That was the question I was asked the evening of July 3rd, 2016 when I was up in Fort Pierce seeing Tim for the first time in 6 months. His cousin Rob was curious to know if I don’t drink, why do I hang around those who do? Well the obvious answer just might be that I am 30-years-of-age and do not know anyone who doesn’t drink. And I also don’t fit in with recovering addicts, because I haven’t had an addiction. At least not one that has caused anyone to throw me an intervention or drop me to the nearest rehab clinic.
I am on Lithium for Bipolar. I have had the occasional drink while being on it, and I have had the occasional “God damn am I loaded now!” trying to get to the point of sleeping it off but unable to because the hangover started before I was able to get into bed. DISCLAIMER: I will state here, that if you take Lithium I do not recommend drinking with it. Just because I survived making those idiotic choices for myself doesn’t mean you will.
Anyway, I stopped making those choices when I realized that I don’t have that fun drunk feel that I had before my Lithium days. And when I tried to have a drink one time with my sister at a mexican restaurant, I had three sips and felt woozy so she had to finish my drink. Also, there were a couple of times where I had several drinks and I felt stone cold sober with a massive headache the next day. Who the fuck would sign up for the hangover without the fun tipsy effects?
Now, is it annoying being around drunk people when you’re sober? Yes. It can be. Especially when they hit the stage of drunkenness where anything can set them off in an emotional whirlwind. You’re joking around and suddenly, they stop laughing and start accusing you of some shit they took way out of context and wouldn’t have even made the mistake of misconstruing it so well had they been sober. That’s annoying. Or if they start having the “feels” and telling you how much they “truly” do “love you.”
I grew up with an alcoholic father who was drunk more often than not in my childhood — he drinks to stupidity even now, but I don’t talk to him. I became used to the drunk ass shenanigans at a young age. He had moments of violence toward my mother sometimes. Those times, I never got used to. I’m a rabbit when it comes to violence breaking out within my vicinity. The first sign of tension in the air around me, my keys are in my hand and I am already in my car by the time other people begin to realize shit’s going to happen. I don’t know how many times as a teen through a young adult I left parties when I felt things were going to get out of hand.