Anxiety: Beer Demons

It was my birthday on Sunday (21 yet again) and I started very healthily. I got up at 6am to do my meditation followed by a great yoga practice. I went for breakfast at Milk in Balham (delicious food, shame about the massive queue). In the afternoon, we headed to Farmacy in Notting Hill for a late lunch and I had the intention not to drink. Made it through the meal sin booze and then had a margarita for pudding. I would have been happy not to drink but felt like it was boring for my friends if I didn’t have anything. We went for a few drinks afterwards and although I didn’t have half as much as I would have pre-India, I was a little tipsy.

My body clock kicked in a 6.30am the following morning so I decided to get up. I went to the gym for 8am and managed a pretty good workout (see Instagram for details). As soon as I finished my workout I could feel the hangover kicking in, not terrible, I could just tell I wasn’t as fresh as have been for past month. Food helped with that but whilst I was sitting outside the restaurant I began to feel horribly anxious. I walked home with my friend and as we were walking it got much worse. I felt very weird and had the urge to get out of my head. I started to think that I would have to have a drink to ‘take the edge off’. This would have always been my response in the past. I realised that the anxiety was a reaction to something and masking the cause wasn’t going to help. I can’t go into details of why I was feeling this but by uncovering it, I was better able to deal with the anxiety. I made a pledge to myself that I would not drink, if necessary I would book into a yoga class to help cope.

Taking yourself out of a habit/situation highlights the effects in has on your more. I thought feeling this way after a boozy night was normal, I have heard it being referred to as the ‘beer demons’. This isn’t normal, we shouldn’t spend a day feeling on edge because we went out the night before. Alcohol is used to often for escapism, especially when we hate our jobs. I sometimes drink because I don’t want to feel like I’m boring, to make me feel more comfortable in awkward social situations. Well you know what, I don’t want to spend my Sunday’s feeling rubbish physically and battling anxiety. I want to wake up fresh and do activities instead. I have nothing to escape from right now, I love my life and I want to make the most of my days. Instead of dampening down our emotions we should get comfortable with them. Alcohol is a go to when we feel upset, anxious or angry but it doesn’t deal with our problems. If you feel uncomfortable at social gatherings, look at why and see if you can do anything about the problem. We all worry about people not liking us, but we shouldn’t care. Not everyone will like us, we don’t like everyone.

Going forward I am not saying I’m not going to drink at all, but I am only going to do it when I want to, not for anyone else. Even more importantly, if I am drinking to compensate for my perceived shortcomings, I really shouldn’t be.

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