I run to alcohol to numb the pain of living, of feeling. To wipe away reality and erect a temporary Eden.
But I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to be the girl that always has a beer in her hand. The girl that only accepts party invitations if drinks are going to be served.
I don’t want alcohol to be my comfort, my escape. I don’t want to pour a glass of wine to calm me down instead of calling up a friend or writing my emotions down in a journal. I don’t want to look to a bottle to bring me joy, when the possibility of joy is all around me, waiting to be found.
I don’t want to be so uncomfortable with my own thoughts that I need a drink to drown out the silence. I don’t want to be so self-conscious in social situations that I need a shot to convince myself that I belong there. That I’m just as much fun as the next person.
I don’t want wine to help me forget about my past or my present problems. Maybe I need to be reminded of those problems. Maybe that’s the only way I’m going to move on — because drinking isn’t going to push me forward. It isn’t going to solve anything. It’s only going to delay the solutions.
Besides, the alcohol doesn’t do much, other than numb my mind for a few blissful hours. I can still enjoy dinner dates and concerts without it. I can still make chitchat and mingle without it. I can still be happy without it.
I don’t need shots sloshing around in my stomach for me to find reasons to laugh with my friends until tears leak from our eyes. For us to make wild jokes that only we understand. I don’t need alcohol to have fun with the people I love.
And I don’t need beer to hold a conversation that keeps a boy interested. To feel as pretty as the other girls in the room. To have amazing, uninhibited sex.
I don’t need alcohol to be me.
Maybe I’ll feel uncomfortable when I’m the only one in the room without a wine glass. But I want to be uncomfortable. I want to feel awkward, nervous, afraid. Because that’s how I’m going to grow as a person. That’s how I’m going to learn what I want and what I have to offer this world.
The alcohol has been distancing me from myself, more and more with each sip. But I want to know who I really am — who I am when I don’t have a beer to hide behind.
Tomorrow, I might need another drink. But today, I’m happy without one.