Party Hard – or, you know, don’t: The Emetophobia Story

I bought two bottles of wine yesterday, and drank half of one, so I think it’s time to talk about drinking. I’ve been putting this one off because I’m still not ready to talk about the Incident of December 26, 2013, but… maybe we can work around it.

DOES DRINKING EVEN MATTER?

Probably not. I mean, it’s not good for you, and I’ve always kind of figured that my natural aversion to binge drinking probably does more good than harm to me. Just like how I can never be bulimic, I can never be an alcoholic either. Yay emetophobia!

But seriously, when it comes to my relationship with alcohol, I have yet to find the right balance. In the early years (18-19), I didn’t really know what I was doing or where my limit was, so I stayed well below it. Most of my drinking experiences involved taking a variety of gross shots, having a vodka soda, and then watching the people around me be a total mess and hoping none of them would be sick. From 20-21, I found a way to safely get drunk, which was good because I didn’t have to sit there and watch everyone else do it – some people find it fun, but I find it both annoying and scary. This was mostly because I worked up a taste for wine, which I always figured was kind of safe.

A healthy relationship with drinking, I think, involves doing it because you want to – not because you want everyone else to see you doing it. I also think that it’s better to enjoy what you’re drinking than to strive for drunkenness. I do enjoy a glass of wine, but when I get to the dregs of the bottle, I can’t even taste it anymore, so why am I still drinking it? Well, because I’m looking to get wasted. I don’t know, maybe it’s not such a bad thing. The important thing is that you don’t drink because you feel that you need to in order to deal with something.

Anyway, long story short, last year I started drinking to get around social anxiety on a regular basis, and it didn’t go well.

3 MONTHS SOBER

I haven’t been drunk in 3 months. Again, maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t know. I told you I wasn’t ready to talk about this yet! But anyway, my point is that once I find myself filling that third glass (and I don’t fill them to the top – I’m pretentious like that), I start to get sick with anxiety. So I stop. And I go through this period of worrying, from then until the next morning.

The reason why this is on my mind, and I insisted on spitting something out because of it even though my thoughts CLEARLY aren’t gathered, is because I was up half the night yesterday. I wasn’t really sure why. 4 glasses of wine in, my stomach felt fine, and I was having a hard time staying awake. But once I tried to sleep, I felt like I couldn’t close my eyes. It’s moments like this that make me realize all over again that, despite all the progress I’ve made in understanding and dealing with this, I haven’t really gotten very far at all.

The emetophobe hangover situation is the adult version of the “vomiting story” situation for kids. Back in elementary and high school, kids had this HILARIOUS habit of sitting around telling stories of various times they were sick. For what felt like 5 hours. It was probably actually 10 minutes. But everyone has stories like this, and they all think they’re HILARIOUS. And when I was a kid, all I could do was sit there, wait it out, try not to hear. But it’s this attitude. I can’t say I envy it. Maybe I’m just not there yet. But I can say that my life would have been a lot easier, as a kid, if I had been able to laugh about it.

Now, it’s the hangover stories. People LOVE to tell drinking stories, and LOVE to tell hangover stories. Why am I putting so many words in caps? But again, this attitude people have! No one enjoys a hangover, but it’s a staple of the twenty-something to brag for years about their worst ever hangovers, as if it’s some kind of achievement. The longer it lasts, the better. Again, do I envy people who brag about hangovers? No. I think it’s a weird thing to be proud of. But I still think it’s better than what I do.

UPDATE

Quick update, because I need to shower before class. As I said, I’m realizing how far I have to go still. I definitely took a few steps backward throughout the week, mainly because I have end of term stress, and stress always turns to anxiety, which leads to nausea, which leads to anxiety, and so on. But I’m still determined, and now that my classes are over, I can put aside time between studying to work on the projects I’ve been neglecting, such as positive thinking. I guess I can make time for that.

EMETO-CATION OF THE WEEK

Water. The theme is drinking, and water is the ultimate cure for hangover-sickness. Of course, you have to drink it while you’re drinking alcohol. Like, alternately. Having water the next morning doesn’t work, I promise you.

EMETO-CABULARY OF THE WEEK

The Limit. The famous limit. When you’re drinking, your limit is how much you can have before your night goes bad. When you’re an emetophobe, your limit is how much you can have before you start to have anxiety about your night going bad, which is when your night goes bad.

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2 Responses to Party Hard – or, you know, don’t: The Emetophobia Story

  1. kali says:

    I agree with you in why people drink. I am only 22 and am over the whole drinking scene already. It isn’t fun because everyone gets stupid around you and then you aren’t having fun because you are the one taking care of them.

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