Anna Schultz-Girl And Guy Playing Beer Pong

Quitting The Party Lifestyle Saved My Life

Near-death experiences, severe concussions, burns, bruises, black eyes, scratches, and memory loss all happened to me as a result of my epilepsy being brought on by binge drinking. For the past seven years, I have suffered from this disease, and entering college only made my condition worse. Epilepsy is one of the most common conditions affecting the brain. The CDC reports that around 5.1 million people in the United States have a history of epilepsy and 3.4 million currently suffer from active epilepsy. I would bring my mom to tears every time I had a seizure and would tell me that every time she dropped me off at school, she was afraid that was the last time she would see me alive. My mom always told me that these four years of partying is not worth destroying your whole life.  My boyfriend looked at me and told me, “I don’t understand why you insist on hurting yourself and almost dying when you have so many people who love you and so much good in your life. I’m terrified I’m going to lose you”. When you drink with a medical condition that is affected by alcohol, you are not only hurting yourself but everyone that cares about you too. I had the party lifestyle taken away from me, but I still have a vibrant social life without alcohol.

When I entered college, I knew that I could not party all the time and binge drink every time I went out. I ended up throwing caution to the wind and became the party girl. I would go out three nights a week and drink to the point of blacking more times than I can count. A lot of people saw this as the norm and take this lifestyle for granted. The truth is there are a lot of people that cannot go to parties and bars and blackout for various reasons. I gambled with my health and started experimenting with how far I could push myself before I would have a seizure. I would return after a night of binge drinking, go to bed, wake up, have a seizure, and think, ‘if I took two fewer shots, I probably wouldn’t have a seizure”. My seizures came so often I was surprised when I did not have one. My tolerance dropped, and I began going into a second seizure and having seizures in my sleep, which never happened to me before. I hate that it took me so long to end my self-destructive habits, but maybe this article will help you if you are struggling because I think people feel alone when they quit drinking in college.

Girl's night

The National Institute of Health reports, that 60% of college students ages 18-22 consume alcohol monthly and a majority of them said they engaged in binge drinking, commonly referred to as alcoholism. Taking this into consideration, it can be hard to not buckle under peer pressure and a little awkward to explain to every person why you are not drinking. To avoid some of these interactions, bring your own drink to parties, so you are not tempted to drink what is there and order virgin mocktails or a tonic and lime at the bars to avoid any awkwardness. More than that, a life without alcohol comes with many benefits like improved physical health and lower risk of assault. You will have more energy, feel less bloated, and hangovers disappear. Moreover, assault rates, physical and sexual, are less likely to occur when alcohol is not involved in a situation as alcohol significantly increases a person’s risk of committing a violent offense. Despite these benefits to stop drinking, it can still be difficult to start the process of either drinking less or quitting altogether. If you find yourself or someone you love struggling with alcohol abuse, there are plenty of resources available to take the first steps to receive help such as Recovery Centers of America and Alcohol.org.

 

The Lalawine With Friends

 

In college, it is easy to fall into the party habits when so many other students are engaging in that area of college culture. While this is something that can make the college experience fun and memorable, remember to proceed with caution. Excessive drinking can cause serious issues for yourself as well as the people around you and frankly, the benefits to drink less outweigh any amount of alcohol.  College is exhausting and grueling enough as is; there is no need to make it harder by finding solace in alcohol.