Drinking's Not That Fun Anymore

Drinking and I have been super distant lately. The other day, I finally just gave it a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You and now we’re officially not talking. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I just went to Los Angeles for a month and legitimately forgot to get wasted. My entire family doesn’t drink, so when we would go out to family dinners, I would feel weird being the only one ordering a drink. I actually did it once at a place called Dominick’s because they have a hot toddy there that’s life-altering but I just ended up feeling super woozy and falling out of my chair when we all stood up to leave. Afterward, my father shot me a look that was totally “MY GAY SON NEEDS TO GO TO REHAB!” so I just decided to forego drinking entirely.

When I got back to New York, the whole “not getting drunk” thing stuck until I went to Canada, where I got Weird Wasted off of vodka sodas and ended up feeling totally hungover and miserable the next day. In the last year, the few times I’ve chosen to drink hard alcohol instead of my usual glass of wine, I always end up having the weirdest drunk ever. It’s like my mind is sober. I talk normally, there’s no slurring, but my body is blacked out. It moves like a jellyfish on Klonopin. In college, drinking gin always used to do this to me. It was my drink of choice if I didn’t want to get drunk but felt too embarrassed to order a Shirley Temple, but now every kind of hard alcohol does it to me. Is this normal? Does anyone else experience this issue or is my body/ mind just the rudest thing on Earth?

Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge drinker. When I moved to New York, I tried desperately to keep up with the lushes in my social circle but it was fruitless. I would just pass out or vomit while they would continue to party till 6 a.m., dancing around my corpse. Then I would have a hangover that lasted for two days and everyone else would be feeling great after they ate brunch. Not fair! Why was my body ~~~sO SeNsItiVe~~~ and others weren’t? Jealousy.

Despite my lukewarm feelings toward getting drunk, I still managed to spend my college years semi-wasted like everyone else. But back then, the hangovers were sort of worth it. You’d go to some wild epic house party, get crazy with your friends, make out with your crush, and create 10,000 memories. You’d then spend the next day blissfully in bed and ditching class, maybe meeting up with your friends for some greasy food and hilarious discussion of last night’s events. Drinking had this purity to it. In a way, we felt like it was owed to us. We had days to waste being wasted. The guilt wasn’t so palpable.

Then the drinking culture changes when you graduate college. All of a sudden, you’re handed a whole lot of responsibility and can’t afford to get day drunk on a Tuesday at your friend’s house. I mean, technically you could, but not without experiencing a gnarly shame spiral and judgment from your peers. And you know how much 20-somethings HATE to be judged when it comes to their drinking habits. Everyone’s afraid of being That Drunk Person everyone talks about behind their back. “OMG, they came to the party? Jesus Christ. The last time I saw her, it was at some house party. She got wasted, dragged me into a bathroom, and told me that she thought she might be anorexic. Then she peed in the kitty litter box. I don’t even know her!”

Everyone is so paranoid of their own personal growth (or lack thereof) when they enter the workplace that they often curb their drinking and give people half-BS soundbites like, “I don’t even get drunk anymore. I just can’t do the hangovers anymore. I have to work!” Of course I feel similarly and have probably said something along those lines before, but beyond the whole “wanting to be a grown up thing,” your drinking habits change because alcohol starts to lose its luster. Drunken nights all start to feel the same and you no longer have the luxury of getting an entire day deleted because of a hangover. Assuming you’re not an alcoholic and drinking for an unhealthy reason, you just get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

That’s not to say that I’m a total grandma now. I think that notion of being “over drinking” by the time you’re in your mid-twenties is a tad dramatic. In fact, just last Friday, I accidentally got drunk with my best friend in Williamsburg, took a cab home, ordered french fries from McDonald’s, and passed out cold in my bed. The only difference from my college years being that it was 11:30 p.m. when my head hit the pillow. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • A.

    “It moves like a jellyfish on Klonopin.” my new favorite phrase

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com/ Maxwell Chance

    Threw a party. BBQ at the beach, all day. Everyone passed out by 11:30. My 19 year-old cousin left to drive an hour and a half to really party. OLD LOSERS.

  • Emilyfrosaker

    YES!! Totally having this phase right now. It will be over next week though when I take my trip to Vegas. Ryan, you are my soul-mate.

  • Christine Campbell

    This is so great

    Despite my lukewarm feelings toward getting drunk, I still managed to
    spend my college years semi-wasted like everyone else. But back then,
    the hangovers were sort of worth it. You’d go to some wild epic house
    party, get crazy with your friends, make out with your crush, and create
    10,000 memories. You’d then spend the next day blissfully in bed and
    ditching class, maybe meeting up with your friends for some greasy food
    and hilarious discussion of last night’s events. Drinking had this
    purity to it. In a way, we felt like it was owed to us. We had days to
    waste being wasted. The guilt wasn’t so palpable.

  • http://twitter.com/scruzz Shawn

    ~~~sO SeNsItiVe~~~

  • http://twitter.com/ebroms Elisabeth B.

