Who doesn’t love a lovely refreshing pint on draught? Or a nice G+T served with a side of fruit!
We LOVE a good drink, but unfortunately we’re not the most sensible when it comes to knowing when to give it a break!
Drinking isn’t a solution to sadness, it’s a substitute- a short-lived satisfaction that will soon fade away. Acknowledging this can be hard since often, we use alcohol to blank out woeful problems. Something bad happens and your friends appear, encouraging you to go out and let your hair down.
You failed your exams…
…Let’s go out!
You got cheated on...
…We’re going out!
You’re just having a bad day…
…F**ck it, let’s go out!
We regularly use alcohol to postpone our problems, but sadly when the sunrises, a new day dawns and despondency hits us twice as hard.
No matter how good your night was, the problem is still there. And now you need to confront it.
…. Or you don’t.
Instead your self-serving bias takes over and you fall selfishly into doing anything you can to forget the pain, and to enjoy the moment.
You go out every other night and spend all day in bed hungover.
You’re sucked into drama on Netflix, and scared of confronting your own.
You drink alone one night, and smoke a spiff the next.
Before long it’s turned into a routine.
You’re not depressed, you still go out having fun with friends…. How could you be?
Students neglect their mental health.
Unlike school, at University you’ve not got people chasing up on your attendance. Parents aren’t around to pull off your duvets and kick you out of bed.
Becoming your own worst enemy is easy when you begin rebelling on commitments.
You’re in control of your life- finally! But when you have no control of your emotions, how does that affect you?
I lost sight of myself in the blur of booze.
Living the Uni life without actually going into Uni- being easily manipulated by any person or group that made me feel good in the moment.
I didn’t find myself diving into the Uni curricular, or getting lost in textbooks like I’d imagined. Instead I drowned in cheap jaeger bombs, and cuddled into bed with a boy as uninspired as myself.
Towards the end of the first year, was the beginning of my blackouts and the dreaded beer fear. At first it wasn’t a surprise I was having so many. I was drinking five out of seven days a week, and as a student you don’t question it.
It was acceptable at university for people to be drunk and not remember a thing.But it was happening every other night, and this raised concerns.
Everyone comes to have fun at University. So when your drunk-self becomes problematic due to underlying issues in your life, no one seems to care or want to help. Apologising for actions seems meaningless; people just accept it instead of helping you understand why.
No one wants to sit and listen because ninety per cent of the people you go out drinking with, don’t care.
And why should they?
They have their own problems to deal with- It’s every man for himself.
I guess that’s why my depression became so hard not to miss by the start of second year… ALCOHOL IS A DEPRESSANT AFTER ALL!
I tried to calm down on drinking, but ended up swapping the booze for bags of weed and paranoia; by the spark of a lighter, insecurities digging deep into my past were brought to light.
From July until January I hid behind the four walls of my student house. Living with five boys made it easy not talking about my emotions, but instead glue myself to the couch and sweat over video games.
I thought weed was making it all better, taking the edge off of my problems- it did for a short while I suppose.
Watching my friends move forwards with their lives while I sat stuck on the couch, never moving anywhere but back in my head, and back to my past suddenly became toxic!
To smoke weed everyday is like going into hibernation from reality. Inside my mind I thought I was doing what I wanted to d; seeing the people that I wanted to be seeing, but I wasn’t.
I was decaying over clammy leather couches and losing touch with friends who wanted to do more with themselves. They could get on with their lives knowing if they needed me, or needed a break from the real world, I would still be where I was.
What matters more? Your mental health, or a weekly binge?
If you’re already unhappy in your life, or dealing with mental health problems, did you know that alcohol and weed make it worse?
Although alcohol evokes the feeling of euphoria for short periods, consuming continuously to chase the high will shortly start making you miserable.
You always get anxiety- the classic bear fear- a sudden panic of what you might’ve done when you can’t remember. And then comes the guilt- knowing you shouldn’t be going out so much because of money, commitments, and days wasted in bed recovering.
