LIFE: GOING IT SOBER
If you've read any of my posts about my mental health before then you'd have probably seen me mention the fact that I'm on medication for my anxiety and depression and I have been on them pretty much since I turned 16 (I'm currently in the process of coming off of the strongest tablet that I'm taking - I may write a post about my experience in coming off of medication if its something that anyone would be interested in reading), for the first few years of being on medication I continued to drink as I normally would have, I didn't drink all that often but when I did drink I had a tenancy to go way overboard, most nights ended in me polishing off a bottle of Jägermeister or Glens Vodka and waking up feeling like Satan just shat me out. I've always had a really strange relationship with alcohol, I hate being around people who are drinking unless I'm drunk myself, from a fairly young age I was subjected to seeing how alcohol can change people - not necessarily in a negative way, but I hated seeing people not being the person who I was used to them being, whether that meant them being louder than normal, angrier than normal or more irritating that normal, I didn't like it, yet as I got older I was able to put that to the side but only when it came to myself.
It was around 3 years ago when I went through a little phase of drinking quite a lot - not frequently enough for it to be considered a real problem but enough that I found it was effecting my relationship with my friends and my boyfriend, and my relationship with myself. I didn't know my limits and I would end up waking up in the morning feeling like I'd made a complete tit of myself or that I'd done something stupid. I'm not sure if I started subconsciously associating that feeling of regret with drinking or if my medication was finally being effected by the amount i was drinking, but I eventually got to the point where I couldn't have one drink without feeling like I had done something that I should feel bad for, even if I could remember every second of the night before I would wake up with an intense feeling that I had done something wrong. I quickly got to a stage where I decided that drinking wasn't worth how shit it was making me feel, the few hours of feeling confident and like I was the funniest person in the world wasn't worth the days of regret that followed, I felt as if I was undoing any progress that my medication was helping me make with my mental health.
My opinion on alcohol hasn't really changed much since I was a child, its just that for a while I discovered that I don't mind being around drunk people if I'm absolutely steaming myself. I was concerned that the decision to stop would effect my social life massively but if anything, I think that my social life has never been better. I go out and do things that I enjoy, I don't force myself to enjoy things anymore, I still go to festivals, I still go to gigs, I still smother myself in glitter and dance around a field, I just do it sober and I enjoy myself more that way.
I have had a lot of people over the last three years who question why I don't drink, I find that some people care more about my choice to stop drinking than I do. Alcohol has such a huge social association that I have found that a lot of people in my life have found it hard to accept that it is perfectly fine and possible for someone to enjoy themselves without drinking, but as I said, I've had some of the best memories and experiences of my life since I stopped drinking. I wanted to write this post as both a help to anyone who is in the same position I was in three years ago, and also as a help to myself, a reminder that sometimes I do need to bite the bullet and make a change in my life no matter how scary that may seem. I don't by any means want this post to come across that I'm slating people who do drink, you do you and I'll continue doing me.
Thanks for reading X