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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why I Cringe at the Sight of the Good Ol’ Captain


During college, the most popular extracurricular activity is heavy drinking. You can pretty much never drink too much, and coming close to frat guy averages is nearly impossible. The more you drink, the more respected you are. The more often you drink, the more popular exposure you gain. It seems like a win-win situation for a lot of young people to engage in binge drinking at parties for the “cool factor” that comes with attending a wild rager. With stories to tell and cell phone photos to flaunt, anyone can appear more bold and interesting than they really are.

Like a large majority of high school students, I drank at parties to excess. I’ve puked in bushes, sinks, occasionally hitting the mark of a toilet, and have gone so far as to “puke and rally”, not wanting to quit after the first round of nausea. I’ve made a fool of myself, made “party friends”, fucked up relationships, lied to my loved ones and said “yes”, when the sober me would have politely declined. 

I did it all to feel like I was someone else. I had good friends, but socially, I was not at the status I longed for. Drinking made me part of a group of people I found interesting and funny, but I could never see the cracks in their façade as we all stumbled through an alcoholic daze.

Coming to this realization and gripping on to the last strings of reality helped me escape a world I could have easily fell victim to.  Freshman year of college, I saw a few of my good friends destroy themselves at the hands of drugs and alcohol. What they were running from, I could never understand, but I knew that was not the life I had planned for myself. I reasoned that I never enjoyed the taste of alcohol nor the feeling of a hangover, so I wouldn’t be missing much if I simply stopped drinking and took responsibility for my health and future.  

Easier said than done, I continued to drink, only on a much smaller scale, for the next two years. Leaving the University of San Francisco sparked a great relapse as I realized how much alcohol affected the social atmosphere here at Loyola Marymount University. Drunk and uncoordinated, I met the love of my life the first weekend of school, my boyfriend of a year and a half. Although this is one of the most positive things that have ever happened to me, I deeply regret the way in which we met. It is a story I will always feel ashamed to tell, certainly if we are married and have children.
Within our relationship I found great incentive to stay sober for the sake of mutual safety and respect for my partner. After a few incidents of neglectful behavior and drunken bickering, I called it quits. There is nothing more important to me than my personal relationships, and now I have more than enough motivation to give up the fantasy of my drunk alter ego and simply be myself.

Surely it has taken me quite a bit of time to come to this conclusion, but it truly the best for me at this time in my life. I go to school full time, work full time and hold a leadership position in a sorority. I don’t have the time or the energy to get wasted every weekend and deal with the hangovers that will inevitably come.

If self-awareness does not stir a response to my story, think about the physical facts:

Alcohol is a toxin that our bodies tolerate and toil to process and eject.

Long-term alcohol abuse can produce devastating neurological damage.

The negative effects of alcohol reach far beyond our own back door.
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

For more info on cutting out alcohol from your weekly or daily routine, check out this UK site:

http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/relax-without-alcohol.aspx

1 Comments:

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May 27, 2016 at 4:05 AM  

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