I know better than anyone that having a quick drink with friends in the bar on a Friday night is second to nothing. Just in terms of the perfect balance between socializing and liberating oneself from inhibitions and the stresses of the workweek.
Sometimes, however, you find that it merges into something else entirely. There comes a point where having a couple of pints with friends soon spirals into an opportunity to get blackout drunk on a regular occasion.
This is no fun for anyone involved
Your friends will soon lose patience with you. The bouncers at the club will have zero qualms about wrestling you to the floor if you're being a nuisance.
You will end up with unaccounted for bruises and a headache that hurts something fierce and ask yourself, 'what was it all for?'. Rarely will you have a good answer to that.
It means that you don't respect your body or the people around you. They all want to let off steam too, not just you. Don't ruin their nights by making them mother you all evening.
It fosters resentment and even though you think you're enjoying yourself, it's just an opportunity to avoid your emotions. To blackout, to ignore your problems. I know how overwhelming it is to always be stuck inside your own head all the time.
But I know that this isn't a burden you can place on other people lightly. Certainly not when you won't remember anything in the morning. You're wasting your life, money, time, and best years… just wafting. Drifting.
It's all well and good being reassured that your friends will be there for you. But you can't expect them to be there all the time, that's ridiculous. You are being a poor friend, and showing a lack of respect if you're always losing control.
I know the type
You're either in total control and don't let yourself do anything, or you utterly untether yourself and leave yourself in the hands of other people. Neither way is healthy or sustainable.
You have to think about yourself. Value yourself. Your body can't always sustain hangovers. You're not 21 anymore. Hey, you're not 18 anymore! The difference even between those couple of years is massive.
You can honestly ruin yourself in your early years. Not morally or ideologically, but physically. Your liver, your kidneys, lungs, and muscles can't be pushed to the limit every other night.
If your brain can't handle what you're going through, then don't expect your body to be able to do it any better. They don't hide the signs of pressure well.
Mental health reveals itself in more ways than you think
Yes, a glass of red wine does have anti-oxidants and things in them that are good for us. But that's like saying that a loaf of bread has all the calcium or vitamin C in it that you need to survive.
Just because it's there, doesn't mean it's sensible or viable. Generally, or personally. Everyone is unique, and there's no catch-all solution for it. But the proportion is key.
Everyone knows it. Everything in moderation
Say it with me. You can't live your life binging on things constantly and think that it's healthy. Look around you, ask for help. The first stage is recognizing that you have a problem and that you aren't respecting your body.
I know it's easier said than done to stop drinking. It's an addiction, there are no two ways about it.
But you owe it to yourself, your friends, your mental health, and your body, to buck up. You will feel different overnight. Not necessarily sunshine and rainbows, but a change is afoot.
A really, really important one to ensure you can live as full and strong a life as possible. You will find that you can fill your life with more joy than drinking can.
Respect that. Honour yourself.