20. You’ll have a drinking problem and it won’t be that bad (or it’ll kill you)

27 Jun

Hey sorry, I’ve been using my spare time to finish up the first draft of the new book but my agent keeps hassling me to make more entries in this blog is what a successful novelist would say, but only the first part is true (I don’t have an agent, so call me maybe?)

20. You’ll have a drinking problem and it won’t be that bad (or it’ll kill you)

I knew something was amiss when I woke up in the middle of the day in a ditch somewhere covered in what appeared to be my own feces on a Sunday after being black-out drunk the night before.  “Are we having fun yet?” is not only a pithy comical line, but also something I started thinking about as I struggled to find a cab that would drive me back from whatever borough it was that I woke up in.

I think a lot of people qualify as having a drinking problem because the term is so general. There’s a difference between alcoholism, which is physical dependance on alcohol, and alcohol abuse, which sounds like what I used to do on the weekends.  Drinking heavily was a consequence of having so much freedom when I moved out of my folk’s home, and despite the black outs I never felt that my drinking habits were out of my control.

Yet here is the lesson, even if you are in control of your drinking habits, you might still have a problem, especially when the amount of fun you’re having starts to disappear in favor of the amount that you drink.

Americans in particular have a certain fondness for their drunk and black out moments (see facebook photos or this reddit thread) but there will be a time when you come to realize that your body can’t handle all of that anymore.  A lot of after school specials and Intervention shows depict drinking problems as very serious things, and they are, but I think the common experience of a drinking problem is very casually experienced and very slowly grown from a small indiscretion into a full blown problem.

I was never the homeless man addicted to vodka, but nevertheless here I was with soiled jeans and totally lost one day out of the 365. My drinking slowed down only peaking again during a birthday where I lost my iPod touch (last known picture was of me using a payphone with headphones in my ears attached to nothing), but I’ve thankfully filled in the nights of drinking with other interests that have proven more fulfilling.

Still, I wonder, how many other young freedom-loving folks who show up in NY get caught up in all of the drink and repeat to themselves that its other folks who have a problem?  We’ve been there, and hopefully you’ll get over it.

(Or, your body can prove to be genetically predisposed to addiction, and drink will slowly overtake and ruin your life. In which case you will need to find professional help.  Sorry).


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