After that first night, I spent virtually every weekend (and a lot of weeknights) drinking and partying for the next 9 years. I loved the feeling of going out, warm alcohol sliding down my throat, and being drunk. I felt like I was the life of the party – I spoke to and joked with everyone and there wasn’t anyone I couldn’t get along with. I was in heaven. This feeling stayed with me for quite a while. Getting drunk was fun and I didn’t see the point in doing something social without having a few (or many) drinks. I started drinking before and at every party, social outing, movie night, whenever I could – and so did most of my friends. Looking back I didn’t start out drinking more than everyone else, it gradually progressed and I eventually noticed I would drink more and faster than everyone else, resulting in me being drunker than everyone else.
I’m going to pause here and note how alcoholism is a progressive disease. Often, it doesn’t present when someone starts drinking. Check out this post on progressive alcoholism.
It wasn’t until about two years after I started drinking when I first thought I might drink too much. I didn’t think I had a problem, I just thought I overdid it occasionally and needed to slow down. So I slowed down for a while for the first time (of many attempts). This worked for about a month or so and then I found myself getting drunk again (even quicker this time). I partied on for many years with little or no consequences. If nothing bad happened, why would I stop?