In our episode , our listener Rachel told us about realizing she'd slipped into a nightly drinking habit — and trying to curb some of her desire to drink. "Yo u have to kind of surf the urge," she explained. "R ecognize that it's there, breathe into it, surf it out, try to distract yourself."
We asked you all to tell us how you "surf the urge"—what gets you through those times when you're arguing with yourself about whether to drink or not? From french fries to soccer leagues to pot, here's what you told us.
If you missed our episode about the ways drinking is and isn't working for you, that might be helpful for you.
Michael Arceneaux On Love, Liquid Courage And Letting Go
When writer Michael Arceneaux was in his early 20s, he went to a gay club for the first time — after years of being closeted and denying his sexuality. "I enter a space and I just look at everything and I just get so caught up in my head," he told me. "But once you get the liquor you're like, oh, stop thinking, just go twerk."
Michael said that night was "the first time I actually felt joy with that part of myself." But despite finding alcohol to be a helpful way to let go of his inhibitions, drinking is complicated for Michael. Growing up, he says that his father would often become physically abusive when he drank too much. And Michael knows that he too is capable of extreme anger while drinking. "I am still human and thus susceptible to falling into patterns of those who have come before me," Michael says. "I'm reminded that [drinking] can lead to something else."
In 2018, Michael wrote a piece for The New York Times Opinion section called The Student Loan Serenity Prayer, about his student loan debt.
Bottled Up: Your Stories About Drinking
It can sometimes feel like alcohol—whether you're drinking it or not—is an intrinsic element of navigating adulthood. After all, over 70 percent of American adults drink. We take drinking so much for granted that we often fail to really engage with the role it's playing in our lives. " It’s been a piece of everything since we’ve turned 21, or 18," a listener named Cari told us. "We've always had a drink or been drinking when we’ve been at parties. And it’s so funny that I’m 34, and that is a worry: that if I weren’t drinking, maybe the party would move to someone else’s house."
We asked you to share your experiences with alcohol —why you drink or don't, the strategies you use to manage your consumption, and what alcohol brings you besides a buzz. And we learned that our feelings about alcohol are much more complicated than we tend to acknowledge. This week, we share some of your stories.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or seeking more information about alcohol consumption, .
Rashema Melson's Weakest Yet Bravest Moments
In early May, we got an email from Rashema Melson. , in 2017, when she'd decided to end her marriage and go back to college.
Now, Rashema was reaching out to tell us that she was graduating from Georgetown — and that she'd recently listened back to her "weakest yet bravest moments" captured on the show. I talk with Rashema about what she's doing now, post-graduation — and I hear about how her last two years on campus at Georgetown felt very different than her first two.
A Brother, A Sister, And Their Eating Disorders
Siblings Charlie* and Oscar* were always close growing up. But as they got older, there was one thing that they didn't talk together about: the way they eat.
Both Charlie and Oscar struggle with different types of eating disorders — Charlie has struggled with bulimia, and Oscar has anorexia. Despite their closeness and years-long suspicions about each other's eating habits, it's taken a long time to open up about their difficulties with food to each other. When they finally had their first real conversation about it last summer, Charlie said it "felt like I was coming out."
"This was finally like pointing a finger at it," Oscar responded. "And saying, 'This is a thing that exists.'"
Are you or someone you know struggling with an eating disorder? We've compiled resources .