Why I Don't Drink Now And Why I Never Will

Why I Don't Drink Now And Why I Never Will

After all, I lived through domestic abuse.

People often come to me asking me why they don't see me at parties on campus. I don't come because I don't like drinking. I have a dark personal background about why I don't drink. I still hear after I tell people a little about why, how that my past shouldn't affect my decisions now. That I'm letting my past control me. Maybe I am. I'd rather let it control me, though, than let it haunt me. Even then, I still get a drink shoved into my face telling me to let go and have fun to "be young". I refuse and if they won't let it go, I walk away. Walking away is one of the easiest things I learned to do. People think it's hard when someone keeps coming at you, whether it's an ex or some drunk girl/guy at a party being rude, to walk away but it's so easy for me. I don't like confrontation, I even shy from it. I try to be the best person I can be, while still making myself happy - but that's not the point of this article.

Often times, the dangers of drinking are ignored. People drive drunk or use someone's intoxication against them. People even become violent. My stepdad did. I remember when I was about 11, it was the first time things turned south. He and my mom had just gotten married two weeks before. I was home sick from school and my mom and stepdad were fighting. I could hear it from my bed upstairs. The fighting lasted all day and night. My brother came home and was with me, protecting me, from a threat I had yet to perceive. My stepdad was drinking and was getting louder and angrier. My brother had disappeared down into the fighting, and I was scared. I was so very scared and my stomach hurt. I started to walk downstairs when I heard a loud bang and my mom screaming, then utter silence. I'll never forget that silence or the dread that slid through my body causing my heart to stop then start at an accelerated rate. I remember it was almost as if everything was happening in a dream-like state, my brother came running out of the kitchen yelling for me to call the police but I didn't move. He grabbed the phone and called them since I stood frozen on the steps. I knew something terrible had happened but when my brother went back and carried my mom to the couch, it all became so much more real. My stepdad had hit my mom so hard he broke her eardrum. The pain must have been just horrible because she was crying and moaning.

Finally, my muscles came back on and I went to cuddle with my mom. She held me and told me she would be fine. "Don't be scared," she said. "Everything will be okay." Two days later, my mom called me downstairs and sitting on the couch was my stepdad. He said he was sorry and that he loved us. My mom told me it was okay, that it wouldn't happen again. She told me to hug him and so I did. The sad thing was, this wasn't the last time he hit her, nor was hitting the worst thing he did. Every time, without fail, I could guess when something bad was going to happen. How? Because he was always drinking when he went crazy. The fear is still embedded into me. The nights of hiding in my room when I'd hear the yelling start, the nights of holding my brother back so he wouldn't fight him and begging him to please stop, and the nights where I thought he was going to kill my mom all come back to me in nightmares. I would go to school terrified that I'd come home to my dead mom. I would go to school hiding the pain and the terror that happened in my home, covering anything on myself for fear of discovery.

My mom got us away but then her third husband was worse. It wasn't that he hit me but he did hit my mom. That's not what made him worse, though. What made him worse is that he changed her. My mom became violent and unpredictable. My first stepdad damaged her but my second stepdad broke her. All of this happened because of alcohol. There were many other factors but I will never forget the damage alcohol left on my family and my life. When people are drunk or tipsy I feel fear rise to the surface and everything comes back in flashes. My anxiety runs rampant and I can barely tell reality from memory.

People often don't think about their kids and how fighting affects them. They don't understand that fighting and yelling ruins them. It makes them think that that is what relationships should look like. It teaches them that abuse and fighting are normal. Their personal relationships will suffer. I promise you that. When voices get raised in a household, kids get scared. It stays with them. Hitting is worse. When mommy or daddy hit each other or even a stepparent, it begins to leave mental and emotional marks. Most parents think the kids can't hear because they go outside or they don't know about the hitting. Kids are much more intelligent than people give them credit for and they know. You think you are hiding it but you aren't. Take it from me, you aren't, even a little. Hurting the kid's other parent, whether it be physical or emotional, will hurt the kids more than the other person. Leave them and be done with it. Take it from me, everyone will be better off. After all, I lived through domestic abuse.

Cover Image Credit: the drunken fig

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.

BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.


It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.

These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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