I started drinking when I was 16 years old. At first, I just did it because everyone else was doing it and I wanted to fit in. However, as time went on, I drank for all different types of reasons, which I’m sure anyone who struggles with this can relate to. I drank because it made me fun and it made me confident. Under the power of that liquid courage, I could be the person I was too scared to be. I could walk right up to that cute guy and hold a conversation—a huge feat for the awkward girl who’d rather stay in the safe corner. As life got a little tougher and I was dealing with more in my family life, I drank just to forget everything for a little while. And some nights, I just drank because I had fun doing it and my friends were doing it too.
You can probably tell I really struggled with this and so I was pretty unhappy my junior year of college, when my bible study leader challenged me to not drink until I was 21. Sorry, but there was no way I could quit drinking and tell all my friends. Besides, I didn’t really get why I couldn’t anyway. Maybe getting drunk was bad, but I could control that and just socially drink. I mean all parties have a designated gentleman who comes to tap on your shoulder when you’ve taken too many shots, right? Oh wait—that doesn’t happen in high school or college. Drinking in moderation is definitely not encouraged and neither are virtuous actions. Also, I was shown how drinking underage is against the law. It’s a sin to break God’s laws and the laws of those in authority over us. At the end of the day, it’s really about love. Are we loving those around us by breaking the law? Are we loving those in charge, who made that law to ensure our safety? Are we loving ourselves by taking care of our body and soul, and being who we were created to be?
It’s easy to say that it was hard for me to grasp all this and make the decision to quit drinking underage, but it’s also easy for me to say that it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Shortly after that, I realized the emptiness that had been dwelling within me after seeking my joy in partying. I found my true identity as a child of God and fell in love with Him. While I felt like I was going to be missing out on the fun, I actually discovered the richness that this life has to offer and the beauty of the woman I am. I was hiding her all along and I didn’t even realize how people could authentically love me—just me, sober. On top of that, I actually got to see how well my friends still loved me and even though they didn’t all get it and join in with me, they still supported me. If you’re struggling with underage drinking or even drunkenness at a legal age, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with me about it. I’ve got lots of experience I’d love to share and I would love to help you with anything!