The BDC Tribe has a story to tell

BDC was founded by a group of friends sharing personal stories about their drinking experiences. We discovered that all of our stories had one common thread... Drinking too much sucks, and that nearly every negative consequence related to alcohol was the result of drinking too much.

We are a tribe—by the people, for the people. Our stories inspired us—they were the catalyst for the BDC movement. Your stories have the power to inspire others, and to empower them to drink better and live healthier. #BecauseHangoversSuck

Below are *real stories from the BDC tribe. 

We got your back.

*Some names and other identifying characteristics may be changed to respect our Tribe's privacy. Edits have been made only in cases to ensure context or readability; otherwise, words are true to our Tribe.


Rebecca da SilvA (@_becular)

Photo courtesy of @_becular

Photo courtesy of @_becular

Seeing my flatmate personify the unpleasantries of drinking was the final nail in the coffin for my personal relationship with alcohol. For the next 48 hours after a night out, he is a shell of a man—reclusively shutting himself in his bedroom, napping all day, only getting up to pay the pizza delivery guy. Not for me, not any more. 

My decision to stop drinking happened gradually and was a result of all the idiosyncratic events in my life compounding together, and saying, “Nah, no thanks, mate.” Being a newly initiated member of the “sober society” probably doesn’t surprise those closest to me because in the past five years or so I’ve been a moderate drinker who could either go with or without. But being sober does mean that the tattoo of a wine glass on my right arm is ever so slightly gratuitous. 

My relationship with alcohol has been tested over the years. My father was an alcoholic and eventually passed away from alcohol related illnesses when I was 13. Seeing firsthand how alcohol can tear a family apart was a bitter experience that no child should have to see. This damaged father-daughter bond would forever alter my relationship with men, alcohol, and my own self-worth.

Whilst I had my fair share of negative experiences relating to alcohol, I also was lucky to see how people can responsibly consume alcohol. My family is French, so drinking wine at mealtimes or enjoying an aperitif is as ubiquitous as consuming a large slab of stinky cheese after dinner. Growing up, I saw alcohol as a relatively neutral thing: it was neither inherently good nor bad, but it had the power to alter the behaviour of its unwitting human host. 

When I was a teenager, I would binge drink. Though, at the time, I wouldn’t have labeled it as binge drinking. My first experience getting drunk was when I was about 14 or 15 years old, huddled with my friends over a few cans of Strongbow.

This bizarre ritual of drinking unpleasant drinks to get pissed as quickly and cheaply as possible continued into my late teens. Vodka-Coke was my drink of choice for a few years (and when I say vodka, I mean Sainsbury’s basics paint thinner that masquerades as palatable vodka, and when I say Coke, I mean Sainsbury’s basic cola drink that bares little resemblance to Coca-Cola).
 
Drinking culture at university was marginally better as I could legally buy alcohol and go to pubs and bars. Hooray—the days of drinking on a park bench in the middle of winter or at an erroneously named “house party” were over! I’d finally turned 18 and had finally leveled up. Woo hoo!

After university, I noticed that I didn’t drink as much, probably because I wasn’t in situations where others around me would drink in the daytime. I would go out for drinks with colleagues during the week or have the burger and pint combo at Britain’s national treasure J D Wetherspoon’s, but the frequency of which that would happen declined over the years. Personally, I blame the extortionate living costs of London, my crippling student debt, and poorly paid graduate jobs.

Fast forward to the present. I have made the decision to live a sober existence. Initially, I chose to limit my alcohol consumption from blackout drunk to happily merry. It was never the frequency of how often I’d drink, but more that I would drink a lot of alcohol at that specific night out and go way beyond my limits. I can count out a pathetically small handful of times that a boozy sesh didn’t end with me crying and/or vomiting.
 
A key motivator for quitting booze was improving my health: both my physical and mental health could be improved. I firmly believe that any progress I make (meditation, exercise, therapy, stretching) is completely destroyed by a night or two of drinking. I challenge anyone to feel good about themselves after they’ve vomited in a public toilet. Unfortunately, even if I moderated myself to having only one drink, I would still feel sad and anxious. Alcohol is a depressant, and as someone who suffers from depression, this simply triggers me to the point where one seemingly innocuous drink spirals me into a pit of anxiety. 

As a self-confessed cheapskate, saving some $$$ on alcohol has made me richer. Okay, so I probably spend all the money I save by cutting out booze on brunching, but that’s just the way I am. Replace one vice with another, am I right?! 

