I grew up in a small town where we were forced to create our own entertainment since there wasn't much to do in the area at night. You can only go to the movies as often as Hollywood releases them and all local restaurants would close by 9pm. Now I'm going to age myself a bit here but there wasn't Netflix or IG or TikTok in my teenage days. We got creative with our girlfriend's sleep overs and would often spend hours choreographing a girl band dance to our new favorite songs, we would play dress up and take photos as though we were entering to be America's Next Top Model. As we got older though, we wanted to be out of the house and hanging with the boys! And with the boys, came alcohol! My mom always called it "liquid courage". Since there was no club to go dancing in and we were still underage for the local bar, the boys often threw themselves a "rager" in the middle of the woods or a nearby field with no houses around. This would always entail a bonfire, pick-up trucks draining their batteries to get some tunes, and red plastic solo cups filled with keg beer or rum and cokes (I still can't stand even the smell of this drink to this day because of how sick I got from drinking TOO many.). Looking back it was pretty harmless and really quite innocent with the exception of the amount of binge drinking we would constantly encourage each other to participate in. Most would say, "well that's what kids do" and "that's just part of growing up" or "everyone goes through that stage". But actually they don't and they certainly shouldn't! So why was it and is it SO normal to drink mass amounts of alcohol in our culture? I don't have the answer nor do I have any idea why we have normalized poisoning our bodies on a regular basis. It's interesting right? The person who gets completely annihilated to the point they can't walk straight, slur their words, and acts like a circus clown to be the life of the party is the normal one, while the person who is interested in remembering the evening and not poisoning their own body is the weirdo. Pretty backwards if you ask me! Not to mention the amount of people who seriously struggle and wind up ruining their lives with alcohol addiction in our country (heck I've seen my fair share of it in my own family and circle of friends to know it can be a serious problem). After countless nights (it went past high school and college days) of bad decisions and trying to piece together the evening activities the next morning, I miraculously walked away from my party days pretty unscathed thanks to God, good friends, and liberal parents. I remember yoga playing a pivotal role in my transition of party girl to living and teaching a healthy lifestyle. I often say and think how God was watching over me when I was careless and sloppy with myself.
I now enjoy a drink or two here and there on special occasions or while exploring a new city and I praise those (myself sometimes) that can show up to an event and enjoy being in their own skin without the extra frills or "liquid courage" and still have a great time, dance, sing, and enjoy friends and family. The best part are those of us that don't partake in the social norm of binge drinking actually feel good in the morning and can remember the evening!