Tuesday, 18 September 2012

How Do You Know When You've Had Enough?

Today I am going to talk about alcohol and knowing where your limit is. I definitely know where my limit is but it would seem some people don't and this is very worrying.

I know we have all heard of 'Booze Britain' or 'Binge Drinking' and how much this affects the services of the NHS and the Police. I tend to assume this is aimed at the youngsters 16-24 years old, but in fact it is not just them who are getting up to no good.

The other week when I was in a taxi on my way back from a wedding, the driver and myself were discussing how often people have 'soiled' the vehicle. (Yeah I do tend to get on the strangest of topics!) Anyway, I believed it was young men who were the culprits for spewing up their kebabs, but no it isn't. It's women! Those in their thirties and forties who sit in the back and wet themselves. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard this…….women wetting themselves, my goodness what states are they getting themselves into? And why don't they know when they've had enough?

I found it very frightening to hear women of my own age are putting themselves at such risk. And for what? Because they needed to let their hair down?

Don't get me wrong, over the years I have been drunk but I am sensible and stick to the tipsy stage, I don't want to be unconscious, incoherent or incontinent thanks. How come some people don't know where their limit is? I find it really easy, I have a few drinks and if I feel I am becoming drunk I then have a soft drink. This keeps me steadily tipsy all night. I have my composure, my faculties and my dignity all intact.

I have never been a regular drinker, I can go without it no problem. The last time I drank was at Rock My Wedding's 'Pretty Naughty' event last week. The Saturday before that I attended a wedding and didn't drink at all. On both occasions I had a fantastic time laughing, chatting and dancing. It certainly proves you don't need drink to have a good time.

Prior to this I hadn't had a drink for a few weeks and then it was only a glass of wine. I'm just not that fussed about it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a cocktail, especially a Long Island Iced Tea, but I am never desperate for an alcoholic drink.

Many times I read on my Twitter timeline or Facebook newsfeed that other peeps will be needing a drink because of the day they've had or they have got a monster hangover. And I just don't get it and maybe I am in the minority because lots of people have a drink to unwind everyday. But where is your limit? Can you get through a week or even a month without alcohol?

We often assume alcoholics are the people who are drinking vodka the second they wake up, unable to hold a job down and have lost their families and homes. Well, I believe alcoholism is when you are addicted. Addicted meaning you cannot go long without something, you crave it and feel you must have it or you will become agitated or cannot get to sleep without it.

I was a smoker, I was addicted to cigarettes. No I didn't smoke 40 a day but that doesn't mean I wasn't addicted. I was, massively. I tried countless attempts to pack up and lots of times I failed because I felt I needed it and became intolerable. Thankfully, I finally managed to kick the habit and I have not touched a cigarette in 13 months but I know I am still addicted to cigarettes, I still crave one but I choose to not smoke anymore.

So how is that any different to being addicted to alcohol? How long could you go without a drink before craving it? Could you go out with friends for a night out and drink diet coke all night? I know some people say they like to have drink for a confidence boost, I get that, but where do you draw the line? Are you able to stop when you know you've had enough?

I can always remember a friend saying to me that when she went out she drank until she ran out of money. She didn't care if her last £5 went on a drink and she couldn't get a taxi home. She did not know where her limit was other than her financial limit when her money had ran out. She would quite often be found slumped in a corner, in the toilets throwing up or staggering down the street not knowing which way to get home.

For me, I just don't get it. Having a hangover is enough for me to know when to draw the line, I don't want the room spinning and then having to dash to the toilet to vomit. I don't like being ill, who does? But for some reason, people do this every weekend.

So please be honest, could you go without a cheeky vimto for a day, a week or a month? And what situations have you ended up in due to consuming too much alcohol?

It'd be great to hear your thoughts on this.

Teresa x