I didn't grow up in a strict household. I was never told to not try things and was just always told to be safe. So it should come as no surprise that I had tried alcohol when I was 15. I was at home and under the supervision of my parents and I didn't get drunk. My parents always said, "We'd rather you learn your limits in the safety of the house rather than out where you can be in danger."
I think this way of raising me has conditioned me to not think of alcohol in a terrible way and has prevented me from being a binge drinker once I went to college. Sure, since I've gotten to college I have gotten drunk a few times. But I never went out partying for three nights every week because I didn't see the appeal of it.
Then I started having issues with my anxiety. I was paranoid, my heart rate would spike and I would feel so sick to my stomach that I would literally pray to vomit just so I would feel better.
I noticed that I was also having these same symptoms when I drank a lot.
I started wondering if I had some kind of alcohol intolerance. I've never been able to hold alcohol well and was always considered a lightweight. Depending on the drink or how much I drank, I would be up half the night shaking from nausea and wishing that I never drank.
So I decided to give it up. While it may have made me a little bit more carefree at the beginning, it always ended up making me feel disgusting and exhausted and I didn't understand the appeal of it anymore. Why would I continue doing something that I know is going to just make me ill?
I am not saying that I hate the act of drinking altogether and I'm not trying to discourage others from drinking. I am one of the biggest advocates for moving the drinking age to 18. (Seriously, we can die for our country but not come home and have a beer? Ludicrous.) But I can personally have just as much fun drinking mocktails and not feeling sick as I would if I were drinking.
So yes, I'll be your designated driver and I will do it happily. I will be perfectly content knowing that you had fun and that I got you home safely. But being sober is a personal choice that I made for my health. It shouldn't be assumed that I don't know how to have fun if I don't drink.