This weekend I revisited my old life. During my years in college and my early twenties, I was a party girl. I wasn’t that bad in college because my ultimate focus was my studies, however I did party a lot in my early twenties. I love to dance and it was a lot of fun to go out to clubs and bars and dance to the music I love, but this also involved a lot of drinking. I didn’t need the alcohol to have fun but I kept drinking because I enjoyed how bold I became and how it helped me to not focus on my problems. Soon, I began buying alcohol and keeping it at home. I would come home and have a glass or two of wine to calm my nerves. I started going out more and more and I began showing up to work with horrible hangovers that prevented me from getting any work done. Luckily, I had a really relaxed boss at the time and I was never written up or fired. One day, I started to examine my life and I realized that I was heading down a path that I didn’t like. At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was acting out so much but I began to go out less and less and I stopped drinking so much.
Looking back, I believe I was acting in this manner because of two reasons: 1) depression and 2) influence. I was diagnosed a few years ago with a mild form of depression and I now understand why I felt so low at times in my life. I believe that I was acting out because I didn’t want to deal with the sad feelings and situations that were going on in my life. I was also hanging out with a group of friends that influenced me. These are friends that I’ve known since childhood and a lot of them were heavy drinkers. In my mid-twenties, I began hanging out with these people less and less and focusing more on being the person that I really wanted to be and that has been a positive step for me.
This past weekend, I reunited with a few of my old friends to see a live band that we all really like. I was happy to dance and listen to the music but then I started drinking with them and before long, I was starting to get drunk. I stopped drinking immediately and I began noticing how my friends were acting. They were still doing the same things and acting the same way we acted in our twenties. None of them had matured and I knew that this wasn’t for me.
I don’t regret going to see live music or even catching up with old friends. I regret falling back into a pattern that I believed I had moved past. In the future, I’m going to have to be honest with them about the fact that I’m past getting drunk and acting silly. I also need to be honest with myself and not give in to the pressures of acting like they do. After all, the best times in my life have been experienced sober.