During my high school years I met interesting people at school and out of school. My freshman year I reunited with an old friend from middle school. I hadn’t seen him in 2 years. Despite are distance apart we both remembered each other and we gradually became best friends.
One day after school he introduced me to a 40oz. of Miller High Life. Although there was no pressure, I was curious myself and took a few sips. The taste was similar to the other beers I tried. Shortly after, I felt happy and a bit unbalanced from drinking almost the whole 40oz. Little by little my drinking consumption became excessive, one reason being that I enjoyed the intoxication feeling, the feeling of being happy with no care in the world. Secondly, I was exposed to an older crowd of individuals that enjoyed drinking as well.
Most of my high school life I spent after school hanging out with friends drinking, going to parties during the weekend, however, I was not doing the best in my academic life. That is to say, I didn’t have the momentum to study, to concentrate in school. I was too focused on my social life. The high school I went to didn’t have a good curriculum, there weren’t many good teachers that would challenge us, nor did they encourage us to think critically.
There was a lot that bothered me, I realized. The school, the lack of discipline in the class, the lack of great teaching methods, the food was terrible, lack of foreign language courses, and so forth. Because of all that I didn’t have the motivation to do well in school. The drinking was a symptom.
A week before my eighteen birthday I had a minor accident. I was drunk riding my friend’s bike, enjoying the cool breeze passing through me. My friends were walking way behind me. I started to pedal fast, and when I turned back my friends weren’t there. As I was getting off the bike I lost balance from the drunkenness and I twisted my right ankle. I immediately sat down the sidewalk reaching towards my foot to see if any bone was broken. Luckily, no bone seemed to be fractured, however, my right foot rapidly enlarged like a water balloon.
I walked the bike home in pain, realizing that my right foot was sprained. It was just as agonizing as when I had dislocated my right arm. A few months of my senior year, I spent my days walking with the support of my ankle brace and crutches, and worse yet I was getting picked up from school by mi abuelito.
As the time came on to check up on my sprained foot, I took some blood tests, and I was told I had high cholesterol and I was gaining weight. At seventeen years old, I didn’t think it was possible to have high cholesterol for a young person like myself.
After that day, I put myself in a strict regime. I became fully aware. One, I was drinking so much, two, I was gaining weight, three, I was letting the alcohol control my life, my mind, and my body. Because of spraining my ankle, my eyes were opened to a new path. I was getting my life together by focusing on my health, and priorities that I should consider.
During my start to my sobriety, I started improving in my classes. I didn’t want to end up repeating the 12th grade. No one but myself was going to get me out of that dark realm. I overcame my inner issues and gradually progressed.
Currently, I am twenty one and still observe abstinence from alcohol.
Featured image by Nina Matthews, used under a Creative Commons license.