Monday, 26 September 2016

Let's be honest


So, with reference to the title of this post, 'let's be honest'; I have a problem with alcohol. Not with others drinking around me, I don't have a problem with it existing and I don't rely on it or feel that it's necessary to drink at parties or socially in general. But I, personally have a problem with it. I have a problem with the way that it makes me feel and the way that it makes me behave. Particularly when I was younger, I definitely felt the pressure to conform to the 'teenage binge drinker' stereotype and I feel that I did just that. I can't handle drink well, if I drank more than 2 of anything I would feel like absolute shit and either 1. not remember much and be excruciatingly irritating and/or hyper active or 2. Be a manic depressive mess, screaming and crying, unable to cope.

As I've got older the second option has become more and more apparent and to be honest it scares me a little; they always say drunken actions are sober thoughts, which then begs the question is my lack of coping when drunk the harsh reality of my current underlying state of mind? At a friends 21st I spent about 3 hours crying to another friend about all kinds of things, work, family, life in general. I don't even remember it, I was told about it after and that what's even more worrying. What should've been a lovely evening with friends became an absolute blur and I suspect ruined much of the night. I don't want to be this uncontrollable trainwreck, I want to be able to enjoy myself and be good company.

More recently, partly decided from a suggestion made by my boyfriend, I'm not going sober but I'm not actively drinking unless its social, and even then I'm drinking no more than one, purely as a precaution. I'm learnt that my mental health is more important than trying to be social, or seemly becoming this expected persona; my severe anxiety definitely increases tenfold when I drink and so my sober, level headed self knows that if I want to feel comfortable and able to manage a social situation then drinking alcohol is not the best idea. If I have anxiety at the best of times, then alcohol is not going to be a solution, I don't find it empowers me or makes me feel more confident, in fact it makes me feel the opposite.

An old school friend shared an article from the Guardian about a week ago and it's contents resonated with me very much; about how "Young Britons living in 'suspended adulthood'", from my own perspective I would say that the findings, such as under 30s, particularly females struggling with self confidence and mental health issues are very real in society. Myself as an example, I definitely fit the profile mentioned in the article. It ties in well with my reasons for being careful around alcohol; right now mental health, the pressures of young adult life are affecting many potential experiences that could be benefitted by social situations. However, I have learnt that I don't need to indulge in copious amounts of alcohol to improve experiences, in fact, alcohol has a negative effect. So, as a twenty something slowly pushing through life, I can say. I am finally learning to control my alcohol intake I'm happy about it.

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