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Sobriety in your Twenties

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

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Many people will say your 20’s are for having fun. You don’t necessarily feel like a real adult yet, but you’re usually making enough money to do all the dumb shit you wish you could have done at 17 or 18. It seems like everyone is getting in from work and having a beer or a bottle of wine. It seems like going out on a weekend is the only way to socialise and meet new people. And it also seems that if you don’t drink or do drugs, you’re not fun.

When I was in my teens the peoples drug was marijuana. At least it seemed that way to me. I smoked my fair share, probably too much. What a great way to let the anxiety and overthinking slip away into calmness. I’ll admit, I liked it. But it became a problem. I was walking a thin line between recreational and dependency. Now I know that it’s not the weed that’s addictive, but the psychological affect that’s addictive. I was proud of myself, I’d noticed I couldn’t keep going this way; turning up to places I shouldn’t high as a kite. Spending all my money, I was broke. So I stopped. Just like that, stopped. Wow, how great was I? Nope, addiction just moved on with me.

Drinking was a great way to look like I had everything together. I could drink all the time! Make sure I was invited to every night out, every party, every gathering or meal and I didn’t have a “problem” I was just fun. Sure, I was always the first to drink til I vomited, the first to be stuck in a taxi and sent home but I was seen as the life of the party. Everyone seems to think that alcoholics don’t exist in earlier than 30 years old, that it’s not alcoholism it’s the years you’re meant to be having fun. The perfect cover.

But I ran straight towards that thin line again. I woke up places having no idea where I was or how I got there. I would jump into cars with strangers at a promise of a lift home so I could spend that last bit of money on another drink and not a taxi. I was taking risks that looking back on, embarrass me. How was I going to get myself out of this one?

I quit, got sober. Surprisingly the getting sober was easy, the staying sober… that’s different kettle of fish. I lost a lot of friends, I lost a large part of my life. What were weekends for now? I was isolated. The designated driver for a team of drunk people who I was slowly starting to resent. Drunk people are the worst when you’re sober. I had to create my own life, my own world with the right people and support. That was the hardest path of them all.

I’ve been completely sober for 2 years now.

But before you congratulate me, my addictions still haunt me. I am always tempted, or thinking about just one drink can’t hurt. Can it? I don’t trust myself, that’s the problem. My current MO? Caffeine. That seemingly harmless substance that without I shake, get angry, have chronic headaches and rule my life around. I’d say a good 1-2 litres per day, minimum. No water, just anything caffeinated, but my go to, usually full fat coca cola. Is it true, once an addict always an addict? I hope not, but I guess I have a life time of life changing choices left.

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