As a self-proclaimed party girl, I am ashamed to write this. I come from a huge, loud, drunk and jolly Irish family. We celebrate engagements, marriages, holidays and even funerals with a drink.
But, I just can’t hang anymore.
I think I came to this realization when I turned 22. I could no longer go out and drink like I used to. I didn't have time for it! I didn't have time to get rowdy or sloppy drunk. Not to mention, the agony of the next day.
When I would go out every weekend, I would show my "true colors.” But, in actuality, I think I just showed how much of a jackass I could be. I was that person at the family party who got drunk to be at a family party.
I saw alcohol, and in my head I thought, “Oh, yes, I must get drunk.” I'm sure some people in my family thought it was hilarious, but the next morning, I didn't find it so funny.
I didn't stop going out on weekends because I thought I had a problem; I stopped going out after waking up on several Sunday mornings and piecing together the chaotic messes that were nights out.
I used to be a lover of all things alcohol. I didn't think I could go out and have fun without it. Then, I decided I would spend a couple of weekends sober. I would go out and not have a drink for the entire night. Yes, there were failures, but, for the most part, I learned a lot about myself.
Here's what I learned about being sober on the weekend:
1. Everyone Is Stuck In Senior Year Of High School
It doesn't matter how old you are: Once you get enough drinks in you, you are 18 again. You slur your words and curse like a 14-year-old boy who just learned how curse words work.
Women throw themselves at men, and men act as though they have never laid eyes on a woman before. I never noticed when I was drunk, but people-watching is best with your wits about you.
2. Drinking Does Not Make Your Night Better
Alcohol can do some crazy things to a person, and it can definitely rile you up. Trust me, though: Nothing can help a friend after she’s had a couple drinks and she was already in a bad mood!
3. The Sketchy Crap
Oh lord, the sketchy crap that goes on in a bar once a couple of drinks are served. The number of hookups and amount of drug use I have seen in a “classy” establishment blows my mind. I’m not a stickler, but I doubt anyone’s families would be proud of their actions.
Once, I was sitting at a bar and a girl I knew walked to the bathroom without her drink. I turned to order myself a drink and when I turned back around, some middle-aged creep was in the middle of drugging my friend’s drink. It's unacceptable and no way to live.
4. The Cost
How many of you wake up and check your bank accounts after nights out? I do. I used to blow almost $100 each night on drinks, cabs and food. Let’s just say, it wasn’t worth it. It’s definitely not worth the agony of penny-pinching for the rest of the week… and the food was definitely not the right choice for my diet.
The age-old reason to not drink is your health. Alcohol is a depressant, and in this world, why would you want to abuse a depressant? Using alcohol every weekend throws a person into a routine: Get up around 3 pm and start making plans for the next night out in a couple hours.
It's not that I don't have friends with whom to go out or an aversion to fun; I just choose not to waste my money when I can spend an equal amount of time with friends and loved ones, without depending on a camera to remember it.