When you’re an alcoholic, everyday is like St. Patrick’s Day.
Or for me, when I was drinking, every weekend was like St. Patrick’s Day. Sounds fun, right?
Let’s talk about it – and you decide just how fun it is.
“It’s one of the best drinking days of the year.”
This is a day to party. This is the day to drink the most you possibly can. Green beer, Guinness, Jameson, Irish car bombs. Line them up. This day was made for drinking – and you better take advantage of it while you can.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, there’s not a bad day of the year to drink.
“How early can I get to the bars? When can I start drinking?”
Set an alarm, St. Patty’s starts early. Sure, you’re a little hungover from the pre-St. Patty’s celebration last night – but the hair of the dog that bit you will put you right back on track. The bars open early for a reason: so you can get there to get the party started. In fact, pour a pre game drink before you leave.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, most of your entertainment ventures involve a pre game drink: The movie theatre, sporting events, dinner, the grocery store. Everyday activities are better when you drink beforehand.
“How can I get out of work to go party?”
Unless St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, this seems to be a dilemma every year. Not to worry, there’s an excuse for everything. There’s nothing wrong with calling in sick or faking a family emergency for a day like this.
But what if you can’t take the day off? It’s not fair and it’s annoying. Is there a way to sneak a few airplane bottles into the office? Otherwise, all you can do is wait for 5:00 to hit, punch the clock and roll. All day, you focus on all of the drinks and partying you’re missing out on. Remind yourself, when you get to the party, you’ll make up for being late. If you can just make it to 5:00, you’ll reward yourself with a few extra shots.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, you’re waiting for the end of your shift everyday. You’re anticipating the ability to finally exhale when you get that first drink. You’ve probably called in multiple times to your job because you’re sick and hung over a few times this month. There may even be alcohol in your purse or car right now.
“It doesn’t matter if my friends are going – I’ll meet people while I’m out.”
If your friends don’t want to go, it’s their loss. You’re still going, and you’re going for a good time.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, most of the time, your friends and people close to you are annoyed by your drinking. For them, the thought of having to put with you on a while you’re binge drinking doesn’t sound like a very good time. Going out alone is usually your only option – and the frightening part is that there won’t be anyone there to make sure you stay safe.
“What are we drinking?”
Beer, wine liquor. Any of it and all of it. This is a party, after all. Maybe the better question is: Is there enough alcohol at this party?
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, there is never enough. You will probably come to the party with your own bottle and a stash in the car – just to be sure you have enough. The biggest fear that any alcoholic has is running out too soon, making that mad dash to the liquor store before it closes. It’s terrifying.
“I’m not drunk enough for this. Let’s do shots.”
You’ve got to get to a specific point – you know, that point of euphoria. A couple of Guinnesses will help get you going, but you need more. So start pouring the whiskey and speed up the process.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, you’re never drunk enough for life. Life requires coping mechanisms, and your only coping skill is drinking. So you don’t stop.
“How drunk can I get?”
How much time do you have? The bar closes at 2:00, so you better order as much as possible before last call. It’s a waste of a good St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t get as drunk as possible.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, you’re always managing your time and alcohol in order to drink.
“It doesn’t matter how sloppy I get.”
Making out with strangers, spilling beer all over your shirt, losing your shoes, getting in fights, puking in the sink. You may regret it in the morning, but for now it’s a good time. It’s St. Patrick’s Day and you’re not going to hold back.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, it doesn’t matter. You have to wake up feeling bad about the things that you’ve said and done every time you tie on one. The truth is, you don’t really hold back all that often to begin with.
“I deserve to drink like this.”
You’ve worked hard. You’ve had to deal with a lot lately. You’ve waited for this day for weeks. You deserve to throw a few drinks back and have a good time. St. Patty’s celebrations are the perfect time and place to do so.
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, that is your justification everyday. Average drinkers don’t feel like they deserve to get sloppy drunk. Average drinkers have no sense of entitlement. If you’re an alcoholic, the only reason that you’ve been waiting for St. Patrick’s Day is so that you can blend in.
“I’ve got this.”
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ve had enough. You know when you’ve had enough – and right now, you’ve still got it together. You’ve got a designated driver and a full night of drinking ahead – why should you slow down?
The Truth: When you’re an alcoholic, you don’t have, “this” – and you don’t know when you’ve had enough. There will never be enough. Tomorrow morning you will feel just as alone as you do every other morning you wake up hungover.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are a yearly reminder of where my life was when I was drinking. Getting sloppy drunk, puking in public restrooms, falling all over strangers – and getting behind the wheel completely intoxicated didn’t happen once a year for me – it happened almost every time I drank.
Does this sound like fun? Because it’s not. There’s nothing fun about perpetually masking your emotions, fixating on alcohol and managing your time around it, or isolating yourself from friends and family. There’s nothing fun about binge drinking every time you’re able to drink. There’s nothing fun about being an alcoholic.
Does this sound like you? Or someone you know and love? Once you’re done drinking your green beer and car bombs, give me a call.