Now I’ve cut alcohol down to an acceptable amount, I’ve discovered how much it used to set me back- my mental health- exercising- my diet.
With every month that passes, less alcohol is being consumed, no weed is being smoked and more tasks are being carried out.
I’m beginning to feel more content.
What I have to accept is I’m not one of those people who are able to go out all weekend, and still find motivation with life by Monday.
I seem incapable of staying fit and healthy if I’m juggling it in with heavy binges.
And if I’m not fit and healthy…
… I’m not happy!
One heavy night on the bevs leaves me on my deathbed for at least a day… If not a two… Sometimes it can last the entire week. I become an alien out of space, unable to function productively in society.
I go backwards rather than forwards, any progress I start to make becomes wasted!
Benefits of not drinking on the Reg:
- Less time wasted feeling hungover
- Less time spent in bed
- Less likely to have made a fool out of yourself
- Less likely to wake up with anxiety
- Saving more money
- More money to spend on better occasions
- More time to exercise
- More time spent treating yourself properly
Benefits of cutting down out the cannabis:
- All of the above…
- You have the energy to do more in your day
- You start to feel normal again
- You can hold substantial conversations
- You’re not anxious 24/7!
I wish I could give you a right way to cut out these problems. But to be completely honest, when you’re stuck in the mindset there’s no right or wrong solution.
Just ask yourself, ‘am I happy?’
When you wake up every weekend hung-over, regretting the money you’ve spent, and how much of a nice day you’ve wasted lying over your vomit, do you feel contempt?
Before commiting to a heavy night you should be asking yourself, “do I really need this?”
Instead of thinking…
“f**k it I have nothing to do tomorrow so I can be lazy and lie in bed all day.”
You have to want to change, no one can do it for you.
You have to look past the hopelessness and find something worth staying sober for.
It was my future, my grades; friendships, the things I’d rather be spending my money on, and the person I wanted to become that motivated me.
It was the realisation I was never moving forwards- A lack of spontaneity in my life.
It became a commitment to myself to want to be better than the person who sits in a room all day feeling sorry for themselves. I had to change my way of living because no one was going to do it for me.
It’s not easy. On your worst days, for the first few months you second-guess having a spliff because you’re feeling shit already, or going out for a drink and drowning all your problems down your throat.
How many times do you keep doing it before realising the state you’re about to get yourself into?
I’d smoke so much weed I’d become comatose for a week, or until the whole bag had been smoked. And if I drank, I’d be out until 7AM some mornings, still trying to keep the night alive.
Progress will only move as quickly as you allow yourself too.
There’s nothing wrong withdrawing to weed or alcohol, but just know it’s not going to make you feel better the next day, nor will it solve your problem and help you move forward.
Truth is, they are still your problems when you’re sober. And if you don’t find a way to channel these emotions, you’ll always look to substitute them.
As humans, we drive off hope and feel happy when we’re loved, or have some kind of purpose to our lives.
Drinking and drug abuse is just one I am able to closely identify and resonate with, but these aren’t just the only substitutes for temporary happiness. Some people have such little satisfaction in their lives they look for all kinds of ways to fill the empty gap; rushing into relationships, having a baby, getting married, buying nice things, eating in fancy restaurants… The list is endless.
Like karma though, your emotions catch up to you. Keeping your problems shut closed with a chair, will only hold the intruder off for so long.
When you only have yourself to consider, it makes it harder to want to be better. But dealing with it head-on, and learning to love yourself is what makes you a stronger human- being.
Similarly to alcohol and weed, you shouldn’t expect someone to fix you, or to be a temporary substitute.
You must first fix yourself, find your principles, understand what inspires you and let no one tell you otherwise.
Without having a positive inner voice for yourself, and doing things that bring YOU happiness, you’re never going to be content, no matter what you substitute it for.
Things to tell yourself on the days you’re struggling:
- I’ve got this!
- Look how far I’ve come, don’t stop now!
- I’m doing so well!
- My only limit is me- I can do this!
- I can do anything if you put your mind to it!
- I am loved, I am strong, I am enough!