Sunday, 17 July 2011

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor…

I had some interesting conversations this weekend regarding alcohol consumption. Surprisingly some family members found it funny and congratulated me on my recent drunken behaviour on my work leaving do. Saying well done for taking after them and their drunken ways. Others weren’t quite so complimentary and tutted at my behaviour, warning me the sorts of dangers you could get in whilst being in such a state. Some friends/colleagues argued that it was a leaving do and you’re expected to get ‘hammered’ after such a long time working somewhere.

One question that did crop up as the result of this comical chatter was how can you tell how much is too much? Is there an age you should stop drunken antics, or in fact whatever your age should consuming too much alcohol be something that is always avoided and is looked down on?

I’m not saying getting drunk should become a new entry in the Olympics, or that it’s big or clever to get in such a state, but is it just another way to let off steam and relax (in moderation)? How do you know if you’ve got a real problem? How fine is the line between being the good time girl and finding yourself reliant on having a drink every day?

Is getting inebriated, having to be coaxed out of a toilet for near on 90 minutes and finding it nigh on impossible to walk something to be completely and utterly ashamed of, or just a part of being young? Or even, somewhere in between?

Finding yourself reunited with the many liquids you worked your way through during the evening, absolutely disgusting or inevitable? And if only happening on the odd occasion, perfectly acceptable?

I admit I often struggle with whether at 28, near on 29, I’m getting too old to be going out on nights out and getting myself in a drunken stupor – not on purpose, I’m not one of these people that heads out and has a plan to get off my face or anything. However, should I by now know when I’m teetering on that edge of having too much and know to stop myself?

Is the fact I like to have a good night out now and again, which can often lead to me being drunk, a bad thing? Or is this my alternative to what other people do to let loose – I drink alcohol, rather than take drugs, I like a nice cold glass of wine, rather than inhale numerous amounts of cigarettes. It was argued in our talk that really alcohol is a drug and some of the responses people at the table gave to a handful of the questions indicated perhaps they were slightly addicted in a way to drinking.

Although some of us don’t wake up craving a cocktail or dying for a double vodka, is the fact whenever we go for a night out we end up drunk a sign we are actually dangerously closer to an alcohol problem than we think?

We’ve all seen over the years how reports and articles have come out suggesting women are getting worse than men at binge drinking and that in some way females filling their throats with booze is actually a way to compete with men. I have to say the latter I completely disagree with and trying to be equal to men is more about trying to get the same salary for the same career position, rather than if you can drink your best bloke buddy under the table!

In fact as one of the group who encourage our friends/colleagues to down yet another shot or wolf down another wine, are we as much at fault? Do we have a responsibility to then take care of that individual if we get them in that state or is it their fault for getting like that?

I plan to start my healthy eating and exercise plan yet again this week so I can say I’m pretty safe on being near enough average on the alcohol consumption front for now. Whether it’s something myself or friends of mine, or even family members, need to consider and truly assess in the future remains to be seen.

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