Monday 20 May 2019

Hangover or clear head? The choice is yours

Photo posed by models.
Photo posed by models.

John Masterson

My social life has gone to hell. I can't remember the last time I woke up on a Saturday morning well and truly hungover after a pleasantly wasted day.

You know after one of those lunches where the fine food just demands an extra bottle of Barolo and then sure the day is gone so we head for the pub and the pints just keep coming and the craic is only mighty.

That feeling of gay abandon. Then next morning thinking back over the witty remarks I made and wondering did I insult anyone or maybe get a bit flirtatious.

Who cares? It all ended with that wonderful sleep five minutes into the taxi ride. Then there was the beautifully unsteady walk up the stairs and the welcome of the bed. No, I definitely have not been drinking enough and I intend to put it to rights ASAP. Sure what else is there to do on a Saturday morning other than go for a good walk or have a game of golf. Boring.

No. I haven't heard anyone ever say anything like that either.

Rather I am surrounded by people who have given up, or cut down, and without exception are feeling the better for it.

Most of them tell me they found it surprisingly easy to do.

The drink-driving legislation has had some unintended and unexpected consequences. Designated drivers saw a bit of themselves when they heard people get more boring, rather than more entertaining, as more alcohol coursed through their veins. Sometimes you don't need to hear a story three times.

Secondly, they discovered that after years of social drinking they could enjoy themselves just as much without a drink.

Thirdly, they loved waking up with a clear head because by the time they got home they couldn't be bothered having a tipple alone, or with their inebriated partner.

They all found they were getting more done. Drinking does take up a lot of time.

The other thing that has disappeared, or been severely modified, is the round system. You don't see those tables any more with three pints lined up because no one wants to be seen as mean and it was their round.

It has become acceptable to say "I'm fine thanks". And as for 'one for the road' or 'deoch an doras'!! That sounds as yesteryear as the marriage bar, (Yes. There was a time when women had to quit working when they got married. Honest. Google it). Or prescriptions for condoms (Yes. True. And before that they were illegal. If you don't believe me Google that too).

We Irish still have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol but I do think it is slowly changing.

We are realising that drinking is a habit that very few of us keep at the same level from year to year. It always increases. Unless we make a decision to change.

Most of us have gone along with the guideline that if our drinking is not causing problems with relationships, finance or work then all is fine. But we can tick all those boxes and still drink more than is sensible or healthy.

The striking thing about all of the people I can think of who have cut down or cut out alcohol is that not one of them was within a mile of having what we think of as a drink problem.

They just got a bit fed up with it and felt life was a lot better with a clearer head.

Sunday Indo Living

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