I had my first drink when I was 19, old compared to most, and I didn’t like it or drink much until I actually turned 21. In the last 5 years I’ve had my share of “never again” nights followed by a period during which I would claim to be “drying out.”
I’ve been trying to dry out for the past few weeks because of a weekend of “never agains” timed closely to a realization that I don’t have the healthiest relationship with alcohol.
A few weeks ago I offhandedly told a new friend my “family secret.” My mom drinks a lot. My sister too really. I usually laugh it off, but it’s something that’s bothered me for a while. But those are their stories to tell and this is about me. The point is that after I told him that, I started noticing how I behave around alcohol and I wasn’t very happy with myself (showing up to my 10K hungover/drunk would be a shining example of that).
A recent stroll down memory lane in the form of Facebook pictures, makes it look like I’m rarely without a drink (sometimes two!) in hand. Granted, the cameras usually come out during get-togethers and get-togethers with 20-somethings almost always involve alcohol, but it wouldn’t be horrible if sometimes I just paused.
Sometimes I drink when I’m upset. I drink when I’m nervous. I often drink when I’m feeling shy or uncomfortable…good, old social lubricant. I drink because it’s cool and expected. I don’t drink daily, but lately when I do drink, it’s becoming too much. I’m pretty small so often it affects me more than I expect it to. I wake up the next day with patchy memories and I hate that.
I’m not sure what makes an alcoholic and growing up bothered by my mom and sister’s issues, I never expected that I would even consider using that term for myself, but I just want to be honest. And I’m kind of hoping that if I admit that I might have a problem, my family might look more closely at themselves as well.