I have a drinking problem
That feels weird writing and even weirder seeing it written down. Why is it so hard to write about addictions and alcohol? Why is there such a taboo about this topic?
Oh well maybe because it forces you to deal with my innermost insecurities and fears to get to the bottom of the problem.
But let’s start at the beginning.
I have a drinking problem, in so far as that I get a deadly hangover the day after, vomiting violently about every 30mins for up to 12 hours. I can’t keep any food or liquids inside. Believe me I tried, more than a teaspoon of water is already too much. When it’s really bad I am still exhausted the day after the hangover. Turns out that not being able to eat and being dehydrated for an entire day ist pretty strenuous.
The weird part is that sometimes I can drink like a lumberjack and not have any problems at all and one time I was knocked out for one and a half days from one beer.
My mother always urged me to stop drinking altogether, but that was hard. Giving up drinking with my friends and strangers would have meant to becoming even weirder and not feel part of the group. Not to mention the justification. Everyone would congratulate you if you’d stopped smoking, but if you stopped drinking for your health’s sake, people will look at you funny and you need to explain yourself a lot. And still not get any recognition or understanding. It’s so fucked up.
Over the time I noticed some patterns emerging, it got better once I moved out of my hometown, the frustration of living in a small town where everyone except my closest friends knew me as the daughter of or later still the sister from … was annoying as hell. I would still have some bad hangovers after I moved out, but they seemed less frequent. But whenever I came back to participate in some of the village festivities like Schützenfest, I mostly got those hangovers. This is hard to explain in english, I linked to the wikipedia article above, but let’s just say there were a bunch of people around I superficially know, only meet when they are drunk and just don’t enjoy the company of. Like the rural version of Here from Alessia Cara (love the song, btw)
I had to learn the very hard way to detach myself from these situations and just not go the event xyz just because people were expecting it of me. And I am still not sure if it was expected of me or if I just thought it was expected of me. But there were different situations as well without any perceived pressure from my family but only internal pressure to perform and look happy when all I wanted was to stay in and read a book or sleep.
Some lessons I took away from 10 years of violent hangovers:
- You have to listen to yourself closely, if you are somewhere you don’t want to be, don’t drown that feeling in alcohol but instead leave earlier or not go at all
- It is okay if you can not and will not drink as much as the boys
- Don’t just eat a frigging salad, but a plate of pasta before you go out
- Stick to one type of liquor, I swear by WodkaSoda
- Beer before liquor, never been sicker ; liquor before beer all in the clear
- Be kind to yourself if you relapse
- But analyse what the circumstances where so you can avoid them in the future
Cheers to knowing yourself and to self-care
picture courtesy of tumblr