Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. UK researchers commonly define binge drinking as consuming more than 6 units of alcohol in a single session for men and women.
It took me a long time to realise that I was a problem drinker. I was not what I would have called an alcoholic. I did not depend on alcohol to function. I only really drank on weekends and therefore it never crossed my mind that my drinking was dangerous.
My binge drinking started at age 13. I was at a house party and had consumed a small bottle of vodka, some cans of cider, a couple of alcopops and some rum. I was well and truly hammered barely able to stand up and was staggering all over the place with no sense of awareness. Eventually I collapsed upstairs in a drunken stupor before being sick all over myself. The next day I woke up with absolutely no recollection of the night before feeling embarrassed, nauseous and vulnerable. You would have thought that this would have been enough to stop a girl from ever touching a drink again. Not me, I carried on getting paralytic drunk throughout my teens. Nearly every single party would result in me either passing out somewhere or if i was lucky being violently sick.
When I reached my late teens I was getting this drunk at least three times a week. Being hammered was the norm and unless i was absolutely shit faced it wouldn’t be a good night. Eventually I reached the age where I was able to get in to night clubs which made drinking that bit more exciting, getting dressed up and hitting the town was my favorite thing to do. I would drink myself silly, dance the night away and find my way home at 4 am. God knows how as more often than not i was barely able to stand up.
At the age of 21 my life had changed dramatically. I was living with my then fiance at our home in a small village in the country, working in the local shop by day and the local pub as a barmaid by night. I was no longer living my party girl lifestyle and to an outsider it would seem that I really had my life together. Unfortunately that was not the case, I was deeply unhappy in my relationship and my life in general. It was around this time that I started to secretly drink to excess. Most evenings polishing off at least a bottle of wine if not two on my own. I would drink wine alone throughout most evenings until I passed out.
Unsurprisingly after a couple of years my relationship broke down and I ended up moving out. This was when the real binge drinking began. I became a party girl again and went on a major bender, I would go out clubbing most evenings until the early hours and would go to work early every morning still drunk from the night before.
Without realising it over the years I had slowly become alcohol dependent. Alcohol was my ally, It got me through my bad times and helped me to celebrate the good. I loved the way alcohol made me feel, helped me relax and improved my confidence. I was known as a fun party girl by everyone. The girl that loved a drink. I was now one of the lads.
I was constantly doing wild crazy things with each weekend being slightly more crazy than the last. I was getting myself into dangerous situations and never taking responsibility for my actions. I was a fully fledged binge drinker and was destroying my life and my body in the process.
At the age of 31 I realised that I was no longer enjoying my alcohol fueled binge drinking lifestyle. I would set myself alcohol free challenges in the hope it would change my attitude towards drinking. I would pray that this would result in me cutting back on my alcohol consumption and finally being able to drink moderately like a normal person. It never worked. I would still always get far too drunk and wake up feeling shit the next day. I started to suffer from terrible anxiety and would experience bouts of depression.
Eventually I decided that I did not like where my life was heading. I no longer wanted to wear the party girl crown and spend most of my weekend hungover on my sofa. I wanted to start seeing the world and enjoy life to the full. I wanted to become a good girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister and aunt and I would not be able do that if I was off my face every weekend.
In May 2018 I decided to get rid of alcohol all together. I came to the realisation that unfortunately moderating my alcohol intake would not be an option for me and I would have to bin the booze for good. I am happy to now be 7 months sober and already seeing the benefits.
If you too are a heavy binge drinker like I was then I really hope that my story will encourage you to stop . By behaving in this way you are causing yourself untold harm. The harm it is causing you is not only physical but it is mental too. Being drunk every weekend stops you from growing in to the real person you are supposed to become. It will hold you back from your aspirations and prevent you achieving your goals. It was only after I eventually quit drinking altogether that I began to realise just how much of my life I had wasted being drunk. It was only when I stopped the drinking that I could finally start living life to the full.