Photo by Mauricio Mascaro from Pexels
About five days ago, my family and I went to celebrate my nephew’s birthday at a resort in the mountains. However, my parents weren’t there because my father was working all weekend. Nonetheless, I went up with them. Something about my parents not being there while I’m with my cousins is an opportunity that I wouldn’t let pass.
Being an only child, I had a rather strict, Catholic upbringing. Growing up, I felt insecure and jealous about how my friends got to make the most of their youth. They got to do all different things and go to different places where teenagers usually go. They roam the streets like they didn’t have parents who wait for them at home while I felt like Rapunzel locked up in a tower.
I didn’t want to grow up missing my youth. I wanted to make the most out of it as well, like the kids my age. In my defense, I didn’t want a totally crazy youth experience (excessive partying, drinking, smoking, weed). Not that I don’t want to associate myself with those who do, but I just didn’t want that. I knew the massive risks and consequences that will happen to me as my parents have mentioned to me over and over again. But even if they hadn’t told me, I don’t think I’m stupid enough to dive right into those vices.
All my parents wanted from me was to put all my focus and attention to school and family and nothing more. I was discouraged to join school clubs and affiliations because they think I’ll be distracted and eventually fall short on my academics. I was taught the only path I must follow to succeed is to finish my studies, graduate, and find a job. That was something I didn’t understand back then and even resented them for — stealing away my youth. I was mad that they didn’t trust me. But all of that’s changed now; I’ve known better.
Going back to the party in the mountains, I took advantage of the absence of my parents. We celebrated my nephew’s birthday party and swam with some other kids in the pool. Then, when it was their bedtime, my cousins and I began the drinking session. Long story short, that day was the first time I got drunk. Not tipsy, not slightly drunk but the real deal I-don’t-remember-anything drunk. Only in Senior High School that I’ve had my fair share of sneak-outs and hanging out with friends, having a couple of drinks but not anything like that particular day.
The last thing I remembered was taking that last shot of Mojito’s and the burning feeling in my chest as I swallowed it. I did not remember anything after that. I didn’t remember how I got out of the pool or how I got into bed. It was like it never happened, but it did.
One of my cousins took a picture of what happened that night and I was shocked. Lying down on the floor, I was laughing as I was choking on my own vomit. My cousins were surrounding me, trying to pick me up. Looking at myself, I thought I was unconscious. It was like my brain shut down (because I didn’t remember anything at all) but the evidence says otherwise.
The next morning, I woke up with a throbbing headache and a couple of sores and bruises on my knees, elbows, arms, and the sole of my feet. They said I was restless and noisy. I was laughing at their narrations. I was entertained by the stories of my cousins. They told me everything that happened. I was scared. Also, I apologized and told them I held myself accountable for surpassing my limits in terms of alcohol tolerance but I don’t hold myself accountable for the things I said or did while I was drunk.
I’ve always wanted to experience being this drunk because I didn’t know how it felt until now (this was my shallow definition of a once-in-a-lifetime teenage dream experience).
But I wasn’t entertained for too long. The funny parts were over, and they had to tell me something serious about my behavior. As they started narrating, I was shocked by what I had to say while I was drunk. I didn’t believe them at first. I thought they were just messing around with me. As for my privacy, I’d rather not tell you the specifics. But I assure you that it wasn’t a pleasant thing to say, even when I was drunk.
The first thing I felt is self-pity. I pitied myself. I wondered if I have been taking care of myself. I wondered about the information I’ve been consuming. I thought about the posts I’ve read, the movies I’ve watched, the people I’ve talked to, and many more that could have possibly molded my way of thinking. The preaches and deeds we overlook have been instilling in our subconscious all along, and that is frightening.
This is why it’s important to always check on our mental health. We’re too focused to protect ourselves from what we see and touch that we forget that the invisible enemies can affect us as much.
I’ve been nothing but thankful for my family — my cousins, in particular. They have taken care of me while I wasn’t in my right mind. They bathed and clothed me, and brought me to bed safe and sound.
If you ever choose to drink, please be responsible for your choices while you’re sober because your rationality will be stripped away from you gradually as every drop of alcohol flows inside your body. Be careful with who you’re with and be absolutely sure you can trust them with your life. It’s much better if it’s your family.
Also, know your limits. We all have a different level of alcohol tolerance and we mustn’t compare it to others. Having a higher tolerance doesn’t equate to strength or fun. We drink alcohol because we want to get drunk, period. How else would it serve its purpose if you won’t?
Plus, it’s not something to brag about especially with kids. When they grow up, they’ll likely follow you as a bad influence. If you feel like you’re getting tipsier and you couldn’t walk straight anymore, that’s more likely a reason to stop. Think of the long-term effects on your body and mind.
“It’s only a matter of time until you pay for all that your body has endured. You only get one life, so make it count.”