Merriam-Webster definition: Past tense and past participle of light
Meridian definition: Highly intoxicated, possibly due to an open bar at a wedding, homecoming, or any event where “henny-thing” is possible; an altered state of mind which can lead to regrettable text messages.
*Freeze frame – Kim falls out of an Uber*
“I’m sure you’re wondering how I got here. It all started with a game of flip-tac-toe.”
Share of hands, how many of you have ever had a long night out that led to a rough morning?
In college, it is an accepted truth that there will be drinking. In the professional world, it is far from frowned upon to have a glass of wine or whiskey after a long day. Since the feds decided to repeal Prohibition in 1933 (and before and during if we are being honest), we have been a country that thrives on alcohol production and consumption. Everywhere you turn, there is a new craft beer or a rapper promoting a new liquor.
In the most basic of terms, we know that alcohol impacts the chemical compounds in the brain, leading to an increase in excitement, physical relaxation, and a decrease of inhibitions (which is why some people use other substances when they are drinking, but that’s a blog for another day). People who drink in moderation can have less stress in the moment and feel freer. Sounds pretty dope, right?? What we also know, is that the more that we ingest, more negative/dangerous symptoms that are possible. Alcohol overdose can lead to permanent brain damage, memory loss, liver disease and death. I’m really not trying to sound like your DARE officer, but booze can be bad sometimes guys.
Therapists and psychiatrists utilize what is known as the DSM-5 to help with diagnosing mental health and substance use issues. This gazillion page book gives us different disorders and lists out their symptoms, along with how severity is determined. When we look at Alcohol Use Disorder, some of things that clinicians are listening for are:
Drinking longer than initially planned (going out for dinner and getting home at 6am)
Struggles tending to personal responsibilities (showing up for work late or calling out)
Issues with relationships (your mom saying that she’d concerned)
Personality changes (looking at you, angry drunk)
Drinking in dangerous settings, or doing dangerous things while under the influence (I know you’re thinking about driving, but this also includes stuff like risky sex, and trying to do that sweet parkour trick you saw on Instagram)
Increased tolerance (now it takes 7 shots instead of 3 to feel a little frisky)
Wanting to cut back or stop, but not being able to (aka, I’ll never drink again…until next weekend)
Now, please remember, this is a blog; designed to provide you with information. Diagnosing is highly subjective and should only be done by a trained professional. With that being said, we each have a general awareness and understanding of ourselves, and typically know when things don’t feel right. If you think that you are struggling with alcohol, listen to yourselves! Consistently waking up with hangovers or having physical cravings to drink can be flashing lights that say, there is something going on. Listen to yourself, you underground gemstone! You are powerful beyond belief, which means you have everything in you to get that monkey off your back. All you have to do is ask for help.