What Happened When I Dismantled My Hangxiety

Hangxiety could be related to trauma and if so, it could be possible to moderate

Lea O
6 min readMay 12, 2022


Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

In the summertime, I was home alone with my 6 younger siblings. But once, during the summer between 6th & 7th grade, my friend Lakin* came over to the spend the night.

Feeling ashamed that so much time was spent with Lakin watching me do chores and scolding my siblings, I hatched a genius plan…

We could open one of the fuzzy navel wine coolers from the fridge.

We cracked the lid, took a sip, decided it was disgusting, and poured it down the kitchen sink. The end.

My mom discovered the empty bottle and I was grounded for a month, but Lakin’s mom laughed it off.

Where Lakin and I come from, alcohol was and still is shunned. It’s the bible belt and drinking holds almost the same weight as first-degree murder. If you do drink, you hide it.

That is the reason why I was punished so harshly (mostly).

Having been raised under such strict rules, alcohol became the forbidden fruit. The luxury, the golden egg.

Anything that becomes a forbidden fruit is automatically more desirable. True for alcohol, sex, and anything else we are conditioned to believe is a mortal sin.

True today, true for Adam & Eve.

Unlike most people, I didn’t party much in college. I was too busy trying to support myself with three jobs and carrying a full class schedule. I didn’t drink much after I got married at 21 and moved to a military base, either.

I didn’t drink much at all until my late twenties.

Then I no longer carried the burden of my college years. I knew where home was going to be if I had a few drinks and how I would get there safely. I knew that a $7 cocktail wouldn’t overdraft my account. And I learned that alcohol could ease my anxiety-riddled brain, if only for a moment.

It’s funny to say, but I became accidentally dependent on alcohol. It quieted the noise in my head from lifelong conditioning that said I wasn’t good enough.



Lea O

9X Top Writer. Essayist. Personal development. Creativity hacks. https://thewriteright.substack.com/about