I couldn't imagine some of my most difficult moments in life without two things: my best friends and a bottle of Jack.
Something about being able to laugh (or cry) about the daily stresses we go through, as well as some of the darker experiences each of us faces, is so soothing and crucial for people like me.
And what helps us laugh better than our crew by our side and some strong drinks?
My crew and I have had a blast throughout our young lives, getting into trouble that none of us should have been involved in at our age and making memories we can barely remember.
It's easy for me to see that some of these people will be my lifelong friends, constantly providing me the much-needed daily escapes from reality, which I rely on so heavily.
Functioning alcoholics? Maybe. Some of the realest friends you could ever down a shot of tequila and spend a wild night out with? Absolutely. Here's why your drinking buddies are here to stay.
Our drinking crew is our crew for life.
One team of scientists in Paris set out to study the effects of alcohol on human health and happiness. They gathered information from 150,000 French men and women, cataloguing them in five different groups based on the amount of booze they drink on a daily basis.
They found, among other things, that moderate drinkers are actually some of the healthiest people -- not because they drink but because they also tend to lead active and social lifestyles.
Perhaps people who prefer a drink every so often have learned one of the most important lessons in life: everything in moderation.
The researchers also found these moderate drinkers happen to be some of the happiest people.
Dr. Boris Hansel, of Public Assistance Hospitals of Paris, which led the study, tells Metro,
Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status and this could be a key reason for improved health in these subjects.
So essentially, people who drink are more likely to have other friends who like to drink, and they live happy, healthy lives.
I know we all joke about how our friends are raging hot messes, but let's be real: We're all alright. We just like having fun, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Finding people who have grasped that similar understanding in life truly makes for the best of friends.
Pop those bottles because we're not going anywhere.
To be perfectly honest, I have no plans to stop my drinking any time soon. I know my friends are in the same boat -- or booze cruise, whatever you prefer. I'm perfectly happy with the life I lead, the friends I have in my circle and the drinks we share on many occasions.
In fact, I think the best way to end this whole shebang would be lying on my death bed, surrounded by some of the most awesome friends and family, in the middle of a huge raging banger in my honor.
The eulogy can only be read by someone who takes a shot out of my belly button first.
Anyway, back to science. Researchers studied 38,000 people in Norway, testing the links between anxiety, depression and alcohol consumption.
The study, published in the journal Addiction, showed that men and women who completely abstain from drinking alcohol are actually more likely to suffer from depression.
Apparently, those who refrain may actually suffer from worse cases depression than those who drink the highest levels of alcohol.
Before the naysayers immediately shoot this down as fake science, think about it: The psychological effects of refraining from an activity everyone else is doing can certainly make someone feel isolated and depressed.
My friends and I have all learned through some unfortunate situations (which we can barely remember) that too much of one thing is dangerous and very, very bad.
But we learned all of those important life lessons -- like never try to run from a cab in New York City, and don't do a 30-second wine chug to beat a fake "world record" -- with each other.
And what would my silly, crazy, beautiful life be without the insane friends I've shared it with?