Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Freedom at a Price

Drinking in college was what I considered "fun" at the time. Sunday through Wednesday was spent in recovery from the debauchery of the previous weekend and in anticipation of the surprises that the upcoming weekend held. It was carefree and careless. I can remember feeling so free at the time - like I could do anything at a moments notice or be whoever I chose for a particular night. From spontaneous road trips to Austin to four inch hot pink stilettos with a denim mini skirt...I thought I was living the ultimate life.

But little did I know that the freedom I felt during college was due to being chained to one thing. Alcohol was everyone's best friend and the ultimate party planner. No Alcohol? No party. He was a man of many names (Jose, Jack and McCormick were my favorites) and never let you down on a Friday night. He talked you into trying new things and becoming a new person. Alcohol convinced you he needed him to have a good time. And for most of the time with Alcohol as a classmate in college, nights with no memories just felt like innocent fun.

I'm not sure where or why my old friend turned on me or when our friendship went wrong, but shortly after college I realized that he no longer gave me the same feelings of freedom that he did during my four years on campus. Instead of relishing in the endless possibilities that life after college offered, I began focusing on the life that I didn't have but desperately wanted. Alcohol began convincing me that I needed him in my life even more because I was so incredibly unlovable that he was the only one who would always be there. He made me lie to my friends and put on a happy face while crumbling on the inside at the sight of their contentment with their own lives. No one knew how dangerous our relationship had become because we were still in the age of innocent fun. Twenty-three was still young, fresh and free! What worries were there to have on a Friday night with new friends and the ever present college buddy?

About a year and a half ago, I woke up and found myself looking at a person I didn't recognize. What had my old buddy done to the girl I once was? That confident, determined and vivacious girl my parent's had so lovingly raised had been swallowed whole by the false promises and deceptive lies told by Alcohol. For the first time in my life, my old friend wasn't looking so cool, so fun or so enticing.

My life has changed because of ending that friendship or maybe because I ended that friendship my life has changed. Either way it's really not a part of my life anymore because I have found contentment in myself. I don't have to rely on Alcohol to make me feel better about myself or to fill the void that was at one time so painfully present.

The break in our friendship hasn't always been easy. Although it has allowed me to form new friendships I think it might be creating divisions in old. I understand that Alcohol might not have this same relationship with everyone, but unfortunately this is the relationship that I had and regardless of any situation...I'm going to protect what I've built. Because from what I personally know of Alcohol, he likes to destroy who I am and anything good I believe about myself. I'm not willing to allow him into my life in that capacity ever again.

Because for the first time in many years...

I am content. I am happy. I am finally and truly free.

1 comment:

The Voskuil's said...

I will definitely have to tell Bryan about the place in Italy. That is the one country he really wants to visit!
Thank you for the encouragement! I plan on staying VERY busy! This time better fly by fast!