I randomly had thoughts of my old partying days in college. Best years of my life, or some of. Funny how I was not into that lifestyle until my first semester and joining a sorority. Suddenly, men all over are flirting with me, nothing like high school, and it all seemed like a hunt for always something new. It became an obsession for the excitement, and always dating someone. For some reason , I thrived off of it, and live was always good as long as I had my friends, and that lifestyle. Overall, I think it was secretly an escape from mental illness; that I did not want to admit.
Along with it came way too much drinking and stupid decisions. I had no idea I was bipolar until a year after college, and looking back it makes perfect sense about the permiscutiy, heavy drinking, the crazy mood swings, getting drunk faster than everyone around me, acting the wildest, feeling like I was the most hyper out of the group, you get the picture. My therpaist and pyschiatrist always warned me that I should not drink due to taking meds and my OCD dx. I never listened. I tried to have the best of both worlds, but in essence, I only caused more depression and trouble. I am sure it was due to a lack of maturity as well. Friends and family were worried for me due to my wild nature, and it annoyed me that they were. I just wanted to be left along to be wild because it was the time to do that before I had to grow up after I graduated. It felt like nagging and everyone trying to be my parents. The more they did it, the more I rebelled.
I can laugh about this now, a few years ago, it hurt to think about this, the guilt of not being my own best friend to myself, not taking care of me, and letting myself down overall. Now, I laugh, because it feels good to laugh at your mistakes and know you have bettered yourself for many years now. You know that you will never go back to that. Somewhere in 2006 , I stopped drinking completely. Before that, when I graduated in 2003, I slowed it down considerably, but not completely. I realized, I was tired of the way my emotions felt out of control during drinking and during the hangover. Tired of the irregular sleeping habits and for anyone who is bipolar knows how important sleep is and not getting it causes much more problems. I got tired of feeling like I was acting immature with binge drinking, how it made me feel, how it looked to others, and knowing it really was not the real me.
For a couple years, I attended AA but had problems relating. A lot of the people there, had devastated their lives much more than I ever did from drinking plus it felt too religious to me, and as an atheist, that didn’t jibe with me. But, I kept going, I felt there was a problem. Sometimes after those two years, I stopped going and ended up stopping on my own. It was not hard to do, it was just this random thought of, “I don’t need this and it has gotten old and boring.” That was it. Not a defining epiphany of a moment, sort of like thinking you forgot the milk at the grocery store.
Nowadays in 2016, I just don’t hang out with heavy drinkers, or those social events that involve heavy drinking. I hang out with people who have similar interests and know they can have fun without the alcohol. I don’t mind if people drink around me, as long as it is not the main focus.
What did I learn from 1998 to 2016? I learned that I needed to try it all and do it all, get it out of my system, get burned, get back up, get burned again, and overall learned so much about myself. That is priceless.