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‘Tis the season to be… sober?

Not everybody can handle their drink and those of us who know this to be true of ourselves usually have the hardest time staying away from it, exactly when we know we should.

Over the course of the past few years, I have been able to fully accept that a lot of the time my relationship with alcohol has been negative, exacerbating and unhealthy. I realise that alarm bells usually ring for people who are hitting the bottle hard, every day of their life, but in reality one night of binge drinking can be dangerous enough in its own right. What is one hilarious evening of booze and hedonism for one person, can lead to more than just a hangover for another. One thing is for sure; those who can take their drink with joy and merriment will always have difficulty understanding those who can’t. Conversely, those who can’t will repeatedly attempt to be the people who can.

It is a nightmare to get your head around; even the most frivolous and fun evenings can be tainted by the black dog that hunts you down the next day. You may not have been in distress the night before, everything may have been great and you don’t have to have been ‘drunk crying’ – a belittlement that I absolutely despise with every molecule of my most potent venom. Yet, the next day, your mental well-being may be battling just as hard as your liver, only without being a miraculous regenerative organ. So, nobody knows what emotional b*ll*cks you might have to deal with as a result of that evening and if you tell them, they don’t get it. Hell, you were probably the life and soul – at least that is what the bruises from those crazy dance moves would suggest. Refuse a glass at the next party? You’d better be attending regular AA meetings, pregnant or dying, because those who don’t understand what a binge means to you will probably just want to add fuel to the fire. Those who can identify? They have likely already set sail aboard their vessel of choice for the evening and want you sober even less than the former friends.

It is hard to resist. I know this about myself. I am painfully aware and bitterly jealous of those who are able to quaff that fizz, with nothing lingering the next day but a hangover and fuel for the anecdote bank. Christmas time becomes a bit of a worry. In a way, my most recent dance with the devil has come at an appropriate time, as at least I’m reminded of my fragility before the festivities begin. I imagine that there are a few of you reading this, for which these solstice bells ring true. I am going to endeavour to swap out some of those boozy beverages for something softer this year – if any of this sounds familiar, maybe you could too.

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