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Self-Advocating in a Society Where Alcohol Abuse Is Normalized

I don’t care if I’m a buzzkill, when I say no, I mean fucking no.

Photo by: Stéphan Valentin

We live in a world where drinking is such a prevalent part of society. Over the past few years, I’ve found that individuals who don’t drink are viewed as “strange” by others. We see this all the time in the college scene, as many young adults experience drinking/partying for the first time.

The result? A great deal of pressure to join the “fun” or risk being labeled a buzzkill.

I’ve witnessed my fair share of peer pressure, however, the worst case I experienced was between myself and one of my friends.

For the sake of this article, let’s call him Steven.

Steven was a big drinker. Not an addict, but he enjoyed his weekends a little more than the average Joe (if you know what I mean).

Often, Steven would ask if I wanted to drink with him. I’d say no, he’d drop it, and we’d carry on with the night. But after a few months, he began to get pushy. He’d ask me over and over if I wanted a drink, clearly not understanding I wasn’t always in the mood to party.

The situation royally pissed me off. Why couldn’t Steven get it through his thick fucking skull and take a damn no for an answer?

Yeah, I have a couple cold ones with the boys, but drinking isn’t just “fun and games” to me.

Addiction runs deep in my family, putting me at great risk for becoming an addict myself.

When I was nine my mom went into recovery for alcoholism.

At that age, I didn’t know what this meant, but as I grew older, I developed a deeper understanding of the battle my mother faces as an alcoholic, and what this could define for me in the future.

Here’s what I learned: Never drink when you're sad and never drink when you are alone.