Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lightweight Division

Last night, I drank alcohol for the first time since declaring myself "drug-free" six years ago. This morning, I went to pull my semi-famous "drug-free" tag from my Blogger and Facebook profiles to find that I had already removed them a few months ago.

When I was beginning high school, I struggled with self-control issues, especially related to peer pressure and my diet. Around this same time, I started to develop into my present-day panicky self. By age 16, I weighed nearly 200 pounds, had a porn addiction, and was saying/doing things just to impress people.

To curb these things, I started to limit myself. I cut out caffeine, vowed to stay away from drugs/cigarettes/alcohol, and curbed my porn addiction. This is when I started the "drug-free" label.

For that time of my life, it was perfect. I needed an identity, something to hold onto, or rather something to hold onto me. I felt I was neither confident nor mature enough to deal with those possibly crutches.

A few months ago, I turned 21. I didn't want to drink. None of my close friends drank or were even 21, but after my best friends turned 21, things changed a bit. We would go out to the bars, and my curiosity started to exponentially expand.

For the first time in my life, I really wanted to drink. But I had this internal conflict about my "label" and the big break in my "identity" I would have to take.

As I struggled with these thoughts, people gave me good advice like "you won't let anyone down, as long as it is what you want to do" and "it is your decision to make" and "there is a difference between use and abuse."

For me, the concept based on the idea of responsibility. It is really important to me to be a responsible person. Until now, I never felt like I had the self-control, maturity, or self-esteem to responsibly use alcohol.

The label I had placed on myself became restrictive in an unnecessary way, keeping me from social and personal experiences that I wanted to have. As Clark and Joe put it, I had become an "extremist."

This all seems rather silly and overboard, but for me, this was a big deal because of my history. Moving forward, I don't want to be a "drinker." Merely, I just want to be able to enjoy myself, out with friends, like I did last night, one of the most enjoyable nights I have had in a long time.

5 comments:

Cody Davis said...

Great blog post, great writing. Cool Tyler.

Amanda said...

yeah yeah yeah, me too me too me too.

Tyler G said...

Thanks Cody. I am not sure if I agree with great writing, but honest, okay.

Thanks thanks Thanks, Amanda Amanda Amanda.

Portland's girl. said...

I find it interesting, how we let our minds, and what we think about ourselves damage our own sense of being. I know alcoholism, and drug addiction as it has touched my family. I like, to drink and when I turned 21 I went out every weekend for almost two whole months! Those days are long gone; I am impressed you would talk about being addicted to porn. I am a single-girl and have been for awhile. I went through a very strange stage, when I discovered porn online. I immediately felt guilty, and dirty. And, then it was gone, I just lost interest in it. Now a days, I can take or leave beer. Take or leave cigarettes. A lot of gossipy, judgmental people talked about me drinking too much alcohol. I was naive and stupid, to let them make me believe something was wrong with me. Now, I don't care what people say. It is my life, and I'll live how I want. I'm a full grown woman, going to college, getting ready to establish a career. To make light of how afraid I was, and how badly I was led to believe about myself, I laughingly refer to myself as an alcoholic going through a bout of sobriety. Which, I go through frequently. A favorite motto, "Don't judge nor say bad things about yourself to yourself. There's plenty of people who will do it for you."

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