I drank a lot when I was younger. Before I was even 21, there was a bar that I drank at all the time. Unsurprisingly, yet sadly, that bar is now closed. I started doing comedy when I was 19 years old, and everyone in comedy was so much fun / borderline alcoholics, so I started joining them after classes at the bar. Once I realized they’d serve me, I never stopped asking… and here I am, ten years later.
It didn’t take me long to realize that drinking turned me into a stupid human being… but that also didn’t stop me. I loved that feeling. It's going to sound like I have a problem here, but it was so much fun to lose all that control. There was a point in my life where I woke up with just a tiny little headache and enjoyed meeting up with friends and putting the pieces of our night back together.
But as I get older, that gets less and less fun. Maybe it’s because as you get older, your actions become less forgivable and unfortunately (or, fortunately – depending on how you look at it), I care about that. I care about what I say, I care about hurting people, and I care about the state of my body the next day. I hate the tension in my neck and shoulders, the feeling when you go through your phone and seeing what you texted someone and what pictures you sent on Snapchat or posted to Instagram, and the throwing up! Alcohol-based vomit in your late twenties is a real kick in the dick.
I recently spent a night at home with my boyfriend and our friend, drinking a lot of vodka and watching the movie Anastasia. (As one does at 28.) The next day, I woke up so incredibly hungover that I couldn’t even eat my HANGOVER BURGER while everyone else seemed just fine. They’re both younger than me, I never felt so old in my life. So, in my opinion, I have a pretty complicated relationship with alcohol as I age.
Yet, every time I make huge declarations that I’m done with drinking, I end up going harder than I ever have. Last Saturday, enough was enough and then I ended the day 3 bottles of Chardonnay deep with my friend Brian. But don’t worry; it was a “bit.” Sunday was spent in a cloud of self-deprecation.
The way I see it, none of this is my fault.
I guess my real problem here is that I have a specific personality that alcohol so inconveniently intensifies. A post about drinking probably seems like a bad time to bring up Bill Cosby, but I’m going to bring up Bill Cosby. In “Bill Cosby: Himself”, he makes the following joke:
“I said to a guy, ‘Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful,’ and he said, ‘Because it intensifies your personality.’ I said, ‘Yes, but what if you’re an asshole?’”
The more I drink, the more it heightens specific aspects of my personality. I’m sensitive, guilty and emotional… and drinking heightens those traits, for good or bad. I love my friends so much and I need to let everyone know on every social media platform and through every text! Or, someone says something kind of shitty and I get SO sad and sensitive that I say things I later regret.
I’m not saying that I’m going to stop drinking. I don’t feel my life is spiraling out of control, nor do I drink enough to qualify it as a problem. It’s just that I find it interesting that as I age, I feel so guilty all the time. That happens whether I’m drinking or not, of course, but drinking heightens the guilt. At one-month-from-29, that’s where my relationship with alcohol stands. It’s a lot different from 19, 21, 26 or even 28.
If you’re young, be happy you have a few carefree years left. Most relationships get more complicated as you age… but none more complicated than one’s relationship with alcohol.
*This post has been sponsored by Irish Guilt, the Guilt That Keeps On Guilting.