In all seriousness, I’m not only better off financially, but my personal life and interactions with people are now richer than ever. For one, I can 100% remember all of my nights out now and I am fully present in all my actions, thoughts, and feelings.

So many people use alcohol as a get-out clause: “Oh, I didn’t mean that, I was drunk.” Back in the day, I was the queen of that. I shirked responsibility for my behaviour because I couldn’t even remember the night before. Oops. Now, I prefer to just take full responsibility for my actions. If I act like a bitch, then it’s because I actually am a bitch. At least now I am 100% in control of myself, my actions, and the repercussions of my behaviour.

For me, it’s all or nothing. I either do something 100% or not at all. It’s either a crippling character flaw of mine, or (attempting to put a positive spin on it!) means that I am just very invested in the choices I make. Because of this, I have decided to bid adieu to all mind-altering liquid substances. Adios alcohol!



 
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Ximena

I’m really bad when it comes to drinking alcohol. I don't drink often, but when I do, it can go in three directions: 1) I just have a few beers or wine and things run smoothly, 2) I have a little more than I should, but still have an amazing time with just few blackouts (that I’m used to), or 3) I drink too much, and don't remember anything, Literally nothing. Which is something that usually brings regret, big mistakes, doing things I would never, ever do sober, hurting other people and self-hate (not sure if that's a word).

I’m really amazed at how I feel like it was someone else doing those things, not me. But at the end of the day, it was me, not knowing when to stop because I feel invincible, and like I'm the life of the party.

I'm close to turning 30, and I honestly just want to feel in control, and be more responsible when it comes to alcohol. I don't want it to feel like I’m gambling every time I drink, where things could go either amazingly well or terribly wrong. I think we have this idea (or at least I used to) that when we are a little tipsy, the more we drink the more epic and fun things are going to get. And the next day we realize that we were more wrong than we ever could have known. In my case I’m really bad at knowing when to stop which makes it kind of scary at times.

I’ve had some terrible experiences because of alcohol and it wasn't until recently that I realized that it is not worth it. Being drunk is not worth the pain. I can drink one beer and still have fun.

I ran into your website, and really think this is amazing, especially for younger people. If younger me could have learned how to drink and keep things under control, I don’t think I would feel the way I feel today.

It changes who you are, and the consequences can be so big and hurtful. So, I’m just really interested in what you guys do and definitely would love to be a part of this.

Thank you and warm regards.

 

b kujala

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I'd like to share a fond memory. I attended high school in England during the late '90s. I was at a young age that I learned and agree with appropriate social drinking. We learned behaviors, we understood consequences, and then I went to WMU. Suddenly, I had to wait 3 years to regain my right to drink. Personally, I believe the lack of education at an appropriate age, 17-18, when interest and peer pressure is at its peak, is directly related to a binge culture. These issues exist in Europe, sure, but in far less #s, and a significantly narrower window of time. I believe is education first, understanding, and then appreciation. How can I help?

 

justin

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I just wanted to say thank you for starting BDC. Although I have always been health-conscious (I'm pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health), my drinking habits have occasionally led me to make poor choices—particularly one I made in early 2016 that resulted in an OWI. Thankfully, there was no accident and no injures. I learned from my mistakes, and will never drink and drive again. An article from BDC changed my outlook on drinking, and helped me see that drinking better and safely is an option. and that by doing so sampling a variety of the great beers people brew in Michigan isn't out of the question.

Thanks again for all that you do and please let me know if there's ever a chance to "rep" or work together. 

P.S. I think that a BDC-branded podcast would be an interesting listen!

 

ANONYMOUS

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Hi! We actually just stumbled across this site looking for something else! However, we're an alcohol-free household as we both have friends and family who have experienced tragedy because of alcohol abuse. We want to make sure we raise our kids to understand that they don't need it to have a good time—they're interesting enough exactly the way God made them!

My husband has stories of his grandfather getting drunk, and beating the heck out of him. He also has a cousin that was so drunk he fell/jumped out a third story window, and died. My sister gets up in the morning and needs to drink vodka. We have enough reasons not to drink. We've never needed it to have a good time. We don't think stories about hangovers are interesting. We want to be fully present to create our own great life!

 

zerocool1155

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It's 9:56 a.m. I'm drinking water like it's no one's business, and I love you.