In Your 20's? 5 Tips-Dealing with your Adrenal Gland, Booze, Sex, Drugs, Reputation-Killing Bravado and the Guilt!
Billy and Vietnam and Wall Studs and endless Beer and Jolene
"Well that's why he's going to Vietnam; he doesn't think he can get killed.
Why, he doesn't even think a vertical 2x4 stud hidden in the wall could knock him out.
It didn't and he kept drinking.
And then he laughed and grabbed more beer and Jolene."
Medieval Songsters, Love Song Makers and The Artists of the Day Give us our Party Tunes
Booze and Immortal Unkillable Adrenalized Youth
Proof of Life - DNA packaged Bursting Youthful Vitality
I remember when Billy Humphries thrust his head in a wall in a rented party house in Lubbock, Texas in 1966, because he was wasted and it was his last day before going to Vietnam. I remember thinking,
"Well that's why he's enlisting, he doesn't think he can get killed. Why, he doesn't even think a vertical 2x4 stud hidden in the wall could knock him out. It didn't and he kept drinking. And then he laughed and grabbed a beer and Jolene."
"Proof of Life" in the young is that they think they are immortal and unkillable. A deep abiding feeling of invulnerability abides in youthful human DNA and programmed brain activity. It is so deeply embedded in us, it is awesome.
Its why we are willing to fight. The young are willing to fight. Its why we are exploding with hormones while we are partying and then have babies. So we can manage babies, while we are struggling and fighting and staying up late. The Homo Sapien is a partier, fighter, chance taker, survivor, trouble making, energy burning fireball.
BUT. THE 20' HAVE BIG DOWNSIDES!
Many of us went through our 20's in a blur - a vague recollection of fleshy, music soaked, booze-laced memories that are tied together with those work days on stimulants that all just blend in a video stream of burnt synaptic images.
And its the Girls too! -
They say its high testosterone in women that drives the sex animus in them too. Its testosterone in EVERYBODY. Especially in their 20's. This human characteristic got preserved over the ages, because the people with less of this drive tended to not replicate themselves, so we ended up being an entire species of "partyers in our 20's".
Everyone knows that if women are the reason the world is. They create the world and then become its virtue. Men are stumbling around figuring out how to impress and who will have them. And then by the time this tornadic life phase goes into the "settlin' down" period, we are both - men and women - spent and ready to live the rest of this thing called "life".
"Is that all there is?" -
The 20's have this way of hypnotizing you and deadening you and keeping you excited and mesmerizing you and then letting you completely down.
An old Peggy Lee song said "Is that all there is? If that's all there is then lets keep dancing."
The reason we are worn out at the end of our 20's is because we all suffer from one degree or another of pure old "adrenal exhaustion". If we didn't stop our activities, we would die at 40. And actually, in older days of hard suffering we did.
But its still Dangerous! -
I used to tell my kids: "If you fall into the hands of the law, be polite, say "yes sir" and do not get beligerant. Its when you fall into the hands of the law and act like a jerk that many peoples' charges double and treble." Life is like that in your 20's in general. The MULTIPLICATION OF TROUBLE, the possibility of pain going nuclear is a match stick strike away when you are in your 20's.
5 Bits of Simple Advice -
#1 - "Don't drink between Sunday night and Thursday night". Think about this, you can only get so wasted if you keep this rule.
#2 - "Always start the night out with a lot in your belly".
#3 - Party with Non-Crazy People. "If you're a fighter, pal around with non-fighters." Look, you know you are going to be a complete jerk past a certain level of indulgence. Keep a cool friend nearby and give them instructions about how to handle you when you get a certain look in your eye.
#4 - As a INDIVIDUAL, you should be Scared! "When you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding, tell yourself you could die!" You won't probably. Its just the booze kicking your heart into high gear at 4 AM, but let it scare you. You will be fine. The human race keeps going through this all the time, but you need to think about you as an individual. You could still be an individual statistic.
#5 -You Could Be The One -
Even though our brain doesn't help us always, hard stats say: -- You could be killed on the highway. -- You could suffer an injury in a fight. -- You could get a life changing DUI. -- You could accidentally commit a worse crime. -- You could ruin friendships for the rest of your life. -- You could hurt your family for the rest of your life. -- You could get a bad STD. -- You could get AIDS. -- You could just feel bad about your past. -- You could end up in a different life position because of time served, enemies made, friends lost, lovers leaving, etc. etc. etc.
From a grandfather with four grown kids and 8 grandchildren who was once just a crazy guy in his 20's. "Its wonderful to have an adrenal gland and an endless sense of youth, but remember both of these are expendable."
In Near Contradiction to these Sentiments, a Researcher Takes a New Look
Patrick Hill has concluded that “(A) sense of invulnerability may in fact benefit adolescents, because it promotes positive coping and adjustment during the travail of ego and identity formation … and may in fact be adaptive whenever one encounters a turbulent life transition,” the researcher wrote.
“Psychological invulnerability can be a very protective factor with respect to bolstering one’s self-esteem, helping out with coping during the transition from adolescence into adulthood and helping make the kinds of important life decisions that people without an inflated sense of self may have difficulty doing at times,” Hill said.
“As we’re starting to separate from our parents and make decisions on our own, the separation/individuation process can be a very arduous task that often leads to mal-adaptive outcomes." There are doubtless, many issues to consider.
Despite stereotypes, folk psychology and the suspicions of some exasperated parents, a sense of invulnerability is not universal among youth.
Perhaps it is best to recommend a SELF TEST that leads to greater consciousness. Perhaps we all just need to ponder our coping skills.
Ready, Dressed and In Uniform
© 2009 Christofer French