Saturday, 14 May 2011

One For The Road?

I'm an occasional drinker. And when I do drink it's not to excess. Before you try to second guess me, I'm not here to preach about the perils of binge drinking, or any of the related issues. I'm interested in another question; namely what is it that alcohol does for you? Does it help you to relax? Does it give you a bit of extra courage? Does it enhance your personality? Well ok, I suppose I can understand, and sometimes we do need to step out of ourselves. I guess what I'm wondering is why it takes alcohol to get you to that point? Or are you a person that drinks to blunt the edges of some deeper pain? Some empty space in your life? Perhaps a disappointment or two? Is it the life jacket you pull over your head at the end of the day? Does the thought of it keep you going through the rough and tumble of it all?
For most of us it's just a harmless indulgence, in which case enjoy and good health. The only note of caution I would strike would be to suggest we stay on guard. Somewhere out there is a line, and it's different for all of us. And once crossed that's when indulgence becomes a need, and the need an obsession, and the obsession an idol. And yes, I have just finished a night shift. And yes, I've spent most of it dealing with people who either ignored or were unaware of their limits. We don't call Friday and Saturday evenings fight night for nothing. By the end of these shifts my empathy levels are rock bottom; battered into submission by the endless procession of violence and disorder. Whether it's a brawl outside a club, or a manic depressive about to jump from a bridge, or a drunken teen slumped in an alleyway choking on her own vomit the cause is usually the same. Too much, too quickly, with too little thought. Is this really what makes a good weekend?


  1. Funnily enough due to the way I outwardly appear to people they think I am a drinker. I rarely drink though and couldn't honestly tell you the last time I did, possibly 3 weeks I think.

    But, I am older than the 20 somethings. It isn't just drink alone. It is also fuelled by other illegal substances and this then increases the amount people drink. If people treated for drink related injuries were subjected to a drugs test I bet the findings would be startling. People's attitude now is 'I am, so I can and you can't tell me otherwise. No matter who you are'.

    I once had to take a girl to A&E as at 2.00am. I could see a figure standing over a lifeless body where I lived in London. I went over to investigate and a girl was laying in the middle of the road and her friend was trying to coax her to move. A gently lifted the lifeless girls head looked at her friend and asked how old she was. The reply 'She is nearly 14'. On taking the girl and her friend to hospital I expected to be asked a barrage of questions about turning up with such a young girl in such a condtion. The staff though just thanked me and let me go no my away as if they had to deal with this type of incident on an all to regular basis.

    Unfortunately it is the society we live in today. I will use a vulgar word as it is only fitting the younger generation live for today and sod tomorrow and only need is to work to enable them to spunk everything up a wall at the weekend. We wont change that attitude either I am afraid.

  2. Thanks for that comment. It's interesting to hear the perceptions of others.