who is the same height and weight but is a mental health sufferer. Person X acts goofy, maybe funny, knows his whereabouts pretty good, maybe wobbly, but ok. Person Y, is another story. I am person Y if you cannot tell yet. Drinking five beers for me is like drinking a whole bottle of cheap vodka. The drunk stupor comes much faster and harder with a vengeance. By this time, I am trying to find a reason to tell someone off, beat up some girl for giving me a mean look that really could have not been anything at all but I just think she is a bitch. Only I see this by the way. Loud , belligerent, mad, ready to rock all night and mow anyone down in my way. My friends who are used to not knowing what they may get out of me when I drink, keep me in line and sometimes they really cannot and I will leave without them. Finding another group to hang out with , wandering to a new party, and crashing at a friend’s house. I could go from super happy to super mad in five minutes flat. That was no problem if I drank. Seriously I could write a very large thick book on the effects of alcohol on me specifically. The stories that came from it would be to the tune of Motley Crue and Guns N Roses. I am sure you get the idea of this.
I am the ever thrill seeker, loving excitement, seeking variety in daily life, and I cannot stand boring stuff. Those qualities come from my ADD and Bipolar as told to me by my psychiatrist. No wonder I cannot stand any type of office job where you primarily sit. I would rather be shot in the head and thrown off the ledge of a skyscraper. Where do I get my excitement from now? I travel, fish, kayak, hike, work out at the gym, practice nature photography for the perfect picture, concerts, and play my electric guitar with loud music for example. All that without alcohol. Do I miss it? NO. I do not miss the hangovers or the three days of recovery from one night and sometimes longer. Certainly do not miss the mood swings or cycling you get from bipolar of coming down from intoxication, that was a big negative and annoying to deal with. Not to mention the physical pitfalls of being hung over. Basically I was useless the day after or more. I still went to class, but it was hard. Also, when you have watched someone who you care for die of chronic alcoholism , it closes the book of even wanting to look at alcohol. Today, I have memories flood back from the smell of pure alcohol or if I see certain bottles at a restaurant. Detesting that smell, I stay away from bars as it is not my scene no longer.
My advice to anyone who might be like me, just say fuck it and leave the alcohol on the shelf. But, if you must, take your own path and find out for yourself. My path was taken , which was the only way I would learn.