throughout the years i have evolved from drinking because it was a destructive behaviour, to drinking because it was new and exciting and all of my friends were doing it, to drinking because it was the social thing to do. and i think that's maybe where so many of us in north bay get stuck. it's really easy for alcohol to start playing an overly active role in one's social life. the question 'what are you doing this weekend?' seems to actually mean, 'where are you drinking on friday?' and 'where are you drinking on saturday?', in an effort to find the bar and the party and the theme and the crowd that best suits one's personal desires. and there is nothing wrong with that! most of us (especially by fourth year) spend our week working our ass off. most of us have jobs. everyone needs time to unwind.
as for me? getting wasted just isn't the answer anymore. getting wasted evolved again from a 'social activity' to a problem. i wasn't having fun because i didn't know where i was or that i existed anymore. if i did, i certainly didn't remember come morning. the people i love to spend time with are forgotten, and the people who i LOVE were getting hurt and shamed. one night of drinking meant sacrificing a perfectly good day to spend lying in bed, brutally hungover. days are meant for LIVING, and weekends provide the outlet to do this especially abundantly. drinking in excess only hinders this.
so i told myself i would moderate myself. i would bring fewer drinks to the pre-party and i would bring less money to the bar, and i would pay attention and things would change. but they didn't. it's so easy to lose that self control! i needed a further revision. no more hard liquor [with the exception of perhaps a cocktail with dinner at a restaurant or something similar]. no shots. no drinking games, power drinking or playing 'catch up'. beer in moderation. perhaps some wine from time to time. drink water. take breaks. alcohol should be secondary to the good night one is having...it shouldn't be the driving force. i believe that the ability to live in moderation is very important, and if you ask most people caught up in the party lifestyle, moderation is probably more challenging than nothing at all. but this is important to me. i will feel better about myself knowing that i can go out, have a few drinks, not get wasted and still have a really great, memorable night.
and i did it last night :)
i remember every, little thing. i didn't lose or break anything. i didn't fall down. i wasn't sick. i didn't shame myself to the point of tears. and i don't feel terrible right now.
i don't want to get drunk anymore. i realize that there are far, FAR more important things on the line. i have spent the past ten years on an ongoing quest for self-improvement, and it's never been easy, but i think it has been fruitful. i am far from being the person i want to be. in fact, sometimes it feels like i am working in reverse...but i need to keep faith in myself. this will probably be a quest that i spend a lifetime trying to complete, but i think it is so, so important to be aware. you need to be able to look at yourself and say 'hey, that's just not cool. work on that'. likewise, you need to be able to look at yourself and say 'you deserve a pat on the back. congratulations on being a beautiful person'. no one is perfect, and everyone could use with some self-improvement.
this is just one step for me.
for all that i am, i know one thing...i am driven. i am determined. i REFUSE to settle for less. i know what i want...and i go for it. nothing is stopping me now.