“Eugh, who’s house is this?”
“Euughh, what happened last night?!”
“Euuughhh, why do I have fried onions in my pocket, a set of temporary traffic lights in the garden, a pair of undies in the tree, a gigantic hole in the wall with a saucepan poking out of it, a police helicopter with a spotlight overhead and a LIFE SIZE FIBRE GLASS ANTELOPE IN THE KITCHEN?!”
I’m sure everyone who’s had a few-drinks-too-many has asked themselves the exact same questions in their lifetime… but for me… shenanigans of this kind don’t happen anymore. Admittedly, it’s probably for the best. Although I don’t miss suffering the mucky alco-sweats and pNEUROmatic drill destroying every inch of my body (Hangovers), I do miss getting loose.
Alcohol is a huge part of our social life, not only in the UK but worldwide. It’s fair to say, the UK tends to take it to the binge level and beyond. Completely unnecessarily most of the time, but the undeniable fact that alcohol can remove so many barriers during a social gathering, is far from something that anyone should take for granted.
It’s an easy escape!
We drink to release the demons, relax and escape our busy heads for a while. It’s surely how most friendships and relationships are formed? Although alcohol is often used as an excuse for acting like an idiot, I definitely hold on to some of my funniest memories while I was highly intoxicated. Whether it’s in business or in personal scenarios, socialising with a few bevvies can help develop relationships deep into the realms of trust and future opportunities. As an English man… I can see that it’s so embedded in our culture that if you’re ever ‘that guy’ who doesn’t drink on a night out, you’re almost guaranteed to have your sensible-decision-making-morals introduced to a barrage of bewildered facial expressions and heckling abuse along the lines of “Why aren’t you drinking?!” or “What’s wrong with you?!” But, if you take it one step further (too far, it seems) and commit the worst crime of all… and don’t drink at the work Christmas party… you can definitely expect the flabbergasted faces, the bucket of abuse and more than often you’ll be labelled a ‘pussy’. It’s a situation I’ve witnessed countless times.
I’ve always made a calculated, conscious and controlled decision to get wasted! I just really enjoy partying with a drink, or two, or three and the rest. If you were to mash all the reasons why I like it into a ball, put it on a chopping board, slice it up, and look at the pieces… a small segment would reveal that I get really anxious about my hearing and missing out on what people are saying in busy social situations (I’ll do a separate post on hearing loss). Getting wrecked was my only way of ploughing through it. Plus we all shout when we’re drunk, which makes it so much easier for me!
One of my biggest struggles in the last two years has been accepting that I need to cut down my alcohol intake. Not because I used to be an alcoholic, but because my kidneys simply can’t take it anymore. I suppose getting older might have something to do with it as well? Responsible adulthood and all that… maybe? I always knew I’d have to stop because of my kidneys eventually, but making the transition from drinking alcohol whenever I like to only having one bottle of Corona, if anything at all, has actually been pretty difficult. Now that I’m much more educated and aware of how damaging drinking alcohol is, especially while my kidney function is deteriorating so drastically, I feel less inclined to go to social gatherings as much as I used to, which makes me sad.
Woe is me! I know…
There is a positive conclusion to this story… I’m getting there…
I think it’s the principle more than anything. It’s the choice that I’ve had taken away from me. In my late teens/early twenties I didn’t hold back. I was carefree, fearless and partied hard while I could, because I knew my kidneys were functioning well at the time. I wanted to cram it all in. I went to every house party and illegal rave possible. I was out partying five nights of the week. I never needed it. I wanted to do it. And I could take it or leave it. Some might argue that it was just a counter-productive coping mechanism, to numb the anxiety of knowing my kidneys were going to fail, along with my hearing and eyesight getting worse… but even if it was, I don’t regret any of it. I had a short-lived phase of going out without drinking any alcohol at all. I thought I could rise to the challenge, Stay sober and still have fun.
How wrong I was.
I still had a good time with my friends and I’m not saying I can ‘only’ have fun after a rendezvous with my best mate Captain Morgan… but I am saying that I can deal with drunkards stamping on my toes, chucking snake bite down the back of my neck and scorching craters in my forearm with their cigarettes, while some wonky-eyed git talks at me about his overweight cat that’s got a virus and keeps puking on the brand new Epson coloured printer, MUCH BETTER… when I am smashed.
These days, I don’t actually want to put myself in an environment where I’d have to put up with all that hassle anyway… unless I go to a festival or special occasion.
ONE LAST BINGE.
All the photos featured in this post are the evidence of my last ever blow out, beautifully captured by Charlie Woodward Media.
It was my bosses 40th birthday party in September 2018. It’s fair to say I went ‘all out’ and got completely obliterated, as did everyone else at the party. It was an incredible set up, with a mini festival layout, fresh stone baked pizza cooked to order all night and a ridiculous amount of alcohol behind the bar! I don’t really remember speaking to many people… probably because I was unable to without either dribbling on them or boring them as a result of making no sense whatsoever. Lots of dancing, lots of laughs and an emotional speech from Campo. Good times.
For the whole week after, my lower back felt as if I’d been hanging from the ceiling in a boxing gym, with David Haye working on consecutive left/right hooks for eight hours straight. It brought a whole new meaning to the old classic, “NEVER AGAIN!”. To top it off, my legs felt like I’d done a thousand lunges without a break… but actually… that’s probably true! It was a great night, and the perfect sign off from the world of boozy mischief.
My main aim now is to focus on the sports I love. Like I said before, getting drunk is just an easy escape, but if I can narrow down my choices and channel any negative energy through action sports, then that’s fine by me!