6 Things I Learned Getting Sober At 21

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By Conor Janda

Original Source: huffingtonpost.com

“Shame and secrets made me a guarded kid, and alcohol equipped me with the chainsaw to take down my own walls.”

Drunken college mayhem is as much a part of the American Dream as a station wagon and a 9-5 job. The alcohol-related deaths of young, bright-eyed hopefuls evoke sadness and even surprise from the media, but anyone recently enrolled in college knows the binge-drinking culture runs rampant across college campuses of the most privileged seeking to live out their “Glory Days.” Drunken mayhem is more than a quintessential part of the college experience for most; it’s the currency used to establish social status, the lubricant applied to develop friendships and romantic relationships, and the magical potion invoked to diminish inhibitions. “Glory Days” have no place for inhibitions. Binge-drinking is obviously dangerous for anyone, but what happens to the students on these campuses who are alcoholics?

I started drinking heavily at 17. Growing up gay in suburban America means growing up with shame and secrets. As a high-strung perfectionist, alcohol was my release from the rope wire I walked along for most of my teenage years. Alcohol took me to a world where I was free, where the racing thoughts in my mind finally calmed down.

In college, booze is the great equalizer. Everyone wants to get messed up, so it…click here to continue reading

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