I have decided to be more specific with my new years resolution to become a better and happier person, and I’m starting with the decision to stop drinking.
I’ve been writing this blog since I was seventeen and documented the first time I got drunk (my eighteenth birthday). Since that first time I have always intensely disliked it, but for some reason have just kept on drinking. I drank when I was backpacking, I drank at my graduation, I drank at Christmas. I have never been kissed while sober, and the first time I had sex was while too drunk to walk in a straight line.
Drinking had never resulted in anything good for me. I’ve ruined friendships and made a fool of myself. I’ve been sick to the point where I can’t breathe. I’ve done things with people that I don’t necessarily regret but do wish I had more presence of mind to remember. I’ve lost whole days to hangovers, days that could have been used productively instead reduced to lying in bed, watching movies, eating chips and feeling sorry for myself.
My friend calls it ‘social lubricant’, meaning that losing your inhibitions and loosening your tongue makes getting along with people and making friends much easier. And I guess that’s true to a point, but when I’ve been drinking the parts of myself that I like disappear. Self-control, intellect, humour, dignity, rationality and confidence fly out the window. I become an emotional needy mess.
But I kept on doing it. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I drink, I’ve been a lightweight for the past two years of my adult life. I’m not sure why I keep drinking alcohol, despite all the bad things that it’s caused. I guess I forget what it feels like and somehow imagine things will turn out okay. Or maybe it’s just a habit, because that’s what you’re supposed to do. When you’re young and resilient you’re supposed to drink till you vomit. It’s expected, it’s encouraged, it’s what we see and what we are. It’s part of your identity as a young person, being reckless and making mistakes with full knowledge that what you’re doing is a mistake. I don’t know, and I don’t blame anyone but myself for the stupid situations I’ve gotten into.
Last night was it though. The worst night I’ve had in a long time. My friends and I decided to celebrate finishing our exams with a night out on the town. We started drinking late, about nine o’clock, with the intention of leaving at ten or eleven. I was switching between vodka and cheap wine, a rookie error of mixing drinks, and drinking a lot in not a very long period of time. I took a bottle with me on the tram and kept going until we made it into the city. As we walked to that nights destination we were all pretty wasted, and I don’t think at that point I was any worse then the others. We stopped by a public bathroom to pee before going to the club (because toilet lines at clubs are always insane). By now I had finished my own bottle, and my friend offered me the rest of hers- lemonade mixed with copious amounts of vodka.
And here’s where things get hazy, because I remember sitting down while my friends finished up in the bathroom, and then not being able to get up again. And then I must have passed out, because next thing I know the floor is next to my head and I can hear my friends wondering whether or not to call an ambulance.
They helped me sit up, I threw up in the toilet, and then had to be half dragged half carried to the bus stop. I remember being cold and hyperventilating. I remember my friends putting me back in my room and dragging a bin over, and one of my friends staying with me until I fell asleep. I woke up at 6am and threw up again, emptying my stomach of the little that was left in it. Now I have a spectacular hangover and a cloud of guilt hanging over my head because I ruined everyone’s night out.
I’m lucky I have such amazing friends. I’m lucky nothing worse happened. I’ve passed out while drinking before, but never in such a public space and I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick in my life. Consider my lesson learned. I will not be doing it again.
I refuse to be that girl anymore, and so I’ve decided that I’m done. No more. No more boozing, no more drunk nights, no more drinking. It’s just not for me. I’m happier and better without it. The parts of drinking nights that I like, the chatting, the games, the dancing, the dressing up, I can have these without needing to be intoxicated. It’s the booze that I hold responsible for the parts that I don’t like- the throwing up, the loss of memory, and the being a massive dick head to people who do not deserve it.
I’m giving up drinking. As soon as I can stomach the sight and smell of it I’m tipping the rest of my vodka and wine down the sink. I will not get drunk again.
That’s not to say I will never have alcohol again, because there are some that I like objectively as a drink. I love cider, I like cocktails, but these are better as one off drinks anyway, not something to get wasted off. I don’t want to be a drunk anymore. I can’t do it, and I don’t want to.
So, in conclusion, my first new years resolution is to give up recreational drinking.