I've never been a fan of moderation-- I'm an all-or-nothing type of girl. Unfortunately though, my extremist attitude does not spare alcohol.
Don't get me wrong-- I don't need to drink to have fun. I'm perfectly content to spend a night in with my friends and eat pizza while we laugh at stupid shit on the internet.
But when the plans involve alcohol, whether it's to go to a party/bar/club, I want to be drunk... and not just that buzzed "I can now talk to boys and dance with ease" feeling. More like the "tripping, head hung over the toilet, struggling to remember the details of the night before" type of drunk.
It began my freshman year of college with my equally insane best friend. We'd pregame hard (shitfaced by the time we left our dorm) and then go out and proceed to get even more wasted.
The next day we'd wake up still slightly drunk and laugh about the moments of the night we remembered, and joke about what could've happened during the parts we blacked out. We were "living it up," just being "young and dumb."
The cycle continued for a while, and was all fun and games, until these nights began to only cause shame. My drunken behavior was embarrassing, dangerous, and just downright stupid.
Predictably, I'd never even remember it. Either my friends would inform me the next day, or worse and ridiculously frequently, it'd get back to me through word of mouth.
I'd somehow become a sweet, mild-mannered, intellectual writer by day who transformed into a rambunctious, reckless, sloppy partier by night. It didn't matter how great of a person I was sober; the most important impression a person can make is the first one, and I was a perpetual fool throughout most of mine.
It's never been a matter of not knowing my limits. When alcohol is in my body, no matter how much or how little, all I want is more. I've tried the whole buzzed thing, and it's just never been fun; all I can think about is getting my hands on more alcohol to take me to that next level.
So for now, I'm better off by simply abstaining. The cons of drinking most definitely outweigh the pros, and I'm thankful I realized this before something irrevocably horrible could happen to me.
I'm taking my extremism to the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I have enough crazy stories to last a lifetime and I know I'll be incomparably happier and healthier from now on as Sober Sally.
I'm sure in a year when I'm finally legal, I'll drink a glass of wine in a restaurant, or pop open a beer at a barbecue, but at that time I won't be drinking for the sole reason of getting fucked up. I'll enjoy the alcohol for the taste, the experience, and for creating unforgettable memories with people who matter to me.