The Evolution of My Relationship with Alcohol

The legal age to consume alcohol in the state of Georgia is 21 as it is in most places. I remember growing up thinking of alcohol as a forbidden fruit. At family events, I watched all the adults drink and as time passed the atmosphere shifted, as did their moods. There was more laughter, it got louder, more people would get up and dance and everyone just seemed like they were having more fun. My cousins and I talked about how we couldn’t wait till we could drink and join the fun.

I had my first alcoholic drink when I was in high school, on New Year’s Eve. I was at home with my family. Back then, all I could take was a shot and a half and I was dancing and acting crazy. This is when I saw alcohol as a reward, because my parents would only let me have a little if we were celebrating something.

College has shed a different light on alcohol for me. My freshman year I learned that you get drunk before you even get to the party. I remember taking Aristocrat vodka shots and chasing them with Red Bull, which after talking to my parents, I learned was a little dangerous - I remember my heart beating so fast at the time. But it was college, where I learned that alcohol was a means to an end. We drink so that we can party. Unknowingly, you condition yourself to relate partying with alcohol or vice versa.

Now that I am 21, the way I see alcohol has changed once again. I no longer take excessive amounts of shots to get in the party mood. When I drink now, I just like to sip. I can have a mixed drink, with an appetizer and have a good conversation. At this stage, liquor has become more of an activity to get to know people better. I really love the saying, “A drunk man tells no lies,” because in my conversations with people under the influence and from my own experiences I have seen this to be true. Alcohol takes away people’s inhibitions and sometimes this can be dangerous especially when emotions are involved. Other times, it just helps loosen the tongue and allow someone to speak freely. It is in these moments when you learn the most about people. They are ready to share their true and honest opinions and even their deepest darkest secrets. At this point in my life alcohol has become a medium to bond with people.