If someone asked me to describe myself, I guess I would reply, "Well, I'm fairly tall, have long brown hair, brown eyes, dimples ... " Okay, well what do you like to do on your free time? "I don't know - play soccer, softball, hang out with my friends." Pretty normal, right? Yeah, I think so, too. Well, one more question - a little more specific - what do you like to do on weekends or at parties? "Listen to music, dance, eat, laugh, just chill." Sounds like fun, right? What else could you ask for? Well, too many (notice I didn't say most) teenagers, there is one blatant omission: alcohol.
I guess that brings me to the final question: do I drink? No, I do not. That's right, I am a sixteen-year-old female who is alcoholically challenged. I guess you could say I am an open live-aholic; I am desperately addicted to enjoying my life naturally, without chemical help (that's really not the right word, though). Hopefully there is no cure for this disease, and I would be thrilled beyond words if it was airborne and could be easily transmitted. Maybe my case will cause an epidemic! You've heard of AA or Al-Anon, maybe there should be Friday night support groups for teenagers living with AAS (Anti-Alcohol Syndrome). But you know what, I don't need support, and I certainly don't want to get better! I actually enjoy my condition and wouldn't want to be healed if the cure was ice cream and jelly beans. Perhaps this is a result of the chronic symptoms: confidence, pride, and independence. I am a teenager living with a condition that does not allow me to fall on my face, puke on my boyfriend's lap, or crack up my car. And I love it! And still have long brown hair and dimples and love to play soccer. I live my life just as any other junior in high school, except that one slight alcohol omission. But if the connotation of "omission" is negative, I guess I will have to modify it slightly: I am a teenager living with a "mission to omit.."
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.