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