It may be a New Year, but sitting here on my sofa in my pyjamas with a horr-i-fic hangover waiting for Oriental Garden chinese takeaway in Kennington to register as open on Just-Eat I would be forgiven for thinking that it could in fact be any of 2009 through 2014.
However, what is different about this hangover is that I am savouring it (to be clear this is not strictly true – i feel like someone took a boulder, put it on top of the Shard, and rolled it down the side of the building with me beneath it, but in slow motion) – it will be the last I have for a while as I am now not drinking for the whole of January. This will give me some time for ‘self-discovery’ and ‘self reflection,’ whilst also allowing me to sound really up myself on a frequent basis, as I have a feeling I am doing now..
Anyway, all jokes aside I’m so excited and up for the challenge. Last night’s NYE party reminded me why I enjoy drinking, and why I don’t. I went to (invited myself to – totally gatecrashed) a friend from work’s friend from school’s (is this grammatically correct?) flat in Wimbledon where there were about 20 people. It was about 70:30 men to women, and when I walked in and said hi, people couldn’t have given less of a flying fuck that I was there… I am inherently quite a shy person, which may shock a few people reading this who know me, and the whole party boy/go hard or go home persona is facilitated by drink, so in a situation where I knew only my friend and her boyfriend I turned to my old trusty ally Strongbow. By the time midnight came, I was having a great time and amazing myself with how witty, erudite and fun I was to be around (modest too… obviously…), but its all kind of hazy…. By the time it got to 1am, two of the people there had had a huge argument which nearly resulting in physical violence – I don’t know what it was about because I had, by this time, decided that not only was I the best at the ‘beer tower’ (think a plastic cylinder with a tap at the bottom, filled with beer), but I had also fallen foul of a drinking game called ‘Boom’ so had ‘reluctantly’ drunk about a litre of very strong punch… In short, I was pretty drunk..
I love and hate having a drink as a crutch to be sociable. On one hand it gives you something to talk about itself, if everyone is drinking it makes you part of the group, and it loosens you up. On the other, it puts you into a cycle where you feel like, when meeting new people, you are naked without a glass, or tin, in your hand. Also, who has had a date, work event, social occasion that they have gone on and ‘overused’ this crutch? A one off can be forgiven, when it happens a handful of times it starts to grate on both you and the people there, and when its the norm its quite simply arrested development and either you carry on, sort your drinking out, or you just cancel your social life and don’t go to events (if you are actually still invited.) Bleak!
Waking up this morning on my friend’s sofa this morning, knowing how I got home, knowing that I had behaved myself and having total memory of the evening ie. no black outs (I think its forgiveable to forget the odd detail here and there..) was such a relief. Yes, I said it, a ‘relief.’ Says it all really.
Anyways, back to work tomorrow, hoping that won’t be a 3 day hangover (happening a lot in december… and actually last year in general), and I will not be going to the pub afterwards even for a soft drink. I’m trying to fill the time that I may normally use for going for a beer (basically anytime I’m not actually at work) with activities – running, the gym, salsa classes, yoga, rugby etc… and these should all help me to meet new people but also to get a bit healthier. I am going to retrain myself how to act in social situations without a drink.
I hope that none of this comes across as ‘preaching’ – this glass house is definitely not rock proof, its simply my thoughts on the process of making a change, and the difficulties associated. You can also find me and my infinite and unboudning wisdom / sarcasm on facebook, so please check out my page and feel free to give a cheeky ‘like’ www.facebook.com/speakingeasy.
Peace out until the next time…