Words by Maya Wenzel
Art By Logan Wenzel
This has nothing to do with me thinking I’m better than you. This has everything to do with me stopping myself from doing something I don’t want to do, something I can no longer handle. Like many people, I have had fun experiences with alcohol. However, I have also had too many anxious-filled and paranoid experiences ultimately followed by nausea and despondency. I hate waking up and looking my friends in the eye after I feel I’ve made a fool of myself. Correction, after alcohol has made a fool of me.
It’s OK, everyone gets drunk and it’s important to let loose.
But why does letting loose make me feel so uncomfortable?
It makes me feel uncomfortable because I like to be in control. Losing control can feel dangerous. When I first began to struggle with anxiety and depression and felt powerless over my mental health I learned to take advantage of any opportunity in which to use any agency I had. But this past year I began to understand how unhealthy my relationship with control is. Lowering my intake of alcohol helped me rethink this. With more awareness of my mental health I found the ability to let go on my own, without the influence of alcohol. The realisation that I cannot be in control over everything has helped me learn how to live more freely everyday. This does not mean I am reckless. I will most likely never be reckless but I never thought I would find such joy in letting go (on my own terms).
Here is something that I struggle with: I find it difficult when others come to me feeling like I judge them for drinking. I then find myself in situations where I feel obliged to apologise for being sober, where I have to justify that being sober does not make me better than anyone else. I am not judging you for drinking. If you want to drink, do it, I make no judgements. I do care if you hurt yourself or put yourself in situations you don’t want to be in. But I do not care if you want to drink. Just like you shouldn’t care that I am not drinking. I want you to do what you want and let me do what I want.
I understand that fun likes company but fun can also be sober.