This may sound dramatic because I wasn’t a heavy drinker by any means, but it’s a conversation I wanted to have/share with everyone. For the last couple of months, I’ve really cut back on how much alcohol I consume. Drinking had become so normalized in my day to day life, and it’s something I wanted to change. I used to have a glass of wine almost every night with dinner and would definitely have a couple on the weekends if I was off from work. When I would go out, I would binge drink, like most of you do. Everyone is scared of the term binge drinking and thinks, “Oh, I definitely don’t binge drink.” News flash: you do. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as, “drinking five or more drinks (male) or four or more drinks (female) in a two-hour time period.” Think about how many times you’ve been at a bar, tailgate, or anywhere in between and just kept pouring another glass of wine or grabbing another beer. Pretty frequently, right?
I’m not completely dry, but I like the term damp.
It’s a new term the kids on TikTok are using. It basically means keeping the alcohol to social settings and controlling how much alcohol one consumes. Sounds just how drinking should be, doesn’t it? There aren’t really any defined rules or boundaries to this “damp” lifestyle people are starting to take up, so it’s really up to the individual to make those for him or herself. Binge drinking has become so normalized in our society and culture and it’s genuinely so bad for our health. I’m the first person to say that I used to peer-pressure my friend to drink and keep going- because it was “fun” and/or “cool”. I was also the first person to particularly enjoy pounding back multiple drinks every weekend at Mokai (RIP) or Purdy (RIP x2). Luckily, people change and grow, and hangovers worsen to the point that you literally don’t want to drink- LOL.
So, what are my boundaries? Side-note: I know boundaries is such a soft, millennial word, but I love using it. I don’t drink hard liquor. I find it gross, it does not sit well with me at all, and I don’t feel well during or after drinking it. I don’t do shots (I do say yes to a lemon drop every now-and-then), and I really try to not mix my alcohols anymore. I love wine, so I still drink that when I go out to dinners or if I’m enjoying a night in at home (especially with my parents- they have the good stuff). I like beer too, so I’ll definitely enjoy some beers if the occasion is right. I’ve just learned to say no (my local D.A.R.E officer would be so proud) and not care what people think. Do you know how many times my friends roll their eyes when I deny their offers for shots? I don’t care anymore. Maybe it’s my age (an old and wise 26). Maybe it’s that I’ve been drinking since high school parties and I’m just over it. I don’t feel pressured to constantly drink if I’m out on a boat, brunch, or daytime affair. I’ve grown to love sparkling water and I love having a couple of those in between my wine or beer. Plus- I’ve had so many less hangovers which is a big win. My hangovers were debilitating and I didn’t understand why I was willingly putting something in my body that made me feel so badly afterwards. It’s literally not worth it- at all. I’m not saying there are no exceptions… I just came back from a weekend-long wedding celebration in Cartagena, Colombia which entailed a lot of drinking. I did have my limitations there, but I still drank and had a really fun time. I’m detoxing from that trip as we speak.
Thankfully, I’m a fun girly girl. I don’t need alcohol to have fun. Does it help with the social anxiety of being somewhere alone, or a first date? 100%. But I’m trying to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and just going with the flow. I enjoy my mornings way more now than when I was drinking more, and I just overall feel better. Plus, alcohol is so inflammatory, and who wants to be swollen all the time? Not me. There’s only so much my ice roller can do.
Featured image from Pinterest