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I did notice a change pre and post 25- alcoholism/alcohol tolerance

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.

Pre-25 Me

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.

Post-25 Me

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.

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Is Drinking Really Worth It?

I read so much about parents and drinking, all the posts and memes about wine and all the jokes about how bad mommy needs a drink. 

It had me thinking about it a while back, and while I really didn’t mean to write this, I’m writing it now. People who knew me pre-kids and pre-marriage and know me now have seen a huge change. Before I met my (pretty much, anti alcohol) husband, I was an alcoholic. My day consisted of- gym, walk to work, walk to bar before going home. That was my daily life. I was functional- but not. I was able to hold a job but there were times I would spend nearly my whole bank account and barely remember the last night. One St Patrick’s Day, I spent 12 hours at the bar. They knew me by name and it was a time I felt like I fit in.

Then, my husband and I met and I cut down massively- he was 19 and I was 22 when we met so I couldn’t go to the bar anymore (I could, but I wanted to go out with him). I never was a fan of drinking solo, so I quit. I got pregnant right after we got married and attended my very first party without drinking- I still had fun, even though he and I were the only ones not drinking. As I got a little older and more established as a new mommy, alcohol was losing it’s appeal completely. Since having kids, I have only drank a handful of times and after my last time, I won’t again.

I started looking for nonreligious places to go to meet other adults with kids but no alcohol and it’s tough. It feels like drinking is the most symbolic part of being an adult. I know I’m not the only one who feels that alcohol isn’t as sweet and innocent a joke as people seem to think.

While looking up the “mommy needs a drink” joke, I found this from the site Salon talking about growing up living that “joke.”

Coming from the experience of “I really need a drink” (in order to properly function), I don’t consider that joke to be funny. I do have days I don’t get the chance to sit until bedtime, I have bad days- but nothing so bad it would put me back in the bottle.

In my failed attempts to locate family friendly events where I could possibly meet other local parents, I attended a family friendly charity event about a year ago. They had two kid booths but in the food booths the smell of alcohol was so strong I could barely smell the food. We had a hard time hearing each other or our kids over the sound of the adults getting louder and more obnoxious that we left after the girls ate. By the time we left, we were walking past groups of grown women who were loud, obnoxious and flirting with men who were on the same level of intoxication. This was in a rich part of town with men and women who put on a classier show in other places. I was honestly surprised to see so many people acting like teenagers.

Last year we went on vacation with my mom and dad. My husband and I went to the hotel restaurant to grab desert. There was a family and the dad was obnoxiously drunk already, with two young kids in his party.

When I was a child, I was taken home after people started drinking. I would notice the adults getting louder and crazier but we always left. Both my parents were totally against alcohol so I’m sure the way I was raised may have something to do with it, but should parents get drunk around their kids? Sure, drinking a few sips or drinking a bottle with a meal isn’t too bad, but should parents really let their young kids see them actually get intoxicated?

There have been studies about parental drinking around kids, even moderate drinking- and seeing parents drunk or tipsy can upset children. There has also been findings that people who watched their parents drinking growing up tend to be more likely to drink as teens and associate with younger drinkers.***

Being taken away didn’t keep me from trying it at 18 or going to a bar regularly at 22, but I also quit drinking quickly. I was a daily drinker from 21 until shortly after my 22nd birthday, when I started to put it down. This past June, on vacation, I got a Margarita but it took me 30 minutes to regulate my breathing and I felt my throat closing, so I am done now. Before that, it had been over a year and before that, another year. I still can go out with friends and have fun. My husband and I have gone to a few local shows and it is more enjoyable without getting dizzy and agitated. Same with going to parties, but I’m still at a stage where I’m more interested in kid’s parties and kid friendly events I can take the whole family.

My kids have never seen me drunk nor intoxicated and I know they never will, I’m saying now I have an alcohol allergy, if pressed, I’ll also admit to being in recovery- it may have been a short time, but at that time my life revolved around alcohol and I never want the girls to go through it.

Even though you can’t prevent your kids from experimenting or giving in to peer pressure, you can educate them on the dangers of alcohol. You can tell them it’s addictive and the problems it causes. It impairs your ability to think right- it causes accidents. In fact, in the US alone, 10,497 people were killed in 2016 due to intoxicated drivers- 28% of accidents that year (according to the CDC). It also harms your liver, kidneys and can lead to liver failure if you drink too much.

Getting drunk itself is a result of alcohol being a poison and the puking and passing out is actually a warning sign of drinking too much- potential alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can easily lead to death.

Just because people say red wine and moderate drinking (1 glass for a woman, 2 for a man) have health benefits, lifestyle may play a bigger role than the alcohol. There haven’t been enough long term studies to fully prove red wine is as healthy as they say it is. Just like beer, liquor and other forms of alcohol, wine is also a depressant. It slows your body down and can lead to so much more pain than enjoyment. Is it really worth the risk?