Toddlers and drunk people are the same. They both dribble, fall over and shit their pants. They do bad dancing and vomit. They even pass out and wake up in places the've never been before. Just like I used to. There is one main difference, adults (are supposed to) take care of themselves whereas babies rely on parents to take care of them. Alcohol gets in the way of that rule.
When I turned 18 I was in the midst of my heavy binge drinking, I was an adult, expected to be responsible, expected to stay safe. But I did the opposite. I drank to access, I gave up my body and my safety when under the influence, I acted out because my inhibitions were flushed down the toilet along with a shot of vodka. I behaved like a child.
It's a fallacy that losing your inhibitions is a good thing. It's total rubbish. For me it meant losing my ability to make wise decisions. It meant not caring about myself.
I thought it was funny at the time, I laughed of the overwhelming regret the next day over Bloody Mary's at the pub. Honestly, I liked being the one with the most outrageous stories, it was a role I carved out for myself, the funny one, the stayer upper, the party girl. I was so busy adhering to my role that I never checked in to find out who was really benefiting from my hilarity, I never stopped to think... is this ok?and somewhere between the punch lines I forgot that I mattered.
Someone told me once that we stay the same age as when we started drinking until we stop, we dont give our bodies a chance to develop, we block evolution somehow. I believe this. I've experienced it.
When I stopped alcohol 18 months ago it felt as if I could suddenly see more clearly, my mistakes became visible. My behaviour when drunk seemed unimaginable. How could I have thought sleeping with strangers was funny? taking drugs and falling over was a joke? How had I let myself become that wild girl and who was she?
I really didn't know her.
With a new clearer mind I felt myself grow. day by day the child developed, I could feel all the black holes that I used to disappear into fill up with something more tangible. I was getting aquatinted with me for the first time. not a performer, the true me.
I started drinking when I was 13, I'm 42 now. I had a lot of catching up to do with this girl...
Quitting booze made me grow up and realise that I mattered. It made me determined to make sure my kids didn't see that sort of behaviour, I didn't want to give them a message that not taking care of yourself was ok. The only way to show them was to break the cycle of binge drinking. Teach them that an adult acting out like a toddler is wrong and dangerous.
I dont know if this will work? I will have to write a post on here in ten years and let you know if they're calling me from university or a jail cell. But at least I'm being a positive influence over them rather than asking them to bring a glass of orange juice from a darkened room.
The lesson is - be an adult, grow up and stop being someone for everyone else.
Just be you. The real you. I did and it's wonderful.
Note - Toddlers definatly shit themselves more than drunk people.
I think I only have once, after glugging down prune juice in a drunken stuper... but lets not talk about how many times I pissed my pants when out drinking. I should have worn nappies!
The picture is of me when I was 20, dressed as a viking for no reason other than to entertain my friends, they thought I was funny when in fact, I was probably a bit of a twat.