to the girl who feels like alcohol is stealing her friends

hello sweet girl,

I am going to be your honorary bestie for the next few minutes, and if you need me after this, please message me.

I’m going to try to convince you that I know where you are right now, so bear with me. Maybe you’re in your room doing homework while your friends are at a darty. Maybe you’re running to pick up your friends after a night out. Do you want to go out, but something is pulling you back, telling you it isn’t right? Did you lose someone you loved to alcohol, and are scared of what it does to people? Are you constantly being called the mom of the group because you don’t drink, laugh it off, but wish that wasn’t the name you received? Do you feel like you’re missing out on something? Maybe you feel like you’re falling behind in making friendships because being drunk seems to make strangers become besties between the dark hours of 10 and 2. Maybe you’re thinking that if you had gone out just a few nights, that you would have met your boyfriend by now. If you’re like me, you are, or have felt, all of these things and you have considered many times why just one glass of wine would hurt, but each time, you fall back on the promise you made to yourself. You fall back on the girl who was hurting her senior year, losing friends over this trend of getting trashed. Listen to me when I tell you that you are not alone.

You made it through that, you will make it through it this time. It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you more boring, prude-ish, motherly, or anything less than those who went out last night. The FOMO is real, the memories they make, the videos you see while you’re lounging around waiting on the “on my way home!” text from your roommate. I get it. Honey, it hurts. It hurts in a way not many other things do.

I am here to say that you are far more beautiful, attractive, pure, fulfilling, and nourishing than that wine cooler, even on nights that they choose it over you.

You might also be thinking, “But it isn’t like that, they aren’t choosing it over me. It’s not like that.” And you would be right. I know that my friends love and respect me despite this personal decision to steer clear of alcohol. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard for you to say no. That’s why I’m here, writing this letter to you. Because, darling, sometimes it is harder to say no than others. Sometimes you might think about it a little longer than other times. But sweet girl, no one cares if you don’t go to the party.

There is a reason that the thrill of drinking doesn't satisfy into the hours past sunrise, why the hangovers come the next day. First John 2:17 says, "And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." They do not fulfill. They do not bring light into the next day. I hope, my sister, that in the dark hours of the night, you work on sheltering your light from the wind of the world, that seeks to put it out.

You are the party. You have a life worth celebrating, a sober one full of memories that don’t require a buzz to be brilliant. I beg you to remain in yourself, to reminder yourself why you’re the one they come to cry on when the boy from the bar doesn’t snap them back. I ask you to remind yourself how good your life is without the blurry nights. On Friday, Saturday, or heck, Tuesday nights when you feel replaced by the bottles, please remember that you are in the world, not of it, that there are good guys out there who will stay in with you until it is legal, that the world is more than Friday and Saturday nights, and that you, my sweet, sweet sister, are so much more than the wine cooler.

love always,

erika marie

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