Today is Saint Patrick’s Day. Which means many will be wearing, eating and drinking all things green. The day is named after the patron saint of Ireland who died over 1500 years ago. He is known for bringing Christianity to Ireland. As the celebration falls during lent it originally allowed for those abstaining from alcohol to be exempt for this one day. For most people this day now has very little religious connections but are still happy to celebrate. As Paddy’s Day allows for those par taking in festivities to start drinking at noon, which for a week day can certainly can feel miraculous.
When it comes to drinking, especially when in the midst of celebrations pacing isn’t usually part of the equation. Which is why here in Dublin many locals stay out of the city centre on March 17th. Tourists come in and drink far too much, too early and things get messy. In general it seems many people don’t know their limit. Being surrounded by people who drink faster than you or having to buy rounds can add a pressure and a pace that might not suit you.
To know your limits it’s important to pay attention to what feels right for you when it comes to alcohol. You don’t have to be the same level of drunk of everyone else if you don’t want too. Especially if you suffer from anxiety, pacing can go out the window. That anxious voice that usually fills your mind might be quieted as the booze flows. However, what often happens is you wake up the next day feeling so much worst. Often because the fear of what happened while under the influence haunts you. If you have hazy memories that makes it worst and gives your anxiety more power and a louder voice.
Alcohol is a depressant which means that it takes longer for information to travel between the brain and body. This slowing down impairs everything we do but can often give an air of confidence, which is why people might do something drunk they would never do sober. Since it’s the most widely used drug in the world it’s common to make excuses for what happens drunk.
As with all things it’s important to notice your own pattern when it comes to alcohol. Do you feel like you need a drink when you are sad/anxious/upset or angry? If that’s the case you are most likely using it to help you cope. If you feel it’s the only way you can celebrate or unwind then you most likely need it to help you relax. Using regularly in either scenario can become a problem because your body can forget how to regulate; you’re relying on a chemical to have the intended reaction. Which is why some people feel like they can only have fun while drinking.
The goal is to enjoy everything in moderation, which looks different for everyone. Today and any other day you decide to consume alcohol notice the impact it can have on you. You are fun and people will like your company even if you aren’t completely hammered. If you wake up dreading what happened the night before you’re only hurting yourself.
“Drink moderately, for drunkeness neither keeps a secret, nor observes a promise.” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra