Feb 05, 2014
The people who drink here are really young college kids or older people trying to maintain the partying from their younger yeras. That, and more middle aged citizens. Not many people or things to do around the age of 30. I used to just keep up the partying, and avoid the young ones. It's fortunate I got out of that routine. It's considered the biggest alcohol-type partying school in NC, notorious for loose, pretty girls and dumb students. I think they routinely make the Playboy top 10 party school lists, which I find less impressive every day that passes. It does look tempting sometimes to return to, but it is so black and white; the scene looking so great reminds me to keep my distance. 'One time' means for the rest of time. There is no 'sipping a beer' in this town. The last girl I took home from a bar (about a year ago) always carries a shortened beer funnel around with her in the bars for her troop. I had three friends get a DUI within a couple of months of each other last year. This town reminds me of The Great Gatsby- my favorite book of all time. I always related to Gatsby. There are small veins of acidic, smoldering, mayhem-- particularly through our four-block , 14 bar downtown-- giving one the impression of a constant good time and nothing but highs. The reality is every person trying to be on top, at least it seems that way to me. Everyone fights-- I referred to bars as modern day coliseum gladiator fights. I found my reluctance to join into that Gatsby party, eventually resulted in me doing all the substances and avoiding the scene. More often than not, I spent my money on drugs and alcohol and consumed them for the sheer high of the intoxication itself, alone in my apartment. Being in the place that you can party 5 nights a week with people who have very little future... even a crazy person will begin to realize it will eventually affect you in ways you didn't intend.
I've been constantly trying to attend school for 10 years, minus the few I was trying to work up the money to go back. I was never inducted into their version of MTV-beach house style partying. The huge crowds of hundreds or constant keg parties were nothing I ever really got invited into much. Never felt very comfortable in strange situations. Felt much better being the strange situation that bewildered everyone else when they wouldn't follow suit. Well, at least until the depression hit and I was left thinking, "What was I thinking?"
I've lived here for 8 years, seen behind the scenes more than been in them. The social-life of our down is appropriate portrayed in the "Im Shmacked ECU" youtube video- a bunch of drunks, drugs, and sex. If you check it out, it may give you some idea of what its like here. Also, the video does reveal the challenges being sober in a small city that parties this hard-- this is actually an accurate portrayal with little glamorization. Probably 80% of the population under 25 gets wasted-- not drunk, not drinking-- wasted. Most of my friends are under 25. There is either absolutely nothing going on, or tons of people getting trashed. Sadly though, this is the reality of the social life here. People just drink-- case in point. They even refer to the each of the late-night buses as "the drunk bus". A "drunk bus" driver once told me every night he drove, someone threw up, regardless of what day of the week it was. He had been driving for about a year. But yeah, I used to be proud of this place's ability to party. Now, it is embarrassing. I remember feeling like I had no control over addictions, yet didn't buy into the social scene still. Probably half a year ago seeing videos of people getting trashed here would inspire me to drink a 12-pack, throw a 6er in the car along with a big jar of weed and pipe, and drive around trashed looking for something illegal to do behind the scenes of all the commotion. Honestly, I met my girlfriend the first time I visited here from an hour away. I always considered this town to just be a crappy alcoholic place with a lot of dumb people. I like it here now, but mostly because Im in the place where I grew up a lot mentally-- so now I'm fond of it for a unique reason.
(not suitable for children-- and-- the music isn't, shall we say, tasteful) - you can watch 10 seconds and get the gist of it
That's what I think about when I want to go back into the addictions. It's definitely a sin city of sort. My ability to cognitively reason through temptation has really strengthened my resolve, though. I once read, "we tend to romanticise our addictions, looking back and just seeing the really great times". I always think of that, and force my mind to be that person stuck on the carpet, unable to move; the person-- depressed, intoxicated or not, never finding what I wanted, never getting enough from each person, never having enough people around me, loosing his buzz to the tolerance, hiding the abuse from family members, My maturity level is much beyond the type you see displayed in that video, so remember, I moved here and lived a very quaint life with a girlfriend, avoiding all of that, for 2 years through my early 20's. It just brought out a different side of me eventually. Somehow, even all of this wasn't the excitement I needed. I needed to be in the woods doing the most illegal things I could, be chased by planes and helicopters with spotlights. I needed to drive drunk 100mph as if I were going on a Sunday evening walk. I can remember how my eyes opened with excitement just like yesterday. I'm lucky to even be alive after that recklessness, aside from the suicidal depression. But yeah, that video is the Great Gatsby metaphor in a nutshell to me. It's not what it appears to be. The scene exists, but just like Gatsby I was always seeking the green light across the water-- I needed something bigger.
So, for nowI really must rely on some exercise, gardening, and definitely some new things to get me through this upcoming summer. During that particular season, everyone leaves except the serious drinkers, and somehow less people getting more trashed is more of a temptation for me. I guess I see them as being on a level playing field with my addictions.
I posted this as a J/E so that the world can read it as well as my newly acquired friend I was originally messaging this to. I'm tired after typing for an hour and reflecting. This J/E did bring up some triggers a little bit, but I got through it. A sobriety update: I did go out to a friend's birthday lunch where I know people would be drinking. I had been around alcohol under 5 times since I became sober almost 5 months ago. I didn't even notice as a couple people had beers. Didn't even look like something I had ever drank. Feels like progress compared to being afraid to walk down the beer aisle in the grocery store 4 months ago. I talked to my pdoc yesterday about it. I told her the loneliness I am experiencing lately seems to be from isolation, and nothing a chemical balance can correct. I told her about the lunch and then said I thought I was ready to go back into the world, minus heading downtown to the bars. She said she thought that was a great idea. I got the go-ahead from the woman who diagnosed me, saved my life, helped repair my college and social life, convinced me to stop using drugs and alcohol. That was a proud moment yesterday. My biggest critic in a way, in a respectable way. Critical to my lifestyle decisions I guess I'd say. Someone I thought who was cold and just a doctor. Now I'm receiving her praise for taking control and developing greatly over the three semesters she has gotten to know me, doing things she tells me that many people cannot do.
There is no point where the world stops becoming a challenging place. The channels of addiction are well-formed in my head. They can flip like a switch if I give them the right fuel. I witness the world, and react the best I can. I feel like I can still make a lot of progress. A lot of situations that would make recovery difficult have not occurred lately. My life used to be very traumatic in some ways. One day, I feel I need something more for this. My friend tells me the A.A. mantra of placing progress over perfection. I am trying to keep this in mind, yet I want to be stronger and strive to be ready-- for when that situation comes. Situations where I want to drink and use drugs again; situations I want to run wild.
I'm just waiting for suggestions from the world as to how to avoid my former lifestyle-- how to avoid those situations.
Cheers and stay strong. Help me to be strong, as well.