Every year, I tell myself: this time will be different… This time, I’m not going to drink too much at the office Christmas party.
It’s not like I set out to get drunk. Honestly, I plan on just having a good time and letting off a little steam.
It probably doesn’t help that I need a few drinks at home just to loosen up. I know I’m not the only one. After all, you have to prime the pump, right? Maybe others don’t drink a pint of vodka or a bottle of wine to do it but I don’t see the point of stopping when there’s only a couple drinks left in the bottle.
Once I get to the party, all I want to do is keep drinking. I gravitate to the bar even before I have a chance to talk with anyone. After a few more drinks, I’m having a great time, laughing with friends and coworkers. It’s my favourite time – I’m funny, friendly and usually keeping everyone happy by getting the drinks.
Then things start to get… messy. I’m spilling my drink. I’m losing interest in those around me. I get quiet but, when I do talk, I can hear myself slurring. The slightest things can upset me. It gets to a point where drinking is the only thing I want to do.
And then I reach the point where I can only recall bits and pieces of the rest of the night – blurry images of people and things I did. I’ll wake up the next morning, still in my clothes, wondering how the hell I got home.
Don’t even ask me about the shame and embarrassment I feel the next time I go into work. Sometimes, it’s bad enough that I call in sick – I’m paranoid I might have insulted someone at the party… or worse.
But not this year. This year’s Christmas party is going to be different. That’s what I have to keep telling myself.