I Was Pressured Into Drinking For Years

It was hard being sober before it was cool

Ellen Eastwood
Black Bear

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Glasses of beer and alcoholic drinks being clinked in a cheers at an outside table
Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

“Would you like wine?” Pamela asked, hopefully.

I was out for dinner with my former boss-turned-friend. She enjoys a glass of red with her meal.

I didn’t want wine, but I knew what would happen if I ordered soda. The slight tightening of the lip and rolling of the eyes. The suppressed sigh.

“Sure,” I said, “I’ll have what you’re having.”

When people say they have a problem with alcohol, they generally mean they consume it more, need it more, than they would like. For much of my adult life, I was the opposite, consuming alcohol I didn’t want to meet social expectations.

I began drinking in university, back when it was the norm for students to party their free time away. My friends and I were a tight unit, spending every evening together. It was a ritual, Wednesday through Saturday, to drink. Heavily.

We’d pre-game at the dorm while playing euchre and then head to the bar. Wednesday night we’d get tipsy, but as the week wore on we’d go progressively harder. By Saturday we were in ‘I can’t feel my face’ territory.

I never considered why I centered my life around drinking. It was just what you did, a rite of passage. Once you were an…

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Ellen Eastwood
Black Bear

Culture and lifestyle writer | Generalist | Curious | Witty on a good day | Contact: elleneastwood@outlook.com