When I finally graduated from college, I suddenly became very aware of my drinking habits. I'd always been a party girl and a black-out drinker. I used to dance on bars, make out with bouncers and take endless shots with wild abandon.
On the weekends, I either had insane parties at my apartment or spent my nights dancing the evening away at the clubs. I'd regularly come home at four in the morning, though I rarely remembered how I got back.
Sure, I was a big drinker and partier. But I always made sure I was with people I trusted, and I would (usually) make it home safely. That's just the life of a college girl, right?
The thing is, once you get to a certain age, it doesn't matter how “responsible” you are while drinking. Once you're working a regular job and the days of keg parties and final exams are behind you, going out and getting slammed is no longer normal. It is no longer cute.
I've cut back my drinking a lot in the last year and a half. I drink only one or two nights a week. The biggest issue remains: I'm still a black-out drinker. I've come to realize that, though my partying days may be behind me, my lack of self-control is alive and well.
I drink in extremes. I have either no drinks or all the drinks. I can never simply relax and have a cocktail or two with my girlfriends.
It's a choice between sobriety or a bottle (and a half) of wine. It's being levelheaded or falling head over heels to the ground. It's one or all. There is no in-between.
I'm a bad drunk. Here are 33 signs that you are, too.
1. You black out regularly...
...If not every time you drink. Okay, every time.
2. Every night out ends with either you crying or punching someone.
You are just a glass case of emotion, and no one wants to play with you.
3. You can never have just one drink.
You have to drink ALL the drinks.
4. You have to stay sober or get completely wasted.
Having a few drinks feels like a waste of calories. You're all or nothing.
5. Everyone hates you in the morning.
You send several apologetic texts before noon.
6. You don't understand the concept of “pacing.”
Once you start, you keep going. Forever.
7. You've been described as “sad.”
And you've definitely been called “tragic.”
8. You always end up spending your entire paycheck while drunk.
You end up buying everyone shots, or you wake up with half a pack of cigarettes — when you quit smoking months ago.
9. You often turn irrationally angry.
Once someone sets you off, that's it. The party is over for everyone.
10. You're always “that girl.”
And when you aren't “that girl,” you brag about the break from notoriety, which is demented.
11. When you dance on the table, you usually fall off it.
You put the “ugly” in “Coyote Ugly.”
12. You destroy every family function.
When you're blacked out before Thanksgiving dinner even begins, it's probably a bad sign.
13. Your friends are getting their lives together, and you're out until dawn.
All of your friends are getting engaged and moving in with their boyfriends. You're in a committed relationship with Jack Daniels.
14. You think drinking a bottle and a half of wine is a “chill night in.”
"Oh, I felt like unwinding after work with a glass or two." Read: blacked out alone, again.
15. Everything you do must involve alcohol.
If there isn't any booze, what's the point in going?
16. You're always apologizing the next day.
You don't remember what you said, but you remember that it was bad.
17. You constantly make excuses for your drinking habits.
If you're still waking up for work the next day, what's the problem?
18. All of your friends are worried about you.
This deeply annoys you. It also makes you feel shameful.
19. You look extremely haggard after a night out.
Droopy eyes, messy hair and recycled makeup are never a good look.
20. You never wake up without regrets.
The "shame shudders" are your constant companion.
21. You think alcohol is a good substitute for dinner...
...Unless you're breaking your entire diet to binge on dollar pizza.
22. Even a relaxing night out with the girls involves getting hammered.
An evening spent at a wine bar and gossiping over tapas will inevitably dissolve into debauchery.
23. You don't consider it “really drinking” unless it involves hard liquor.
Wine is basically juice. It doesn't even count.
24. Every single one of your exes thinks you have a drinking problem.
All of your exes have you -- and your drinking -- in common.
25. You regularly drink alone...
...And you truly enjoy it.
26. You say: “I drink one or two nights a week.”
You mean: “I black out one or two nights a week.”
27. You wake up with mysterious bruises...
...Sometimes in places you've never been before.
28. You never remember the last few hours of the night.
Everything is a blur, but you pretend to remember it perfectly.
29. You don't know what to do with your nights if you aren't drinking.
You get anxiety thinking about the hours between the end of the workday and bedtime.
30. You don't even dream anymore.
Your brain just shuts off after you flood it with alcohol.
31. You have zero self-control, and you pretend you're okay with that.
You act like you're totally cool with your choices, though you know deep down that they're toxic.
32. You're banned from several bars...
...But don't know why.
33. You have anxiety after reading this.
I need a Xanax. Bye.