What Alcohol Does To Me

One day, you turn 21.  You get your ID card and you want to go to this one place where people ask to see that card. The Question is “Can I see your ID.”  So many people want to be asked that on their 21st birthday and after. It makes them feel young when they’re asked that at 30 or older.


The place is the bar. You know what’s served there. One word, Alcohol. All young people like to get drunk once. Come home at night hungover the next day with that splitting headache when they wake up. Drinking all those shots of Tequila at the bar with their friends until their hammered. Just no binge drinking, please. Martinis, margaritas, and cocktails. Also, all varieties of beer to drink, have a good time and get drunk on.


But there’s a problem if you have mental health issues drinking alcohol especially if you take psychiatric medication. My doctor told me one drink when taking meds. I don’t take my meds if I have a certain amount of alcohol in my system. I knew someone who died from mixing medication and alcohol. That’s not going to happen to me. I won’t let it. After my hospital visit from being off meds, I’d rather take my meds than drink loads of alcohol and miss them resulting in going back. I remember the opening scene from the Marvel X-Men movie based on the iconic character Wolverine titled “Logan”. The scene was when Logan fights the guys who were trying to vandalize his limo. Logan was a limo driver in the opening scenes of the movie. When he fights these guys, he ends up on the ground with his claws up and screams AHHHH before he gets up. That’s how I act when I’m drunk except I don’t fight people. I do feel like Logan in that opening scene and as a matter of fact, he did have a drinking problem in that movie.


I remember a time I went out for a meal at this restaurant up the road from my old apartment. I had a Blue Moon beer there. It was a bigger glass of Blue Moon than I usually drink. Yes, Blue Moon is my favorite beer. I remember driving home after dinner and the beer plus a soda with caffeine in it. I got back to my apartment and I just didn’t feel right. I was living in an independent living home with staff on duty on that time. I kept acting like I was having a good time being silly, putting my arms in the air, closing my eyes, and saying WOOO quietly like I was drunk. I went up to my room falling on the ground and every time I get drunk I do something else.


My roommates were picking me up and my staff was trying to get me to go up to my room. I even shook one of them saying her name in a silly way. Just imagine what she was feeling when I did that. I overheard my roommates talking about me being drunk. I never asked even though she said she just thought I was being a goof.


I remember another time on Christmas when I chugged down a glass of Malbec Red Wine. Same thing. Acting silly and this time I actually touched someone’s pack of cigarettes when I don’t smoke and don’t plan to. I took the lighter as well. I wouldn’t do something like that if there wasn’t alcohol in my system. Once again, I kept falling on the ground and felt like Old Man Logan from that movie.


What made me learn about what alcohol really does to me as someone with mental health issues was a recent time I went to a wild bar. I walked in and ordered a miller lite beer on draft. I was sitting next to a guy. He didn’t seem like a bad guy. I complimented his hat and we talked for a little bit. I ordered another one. After that drink, before I ordered a third which was enough and my last beer for the night, I remember the guy offering to buy me a shot. I always like trying shots as I don’t do shots a lot at bars.


I’m not a liquor person. I don’t like lots of liquors and most shots I’ve done were very strong as most of them are. One person questioned the guy as I’ve heard from people guys don’t share drinks together. I don’t know much about alcohol, to begin with never mind what is right and wrong when it comes to drinking with other people.


I never go to bars and don’t have friends who do. I don’t know if people said “He’s weird” when they heard that but I shouldn’t care to be honest. Not everyone is the same. It was so loud in there and I was tired that I couldn’t quite catch the name of the shot that was ordered. I remember the lady pouring it and nothing went in it when I drank it because I didn’t see anybody try to put drugs in it. But when I drank the shot, I started to not feel right. I paid my tab and left. I walked home as it wasn’t far. Barking dogs were out as I was walking home but no creepy people thank god. My neighborhood seems pretty safe. I got home, took my clothes off that smelled like cigarette smoke and threw them on the ground. I fell on my bed with my favorite pea coat on the floor and laid there. I was saying a few lines from “Logan” once again. I acted like Logan and in the middle of the night, I thought I was having a heart attack. I was breathing heavy and not normal through the night.


I woke up the next day and had two cups of coffee that didn’t perk me up. Took a hot shower that didn’t help either. I went to a McDonalds and barely ate my food. I must have been hungover. I didn’t take my medicine either because I thought I would have died that night if I did. I did think about calling 911.


Sometimes I’m silly and sometimes I’m angry when I drink too much alcohol. It depends. But with my mental health, the mood can swing and with alcohol, you shouldn’t take the meds even if you need them. Drink alcohol at your own risk with mental health.


Talk with your doctor and please don’t drink anything too strong if you have mental health issues. And you can’t afford a drinking problem alone, never mind if you have mental health issues. It can probably kill you if you take psychiatric medication. Alcohol and mental health is not a good combo.

Louis Scarantino

Louis Scarantino is a man on the autism spectrum. He advocates for autism awareness. He grew up in Northeastern PA. He started writing and speaking after meeting his favorite singer Shania Twain! He's also published articles for The Mighty, Thought Catalog, YourTango, and Unwritten! He has his own website www.louisscarantino.com! He hopes to become an international Autism Advocate and get a film made about his life!

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