Good to see a magazine featuring a range of Irish celebrities talking about their relationship with alcohol.
First up was Stefanie Preissner, creator of the popular RTE show Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope
A hangover lasts 3 days
She talks in gruesome details about waking up with a hangover which lasted 3 days, but she’s chuffed with herself for waking up in her own bed because as she says
“My standards for what constitutes a good, safe night of drinking have plummeted so low, that I can achieve them simply by waking up at home alone”
She wasn’t the only one of her friends in this. The group texts would start in the afternoon, putting the jigsaw pieces of the night together until they reached the last person to blackout.
It takes effort to learn that drinking is not cool
Stefanie says we’re taught from a very young age that drinking is cool and fun. She never realised she was drinking too much because she hung out with other people who drank too much. As she says
“It’s nearly impossible to call out binge drinking, when it’s part of our cultural identity…
Irish people will do anything to protect their relationship with drink..
We call people “dry balls” or dry shites” if they try to highlight the dysfunction of drinking
There’s social currency when someone can hold their drink and not be seen as lightweight”
Stefanie is not an alcoholic
Stefanie is very clear, that she was and is not an alcoholic. But she was noticing the impact alcohol was having on her life. It was a toxic relationship. The money, the hangovers, the loss of time. Taking lots of painkillers.
Not drinking has a downside
Stefanie sometimes misses the ease with which she could drink herself into oblivion, it made it easier to sit next to annoying people at parties or events. It made it easier to deal with feelings because you could just avoid them- grief, sadness, anger all sloshed away.
She has a brilliant life now
But she says has a brilliant life, apart from all the people who feel threatened by her being sober.
She ends with a call, to people to think about not drinking. As she says
“Not drinking for a while, wouldn’t be a problem for someone who wasn’t dependent on it.
Irish Culture is changing
Stefanie is brutally honest about her own drinking and the culture of binge drinking among her friends.
It’s great to see influencers like Stefanie showing it’s possible to enjoy life without binge drinking. Breaking down the stigma of the alcoholic label. That you don’t have to be an alcoholic to experience the downsides of drinking. Finally, our society is beginning to wake up to the harm of drinking too much.
Hopefully in years to come, it will acceptable to not drink. Making it a lot easier for those of us trying to drink less.
Stefanie’s’ article is well worth reading here.