It’s not for me


cherise-shockleyCherise Shockley

When I was growing up, I saw my mom drink a beer every once in a while. My mom did not keep alcohol in the house, unless she was preparing for an event, like a family barbeque.   When I was in high school I never went to parties, I worked a lot. Looking back I believe that working during high school kept me out of a lot of trouble and having a very protective Mother helped keep me on the straight and narrow-no drugs, alcohol or smoking. My mom was strict, but she allowed me to have fun until I would do something stupid-like have a boy in my car when she told me not too.

On my 18th Birthday, I joined the Army Reserve. I left for basic training shortly after I graduated from high school, and after basic training I went to AIT (advanced individual training). In AIT, I had an older battle buddy; she was 30 years old. I will never forget the day we received a pass to go off post, the first thing she did was have a beer. I watched her drink her beer, she smiled, and we went on about our business.   Weeks later, we received over night passes. My Drill Sergeant gave us a nice long speech about underage drinking and how it will not be tolerated. We left base, stayed in a hotel and watched a lot of movies. My battle buddy had a few drinks. She asked if I wanted a drink. I told her, I did not. The next day we returned to base, and we had a platoon huddle. My Drill Sergeant was not happy. He had to go to the police station to pick-up a solider from jail; he was drunk and he was under the legal drinking age. The solider received a letter of reprimand and received 90 days of extra duties.   I never understand why people allowed themselves to get filthy drunk. I never wanted any drugs to control my body, me or ruin my career.


A few years after the AIT incident, I was a lesion for an R&B singer, his agent and a regional representative for a record label.   I made arrangements for us to go to a nightclub to dance and for the R&B singer to meet a few people and fans. I drank my first alcohol beverage, Apple Martini. I’m not going to lie. I had two drinks. Apple Martini’s are the bomb! People I trusted surrounded me. I was in a safe environment. Even though, I only had two drinks, I did not drive home. I crashed on a friends couch. The next morning, I woke up with a slight headache.

The evening with the R&B singer was fun. It will always be an evening I will never forget; it was my first and last time I drank an alcoholic beverage. I will always be a designated driver and the person that will also turn down an alcoholic beverage.

When I was 23, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes did not play apart in my decision not to drink alcohol; it is not for me. Just because, I do not drink, does not mean I do not understand the risk involved. It is okay for people with diabetes to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Please be smart when you do it and know the risk. Do not drink under the age of 21, do not drink and drive, test often, do not drink alone, inform your friends that you have diabetes and carry glucose just in case your blood glucose levels drop.

Have fun. Be safe. Test.


About is a resource for young adult Type 1 diabetics and their support networks to help navigate interactions around alcohol. Alcohol is often an integral part of social life on college campuses and while all students face risks, there are a number of unique and serious ones specific to insulin-using diabetics. Learning how to navigate those risks and make informed decisions for themselves about the role alcohol plays in their lives.

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