Emotional Reasons To Drink Less As You Get Older
I’ve started to enjoy drinking less and less as I get older. There are many reasons for that, including the fact that the hangovers just seemed to triple in strength once I turned 30. And even when I had bad hangovers in my younger years, it didn’t affect my life as much. Let’s be real: nobody expected me to do a great job at work when I was 22, anyways. I wasn’t exactly given huge responsibilities. Today, I can’t be hungover at work. If I was a little hazy on the job, I didn’t seem much different from any other day. As I’ve gotten older, my tastes for alcohol have also become more expensive, so I just can’t really afford to drink what I love. My favorite cocktail at my favorite bar is $15 so, there you go. I used to spend that in a full night of drinking in college. So, there are those practical reasons I don’t like to drink much anymore, but there’s also the fact that life becomes more emotionally complex as you get older, and so being drunk can lead to some more serious consequences.
You can’t keep a secret
Nobody can keep a secret when they’re drunk, but the older you get, the more valuable and dangerous your secrets are. Now, you may let it slip that a friend is pregnant even though she didn’t want anyone to know until her second trimester. Or you may let it slip that you know of a friend’s husband cheating on her.
You can’t pass up on a fight
You just can’t miss the chance to argue when you’re drunk. You feel empowered and a little angry. So you start looking for fights. The problem is that now, those fights can have real repercussions. You may pick an age-old fight with a sibling that digs up serious wounds that send everyone back into therapy.
You get donation-happy
It’s great that you want to donate, but when you’re drunk, you really struggle to ignore those ads for the ASPCA and things like that, and you open your wallet to give out a hefty amount of money—more than you had in your charitable budget that month.
You make hopeful purchases
You sign up for expensive night classes because you’ve decided you’re going to be a jewelry designer or a welder—things you had no interest in before ten minutes ago. Or you buy an expensive set of luggage for a trip you do not have planned and cannot afford.
You dwell on the past
You just start obsessing over the past, and how, if you’d just done this or that small thing differently, everything would be different today. What if you had said yes to marrying that man? What if you had stayed at that job?
You dwell on perceived slights
If you think someone has wronged you, you cannot let it go. And you inflate what happened in your head. You’re certain that your coworkers were gossiping about you in the bathroom, so you send them a long, nasty message reprimanding them. You don’t even actually know what they were talking about in there.
Everything on TV makes you cry
The music in a car commercial. An argument on a soap opera. A kid winning a spelling bee in a sitcom. A puppy. Just a puppy on the screen. Life is very emotional, and when you drink, it all comes out.
Social media makes you very angry
Social media makes you very mad, and you struggle not to look at it when you’ve been drinking. You get pulled into those lengthy comment thread arguments that you know will lead nowhere.
Post-drinking blues are the worst
The depression that comes the day after drinking is very bad now. You feel completely numb and like the world is a dark place. You fixate on how slowly your goals are moving forward and how hard it is to get together with friends anymore.
You reach out to exes
You don’t know why. Maybe to reminisce. Maybe to pick up that fight you left off on. Maybe to comment on how their new girlfriend looks just like you so they must still be obsessed with you hahahaha oh lord you sound insane now.
Or message that guy you don’t really like
The loneliness can be very real as you get older and haven’t yet found the one. So you message that guy who you do not actually like, but who is quite in love with you, and just convince yourself you do like him. Perhaps you sleep with him. Now you just got his hopes very high, and you wake up feeling sick and wanting to run away.
You divulge all your miseries
You tell all of your miseries to anyone who will listen. You and your mom aren’t close. You got passed up for a promotion. You struggle with your weight. You pine after an ex. You tell your sob story to anybody and everybody, and it’s a long, complex sob story because you’re an adult now with a long and complex past.
And give out your opinions freely
You become more opinionated as you get older, and when you drink, you struggle to keep your opinions to yourself. So you tell your friend that her boyfriend clearly doesn’t really love her or your coworker that he’s too dumb for his job.
It can affect your career
Your drunk mistakes can ruin your career, and you actually have a career now. You worked hard to build it. It’s not just another dog walking or burger flipping gig like the ones you had in college—those were a dime a dozen. This is your hard-earned, specialized career. And you say things and send out messages that can ruin it.
What if your kids could see you?
If you have children, you just can’t help but think, “What would my kids think if they saw me drunk? They wouldn’t feel safe with me. They wouldn’t recognize me.”