My story with alcohol begins at an early age. When I was 13, I snuck a drink with one of my friends at a party. Then, I slowly drank little by little at friends houses (infrequently), until the age of about 16. By then, I was going to parties and getting absolutely blackout drunk every time. I don’t love telling these stories, but it’s important that you know this so that you can see the change from beginning to end.
I was undiagnosed, manic, and acting completely ridiculous every weekend of my high school career. I’ll spare you the photos of those weekends. I thought I was having fun at the time, but looking back, my drinking caused me to lose two important friendships, and even allowed guys to think they could take advantage of me because I was drunk. I was a disaster, but I had no idea.
Lots of kids binge drink before they settle down and realize their limits, but I took it to a level that, thank god, I don’t anymore.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 19, I was put on mood stabilizers. This meant that I was supposed to now only have two drinks or less on nights that I went out. But that wasn’t so realistic for me. So, throughout college, I continued to drink heavily to the point where I would fall asleep at the bar because my meds and alcohol were not supposed to mix.
Now, at the age of 22, I’m beginning to learn. I know that I have to do what’s best for me despite what might be going on around me. I think I’ll always be a party girl at heart, but I have to know how to dial it back. I’ve cut down to like 3 or 4 drinks on a night out, and sometimes I even stick to the 2 or less rule! But I definitely have some work to do. I don’t want to put that kind of strain on my body.
All I know is, now I’m much happier getting a Bloody Mary with brunch that getting wasted every weekend. I still go out all the time, but I’m living proof that it’s possible to go out without getting totally messed up. It’s still fun! Now I just want to dance, get dressed up, and be with friends.
It’s not as much about the alcohol anymore. I definitely still slip up, but knowing what it’s doing to my body and my mood makes it worth it to drink less. I’m confident that I’ll continue to improve my habits and that my mood will become even more stable in no time. All we can do is our best.
P.s. I know 3 or 4 drinks is too much for me. I’m just being honest about where I am in my journey to health. Please please PLEASE follow your doctors orders when it comes to drinking!