Lately, I have been getting a lot of crap because I do not drink. Many people think it is very strange for a college sorority girl to not indulge in the “wonderful” drug that is alcohol. Some, however, just accept it. I like those people. But they all still wonder. I tell them it is just not my thing, and I do not want to do it. That gets a variety of responses and reactions.
While those reasons are accurate, I am here to tell you the real story.
I have been single-handedly fighting depression since the fourth grade. I am now a freshman in college, so that will give you a little insight as to how long that is. Not only is it a long time, but you know, it also sucks. Yeah, I said it. Depression sucks.
Depression, anxiety, eating disorders…None of that should ever be thought as anything to want. Those things are the worst things to ever happen to me. There is absolutely nothing good about any of it, whatsoever.
So for the past near-decade, I have been battling my inner demons all alone. And when I say alone, I mean it. I never told anybody about any of it. I was left to faking smiles and small talk, meanwhile eating the occasional lunch in the bathroom and crying myself to sleep almost every night. I wrote journals and songs and I even started a short story that I am determined to restart and finish.
The worst part about it was that I always thought I was getting better; I thought I had hit rock bottom and it could only go up from there. I knew it was stupid of me because I truly believed no one would care if I just ended my life, right then and there. My friends (and so-called ones) would get over it. You know how after someone commits suicide everybody takes to saying wonderful things about them? I did not even think I would have that. Not even by my family. So how could I possibly be getting better when I thought all of that? I wish I could tell you the answer, but even today, I am at a loss. I guess I just had a stupidly huge amount of faith in me. God had a plan, and this was all part of it.
When I got to high school, I thought things would change. Surprise, surprise, the Bad Thoughts were even stronger than before. Honestly, how I made it through still shocks me.
Very early on in my junior year (when I was writing the aforementioned story), I wrote and completed my first suicide note. It was for the character in the story, but the feelings were all there. It was real. I had written them in my mind so many times before…I even considered not writing one to begin with. But that faith lived on in my heart, so I never wrote one down until then. I only thought it was acceptable because my name was not signed at the bottom. And that was not even the darkest point. When I started that story, I was fine–or as fine as I could be. Little did I know, a few months later the world would come crashing down on my again. I had actually foreshadowed all of the friendships that were going to end. Oops. I wrote and rewrote that letter a few times. It was different for everyone I addressed it to (as their characters in the story).
Senior year, I was full of hate and spite, even if I did not realize it at the time. I mean, I knew it, I just did not recognize how toxic it was. By the time graduation rolled around, I was done and ready to get out of that town. Even just the idea of Cal Poly was wonderful.
At this point, I was still on the “I do not drink” train (yes, I have a point to all this). My mom had promised each of my siblings and myself one thousand dollars if we stayed on that train until we were twenty-one. It does not sound like a whole lot now to some people, but it is quite a sum and it is how much her grandmother promised her when she was young. Boy, do I still want that money.
When I finally arrived at Cal Poly, it was like a huge wake-up call to all that was available to me in the world. There was so much going on, and I wanted to experience it all. For the first time, I saw my depression loosen its grip on my life, and that is the greatest thing I have ever felt, let me tell you.
Now here, a lot of people drink, and they drink to get drunk. That never appealed to me; it still does not. For others, I am afraid I cannot say the same. I know quite a few people that drink to forget or drink until they black out or throw up, and it does not bother them. It worries me. A lot. And it is impossible for me not to worry about them, no matter what they say to me. There is a reason for all this.
I made a promise to myself when I finally saw all the world had to offer. That promise was that I was going to experience things and go on adventures and take pictures and, most importantly, live. I do not want alcohol to be a part of that. I do not want to inhibit myself in any way whatsoever from being able to enjoy my life. Some people actually cannot do things because they are sober and embarrassed. What kind of life is that? It is not one that I want.
I came to this school because I was tired of being a slave to my own mind. Bad Thoughts were poison enough, do you really think I am going to put alcohol in my body after that? I mean, it is a depressant, after all. I do not want that for myself or for anyone.
I do seem to be the only one that thinks this way, though. Too many people end up in the hospital because of drinking too much, and a scary amount of people leave this school as alcoholics. I do not ever want to be that person, which is why I do not have a big interest in drinking even when I am twenty-one. I have lost too much in this world, and that includes myself. I do not ever want to be like that again. That world is a prison.
And now you have the truth. I do not drink because I have done enough to my body and my mind; alcohol does not need to be added into the mix. I do not need (or want) it to have fun, and I still stand by that.
I hope you can understand and take this into consideration. By all means, drink if you want to, but please be safe about it. I cannot stress that enough.
All my love, A