When stripped to its essence and separated from its party aura, getting drunk is a pretty strange concept. Think of it: We ingest a substance that our body identifies as poison. As it circulates through our blood stream, our body begins working as hard as it can to get rid of it — through our breath, through our urine and by breaking it down in our liver. When it hits our brain, cognitive functions are slowed or scrambled bit by bit. Behavior, emotion, memory and coordination suffer. Yet many people can’t wait for the weekend to roll around so they can make it happen again. Sometimes drunkenness is unintentional — the drinks are smooth, the night is long and a few cocktails turn into a few too many. Other times people aim at drunkenness, perhaps because it’s expected from their social set or because it seems to offer confidence or a way to escape negative feelings. Whatever relief the alcohol provides, however, is temporary and comes at a price, something we refer to as drinkers’ remorse. Sometimes the price is relatively small — a hangover or some morning-after embarrassment, for example — but sometimes the price is high.
The Things That Cause Drinkers’ Remorse
It can’t hurt to pause before your next drink and consider whether you’re willing to risk a few of the bad things that can happen when you’re drunk. Among them:
- You say “yes” when you really mean “oh, hell no.”
- One word: vomit
- Your thumbs create a new language on your smartphone.
- Your secrets are somehow now common knowledge.
- The drinking game ends with you as the champion and win the grand prize: a stomach-pumping at the emergency room.
- You somehow remember your pin at the ATM but don’t remember what you spent all that money on.
- Everyone starts looking like a hook-up partner.
- Your desire to dance increases proportionally with your inability to do so.
- You pass out in a location that makes you an irresistible subject for a Facebook photo.
- Mug shots.
- You finally have the nerve to speak to the opposite sex but can’t form a complete sentence.
- “Inappropriate” loses its meaning.
- Stairs defeat you.
- Your desire strengthens, but your performance weakens.
- The drop from the balcony to the pool doesn’t look so far anymore.
- You lose the ability to care about the things you’ll care about the next day.
- Text messages to people you never wanted to speak to again erupt from your drunken brain.
- You find yourself at the mercy of others — who might or might not be merciful.
- You decide you drive better when you’re drunk and become responsible for one of the almost 30 daily deaths attributed to drunken driving.
- Or you decide to be good and walk home from the party, and you become one of the 1,500 drunk pedestrians killed.
- Your drinking outpaces your body’s ability to get rid of the booze, and your brain’s most basic functions — including breathing — come to a halt.
What would you add to the list? Need help? There are a number of ways to seek help from alcoholism. By Kendal Patterson Follow Kendal on Twitter at @kendalpatterson