    “It’s like my mind is sober. I talk normally, there’s no slurring, but my body is blacked out. It moves like a jellyfish on Klonopin.”

    Definitely not just you.

  • http://twitter.com/dangergirlOOO Jerri

    Hahaha you are So young Ryan :) I always love your writing.

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    I’m in my mid-twenties and I feel like when I drink I either feel nothing, or reach blackout level after only a few drinks. That perfect middle ground buzz just doesn’t exist for me anymore.

    • Robert

      I thought I was the  only one. It’s like, am I overdosing on Diet Coke? I’m so full and not buzzed or I don’t remember anything after the 2nd bar. 

  • Wdeanis

    Honestly been feeling the same lately. I mean, Ivan still drink, an love going out with friends to bars, but just last week we had access to 2 hours of free beer. I drank enough to get a little more than tipsy, got home by 11:00, and I just smoke some pot and watched tv while everyone else was drunk and had pizza. I’d rather just relax with a joint than with alcohol because honestly, the next day doesn’t involve a headache, lethargy, or judgmental coworkers

    • Wdeanis

      Thank you iPhone, for “correcting” my spelling to make me a typical incomprehensible stoner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MissDeeMeaner Stephanie Rhodd

    I accidentally got drunk last Thursday.  Tried going into work after 3 hours of sleep, ended up puking twice in the hour Iwas there, then, after going home, slept all day.  I kinda love using sick time every once and a while. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Timberman/922794 Steven Timberman

    Some lovely turns of phrase, like the Klonopin line. But do you know why your mind is still sober even when your body is drunk? Its the depression.

    Speaking from personal experience, there is that initial “I am SO depressed, I am going to drink myself into a stupor!” phase. But the thing is, you’re not actually, truly depressed yet. You’re just viciously pissed at someone or something, and feel like drinking is what you should be doing. Because, you know, that’s what people do.

    When you start avoiding shots, when you cautiously sip your third beer because you know what that fourth will do to your mindset, when going out becomes less a question of “I better hope to not puke” and more a question of “I better hope my mental health doesn’t shit the bed after this vodka tonic” – then congratulations. Now you are truly, really depressed.

    Christ, that’s depressing. 

  • bee

    I… Uhm.. Just don’t drink.  Not because I’m a ‘grandma’, but because both of my parents (and my one step parent) are alcoholics.  When I was growing up beer never equaled fun.  Beer always equaled arguing and threats from either parent, and me having to raise my younger siblings.  I’m not a prude, though.  I’m unbearably candid and open about sex and shit like that.  There has simply never been anything about drinking that has appealed to me..

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Ah, if only I could experience the life of a writer. 

  • becky

    I am in my college years and a bunch of my friends and I got drunk on New Years Eve.. One girl tried jumping out the 3 story window, one guy pulled my lesbian gf into the bath tub because he was drowning and thought he had a small pecker, one guy told his gf he was dead, and I almost murdered my gf with a pizza cutter and blacked out. I will never drink again, and this was just my first time. I only had like 3 or 4 light beers, and I’m ashamed of how I acted… but at the same time, it’s so fucking hilariously embarrassing.

    • http://twitter.com/Andorka1 Rhythm_is_therapy

      is this a public service anouncement against drinking?:) also, 
       “one guy pulled my lesbian gf into the bath tub because he was drowning and thought he had a small pecker” huh? he was drowning AND had a small pecker, how terrible…

    • guesty testy

      sooooo hardcoooore

    • Bollywoodbanter

      you blacked out after 3 beers? um

  • cee

    In college, I never understood the point of having only one or two drinks; it took me at least three shots to stand the campus bars and I didn’t drink for the taste. Post grad, my lowered tolerance, experience with terrible hangovers, and the fact that I usually have to drive home means I hardly ever have more than one or two drinks, if any, but I usually have more fun.

  • http://hotfemmeinthecity.wordpress.com/ natasia

    I’m in my late 20s…I used to be able to go out all night during the week and go to work like nothing. Now when I get home on a Tuesday at 11:30 I’m totally all crotchety old person about it.

  • Roy

    I’m just bored of getting drunk… it’s the same conversation, the same not-so-funny-but-let’s-laugh-loudly-cuz-we’re-drunk-and-having-such-a-blast jokes, the underlying guilt of consuming too many calories that I shall have to run off on the treadmill, the larger guilt of not being able to wake up to go to the gym because my body’s still processing those last two glasses of wine, the sneaking suspicion that I’d have had a much better time with one glass of wine and George Clooney on the telly, the almost-certainty that I’m not gonna remember this evening anyway… I think somewhere between last week and this morning, I became a grandma. The tricky part is justifying why I’m pretty cool with that.

  • Thegirlwhofellasleep

    That’s why I smoke weed.

  • jag

     That was really boring.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve totally been feeling like that recently! One drunk night (usually a Tue, Wed or Thu night) just blends into the next. And it’s always with co-workers always trying to see who can get the most wasted and still perform well the next day at work and actually be productive. I stopped drinking last summer for a while (I was having some health issues) – it was honestly making me feel like I was drunk all the time. 

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