Bipolar Living: Why I Choose To Not Drink & Social Life: My Relationship with Alcohol
Hi, my lovelies!
I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while now and just couldn’t find the perfect words to explain it all. If you been following along for a while then you know I don’t drink and while I have talked about it briefly on Instagram stories the story behind it, is finally here.
A lot of you have been asking me if I drink and what I do when I have friends over if I don’t like to go to bars and clubs.
Before I dive head first into something I haven’t really talked about in full throttle yet, I should share the backstory
My drinking journey
I grew up in Panama, my mom moved us there when I was 14 and I started high school there. I went to a small school, there were 40 kids in my graduating class. Also, the legal drinking age in Panama is 18 so starting to drink at 13, 14 is verryyyyy common.
I really wanted to hate Panama, my mom and basically everyone at 14. I was angry and was going through a lot at the time.
My relationship with my dad had always been rocky and played a large role in my life at the time.
I was trying to bury my feelings and pretend like everything was okay.
I didn’t know what was going on and felt like drinking was the answer. While superficially I was having fun, deep down I was masking away everything that would make me feel vulnerable. I didn’t want to let anyone in and being the fun, the bubbly girl was the only way I knew how to deal.
Fast forward four years.
I was now starting college and had honestly taken a course in drinking throughout high school. I started school and could outdrink most of my guy friends, I wasn’t the girl throwing up in the bathroom at the end of the night. I didn’t need chasers and was essential to having fun.
When my world turned upside down the moment my dad and I had a fallout my mood disorder started to pop up more.
While I wasn’t rightfully diagnosed until the end of my freshman year, I was still very much living the symptoms and side effects.
Even with the diagnose, I was still in denial and didn’t come to terms with it for another seven years.
The first five months were basically me trying to self-medicate. A post for another day.
When I finally reached rock bottom, or so I thought. I stopped. I listened to the doctor and did everything they said as if my life depended on it.
Then when I ditched the traditional, medicated path and started on the functional medicine path I was told I could drink again.
The old me came out and I was once again covering up old wounds with alcohol. While it was at first, six months after going off my mediation, I was back on the self-medication wagon. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I have never been a fan of drinking, but it seemed to get me out of my over critical and demanded mind.
My mom caught on and would talk to me, trying to get me to realize what I was doing and how I was putting my mental health and overall health in jeopardy. I finally talked to my therapist about it and realized that it was time to really make amends with everything that was keeping me in this hiding all emotions type of lifestyle. That day I decided to stop drinking also the hospital visit didn’t help either. My liver wasn’t as healthy as it had been years before and between all the medication I was on for so many years and also the experimentation phase I had undergone, my liver was rejecting a lot of what I fed my body.
Realizing I needed to accept my emotions, and be okay in my own mind and body.
That was probably one of the toughest things I’ve done.
I stopped trying to fit into a mold, follow the path that is “normal” and realized that we only have one life. I needed to live it in a way that made me happy. I also needed to honor my body + mind the way it was meant to be and had to stop trying to find a way to make it “normal”
So I stopped drinking and haven’t drunk since that was over three years ago. So while I don’t drink alcohol I do consume cannabis in a controlled environment. I will be writing a post about this soon.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN
While most people my age enjoy going to bars and even clubs, that is so not my scene and I’m okay with it. You need to do what makes you happy and also whatever you feel comfortable doing.
I love going on hikes. Exploring the grounds, taking pictures and just breathing in nature. I don’t like waking up hungover, tired and with a blurry mind. I love being able to wake up with tons of energy and that is me. I’m okay with that, just like I am okay with you doing whatever you like to do to have fun.
When I first stopped drinking, I kind of withdrew from any social activity because I didn’t think I could have one. It turns out that my friends, don’t like me for what I drink or don’t drink, they like me for me.
I have also learned to accept that while I love seeing my friends and hanging out with them, I also LOVE my alone time. I am a natural introvert and it’s totally okay to prefer to stay home on a Friday night and binge watch a show or read a book than go out.
I also know that for me waking up and keeping to my routine is crucial and MEGA important so while I go out, I will call it a night a lot earlier than most and that is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with that, and people shouldn’t make it seem like it isn’t okay. I know myself well enough now and I am comfortable enough with saying no and staying in.
I will also say that I now understand what my mom would tell me when I was growing up, it isn’t about having a million friends it is about the kind of friends you have. I surround myself with people who are okay with me, and my weird way of living. While they might not join me every day on a morning sunrise walk or hike and might not be hardcore into matcha lattes and maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, they are totally down to do the stuff I like to.
Most of my close friends sadly don’t live near me, my childhood friends live back in Panama, and a lot of my blogging friends are spread around the globe. The few friends I have here in New Mexico totally know how I am and accept it.
Checking out new coffee shops or cafes. This might sound like it’s for the blog aka work but babes you have no idea how fun it is to go to a place and try something new or even just enjoy something like chamomile tea. I like to people watch, (totally not creepy BTW) and catch up with friends. It only gets me out of the comfort zone of my apartment and out and about. Oh, and the people watching does spark some sort of creativity when I am having some the terrible writing block blues that I know we all have at some point.
Try something new, take a cooking class. Do something fun like host your own chopped or iron chef. Those are things I like to do, I also love having friends over to watch the game -BIG Patriots fan here or I’ll ask them to come over and watch a movie with me. I will go out to the movies, or stuff like that.
So you know how after a long day some people like to drink wine or something, well I go to the gym or do a workout in the beauty of my own room. WHY.? Cause it totally helps me ditch the mood and also increases my good mood endorphins.
I made a choice a few years ago to stop drinking and while at times I might feel the pressure of society I know that at the end of the day it isn’t about pleasing everyone else but making sure I am treating my mind + body in the best way possible. To me, that meant dropping alcohol and accepting that just because I don’t like to do the same thing everyone else doesn’t mean I can’t have friends or have a social life. It is about growing and enjoying time doing what you do.
What is your relationship with alcohol like? I’d love to know. Please leave a comment below. Alright my loves, have an incredible rest of the week! Xo