One thing that makes me feel like reaching for the bottle is sitting in a doctors waiting room. The officious receptionists who make Attila the Hun look like a flopsy bunny, the coughing, the involuntary grunts and groans, the strange behaviour by some people that is nothing short of unsettling and the irritated ones, tapping their fingers, shaking their legs impatiently up and down and giving a long sigh every time they look at their watch. Oh yes if you don’t feel ill before you go you’ll most certainly feel it whilst your there. I have to say that I was an irritated , finger tapping, leg shaking sigher today as I was taken for my appointment one hour late. Grrr….
Anyway got to work eventually where over lunch a conversation about alcohol began. Well to be honest it was just between two of us but made me think. I mentioned to my work pal that I hadn’t had alcohol in over five weeks and that I was contemplating abstaining indefinitely. She admitted that she had toyed with the idea too but had decided to continue drinking to counteract the nonsense others talk or behave when they are drunk. She added that friends of hers had mentioned that she can be just as crazy sober on a night out so it did make her think that she could live without it. It got me thinking.
Again it seems to come back to this idea of needing alcohol to be more entertaining, funnier, better company or “crazy”. It seems it’s not just me that felt that was a reason. Is it subconsciously inbred in us to feel we need it to be better more popular people? To fit in? To be accepted by our peers? Certainly for women this is much more a recent concept. I would say that active social drinking for women developed post war and more during the 60’s and 70’s possibly with women’s liberation and equality. We too can match our men pint for pint. And why not of course. My mum and all her friends loved to go to the dancing but usually drank orange squash or coffee. Speaking as a teenager of the 80’s alcohol became the thing to do. It was seen as cool, daring( especially when underage) fun, socially accepting and grown up.
Now it seems that women or teenage girls are the biggest casualties of the binge drinking culture. Is it to prove equality? A misplaced self esteem boost? Immaturity? Low self worth? I think at some point I have fallen into all of those categories. But now I am beginning to see it all very differently. Hearing my friend define her alcohol use as a way to tolerate others when out made me look at my reasons for not drinking.
If I am in good company I shouldn’t have to tolerate people or others me. If that is the case then I would feel there were some fundamental issues within the friendships. If I am happy, self assured and content in myself then I shouldn’t need alcohol to boost the enjoyability factor. I felt I proved that on Sunday. It’s true that a sense of potential boredom runs through my mind at the thought of a night out without alcohol which when I say it seems nonsensical. Surely I go out to see, talk, eat, laugh or dance with other people not to get so steaming that I can’t remember most of it. Well that’s what I did so can’t speak for others.
When I think back to Sunday I felt so many positive feelings. Happiness, friendship, fun, empathy, confidence , self assuredness, control and acceptance of my drunk pals. I felt good and was certainly not bored. After all in my humble opinion there is nothing more boring than a really drunk person.
Nighty night x
Ps 37 days