I read a little while back that a woman’s brain is fully developed in her 25th year (for men, it’s 30)
It’s had me thinking and since I’m now half a decade away from 25, (I’m 31) I have been able to see how true that really was for me.
I have an impulse control disorder, it’s commonly joked about but it is real and makes impulses hard to control.
I have been thinking back and trying to remember years (typially by my kids’ ages) and I did realize that I may not have woken up on my 25th birthday different, but that year did make a huge difference.
When I was 21, I drank. A lot. Like, so much that people were trying to get me into rehab for it (I actually did try but the cost and waiting time made it unfeasible). I would blow my whole paycheck at the bar after work. I got tired of going through my check so fast, I started giving myself an allowance (the rest would go in savings) and I’d only spend a set amount a night. It worked but there were some nights random people would offer to buy drinks (one guy hit the jackpot on a game 3 times and bought 3 rounds for the entire bar- that was the night I was trying to only drink 1-2 beers a night)
At 22, I met my husband and he was too young to go with me, so I very slowly quit drinking. He was never a drinker either so it wasn’t fun to drink without the man I was dating.
At 23, I had my first child. It was extremely easy for me to go the pregnancy with no alcohol.
It was also easy to go her NICU stay without it but I did pick some other habits up. I started overeating.
I also picked up loom knitting to kill the stress and it was very therapeutic.
While she was in NICU out of state, I went home for a weekend to study and take my state board exam for school. While I was home, we went to a game convention and the after party.
I met one of the workers and his wife and I ended up getting drunk. Instead of how I usually was, I cried most of the night about being there instead of at the NICU, even though the nurses themselves told me I needed a break and I made sure they would have a volunteer to go in and cuddle her a bit.
I didnt drink again after that for a year, when I drank with some neighbors, then again a year after that with neighbors. Both times the pain wasn’t worth the alcohol. I had to get drunk to avoid the pain so I slacked even further off.
By the time I was 25, I had one living 2 year old and 25 was the age we lost miss Cassie. It was also the literal year I found the side effects from drinking weren’t worth the taste. I got to a point I hated how I acted drunk, but I couldn’t even drink one small glass without getting a buzz. By that time, I was drinking maybe 2-3 times a year.
After 25, I started to notice how bad my joints would ache after taking just 1 sip.
I started just saying yes to the occasional offer when I was around someone else drinking so by the age of 26-27 I was down to maybe 1 a year.
This past summer, we took both kids to the beach with my parents. My mom and the kids were asleep and my husband and I went to a small restaurant at the hotel.
I was strictly on the gluten free diet by this time, so I researched and the margarita seemed safe. It had been over a year since I had drank last and I ordered a small margarita.
I had such a bad immediate reaction I couldn’t finish it. My stomach bloated up and I couldn’t breathe, I started to feel like my throat was closing up and it took me 30 minutes of walking around the beach to regulate my breathing. That night scared me to the point I’m now saying I’m allergic, although there is probably something I cant tolerate in most alcoholic drinks. I’ve been unable to drink most drinks for years anyways.
I say sometimes that my family has saved me from alcoholism and I do mean it but age is also playing a factor. When I was 21, I didnt get the severe pain in my joints I do now with one sip. I didn’t feel nothing but guilt for drinking and I didnt bloat up.
Either way, I prefer staying sober to being blacked out and passed out.