2 fun facts about me:
1️⃣ I waited until I was 21 to drink.
2️⃣ Today marks 8 years since I have had any alcohol🍷🍺🍸🍹
Always one for following the rules, I may have been one of the few humans in history to have waited until I was 21 to drink. I worked midnights as a fingerprint analyst🕵🏻♀️ at the time I turned 21. I remember getting off work and going to the convenient store to grab hard lemonade to try for the first time because people said that actually tasted good 😂
Alcohol was pretty much no big deal for a while. I could take it or leave it, but I had fun creating new things to try with my friends who did drink every so often.
Fast forward to my first few years of practicing medicine. Stress. Drinking was more normal socially at that time and I joined in. Alcohol started to be a means of unwinding, rather than turning to the Lord to help me through some of the new challenges I was facing at that point in my life. I was also choosing to drink, despite knowing that my husband preferred we both refrain altogether. Add on top of that that my fatigue (the most challenging, frustrating, and limiting part of my life is chronic fatigue) seemed to completely disappear when I drank. Add all of this together and you have a recipe for heading down a path that is not healthy in any capacity (spiritually, emotionally, relationally, or physically). The last straw was finding out that I had a history of substance abuse in my family. Not worth their risk.
While it may seem extreme to some people, I choose just to avoid it altogether. Abstinence is the best guardrail for me. I know my personality type is one that leans toward all-or-nothing.
I can tell you that it was very difficult when I made the decision in the beginning. I would go a few weeks, then get stressed and decide it was silly not to drink to cope. Deep down I knew that it was not the right thing for me personally to do. I knew that if I could not find a clear line for a healthy boundary when I allowed myself to drink that God was leading me to just abstain. What I mean by “healthy boundary” is that there was no specific cut off point that I felt like the Lord was telling me was appropriate in order to be acceptable to partake (ie, number of days per week or drinks per event). I felt like He was leading me to lay it down altogether and trust Him and not anything outside of Him.
So here we are 8 years later. I’m 100% happy that I made the decision. I still struggle with my fatigue, but have found a lifestyle balance that allows me to manage it better than at any point prior.
Let me be clear that I in no way think drinking is wrong for those who do so responsibly! It’s interesting to me how certain things and activities can be no big deal for one person and a very big deal for another. Case in point, there was a period of time that I was prescribed Adderall for my chronic fatigue. That medication is known to be highly addictive, but for me, it was never an issue. I was never tempted to use it inappropriately, and only took it when I needed it, rather than exactly as it was written. It was also something that I decided I did not want to rely on long-term, but not because of seeing the same red flags I did with drinking alcohol. It definitely helped, but I decided I would trust the Lord for His healing.
Whether that healing comes in this life, or not until heaven, I do believe He has a purpose for everything. Because of my chronic fatigue, I have had to be very creative about healthy habits and productivity, and this has led me to be able to help others in that way. I certainly would not choose chronic fatigue if it were up to me, but I’m grateful for what it has allowed me to do for others. He really can use all things for our good and the good of others (Romans 8:28)!
I hope this was valuable to you, or at least in interning read! If you have questions, please feel free to ask below or to email me!