Alcohol; friend or foe?

I am more than partial to a few scoops. And everyone I’m friends with wouldn’t say no to a couple of ice old pints either. There’s nothing like enjoying a Kopparberg in the beer garden after work, downing a few shots to drown your sorrows or sipping on gin and juice to celebrate something special. I like how it can instantly take the awkwardness out of a situation. The Dutch courage it gives me, allowing me to dance and chat to people like I never would if I were sober. Its like a push up bra for your personality. There is also such a social aspect to drinking, if your arranging to meet up with friends/family/a date you usually do so over a few bevys. But lately I’ve started to take notice of all the negatives, which I usually discreetly sweep under the rug preferably while enjoying a glass of Prosecco.

This past weekend proved to be the turning point. As per usual me and the girls decided to go out for the bank holiday, pre drinks at home then out to the club as you do. Only this time I woke up Sunday morning iphone-less. My eyes stung from the harsh light streaming in my bedroom window and as my head started to pound I stretched out my hand to make the familiar swoop under my pillow for my phone. It wasn’t there. Starting to panic now, I check my handbag. Not there. Then I realise I wasn’t even supposed to stay at home last night.. All my stuff including my car is at my friends house. What happened? WHERE IS MY PHONE? After running around the house in last nights clothes wailing and asking myself why I’m such an idiot, it struck me for the first time ever that nothing else only alcohol was the reason for this. If I hadn’t been drinking then I wouldn’t have memory loss consistent with being knocked unconscious. I wouldn’t be minus my phone, which feels like one of my limbs has been severed off. I keep thinking “oh I’ll show one of my friends this funny video” or “that was definitely my phone vibrating” to reach down into the void that is my empty handbag and not be able to feel that familiar rectangle in my grasp. Eating is boring. Lunch at work is painstakingly meme free. And trips to the bathroom have me resorting to reading the labels on soap bottles. The last straw was when I realised I had no way of setting an alarm for the next morning, so I bit the bullet and bought a new iPhone.

It physically pained me having to dip into my savings to replace it and it got me thinking about all of the money I have wasted over the years on drinks I cant remember surrounded by people I wish I could forget. Splashing the cash around my tiny boring village when I could be saving it up to go somewhere new, bigger, better. All the drunken slurs you cant take back, because words can never be unsaid. And those awkward times you’ve woken up in someone else’s bed. Petty fights you’re not quite sure how they started, rowing with your closest friends all because common sense has departed. There was one stage in college where I went through six cameras in two years, a friend of mine lost four purses, one of the other girls had to replace her phone three times. At what stage do we all agree its time to take a step back and have a think about our relationships with alcohol?

If a boyfriend or girlfriend was a bad influence, made us argue with our friends and family, told us it was ok to buy that fifth shot of sambuca and proceed to charge for the dance floor like a lunatic, lost some of our most precious possessions and at the end of it all made us vomit our guts up we wouldn’t allow it so why do we let a substance have so much hold over us? I am not saying I’m never going to drink again. I don’t know when I will ever be ready to say adios to it completely. But what I am doing is seriously thinking about the volume I drink and how I drink it. Im 21 years old, its about time I learned my limits and respected them. A few jagerbombs are all well and good as long as you don’t wake up regretting what you’ve done the next morning, or even worse, not remembering what you’ve done at all.

So alcohol, my aul pal, I just want to set the record straight. Yes I may want you but no I don’t need you. Kind of like Prince Charming.


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