Ever had that humiliating experience of sitting across from your lecturer in their office to discuss your thesis and realised that you have maneuvered all your body weight to your elbows on the desk in order to sit upright? With no immediate recognition of the project you’re meant to be doing or the lecturer you’re currently disappointing, the cause of this embarrassment dawns over you: you’re still drunk.
The night before was great and you crossed every single line you said you wouldn’t cross! But now you’re here and your anatomy decided to keep going and your entire mind is now a crosshatched mess in front of someone whose decades worth of research and teaching has led to holding an 18-year-old’s hand through a single essay. If only you had a way of figuring out your condition sooner so that you could reschedule…
Well, your drunken disgrace of a fairy godmother is here to help you out! Whether you’ve woken up from a night out with somewhere semi-professional to be, or you’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror at a house party wondering whether this drink or the next will launch you into the ether, you can save yourself before it’s too late. Let’s divide this bioanalysis into three components: Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Forget about memory games or saying the alphabet backward, none of these are important and the results would be disappointing without the influence of alcohol. What sounds like a good idea that sober you definitely isn’t on board with? This could be a ridiculously expensive cab, takeaway, romantic gesture to your ex, a show of physical prowess, or even just another drink. Is radical feminism at the centre of your mind when your eyes catch the most engineer-looking man you’ve ever seen in your life? STEM folks, do you have an unshakeable urge to rank every degree subject according to how often it crosses your mind when you see a Humanities student arrogantly flaunting their ankles all over the place? Pay attention to your impulses, these are terrible ideas that will waste your time. Sober you wouldn’t stand for it, and sometimes the best thing you can do is remember them.
You would think your bodily functions would be the most obvious way to tell if you’re intoxicated or not. Except you don’t know your average reaction times when you’re sober nor is following your friend’s finger flying across your face easy to follow at the best of times. You just need to ask yourself one question: are simple tasks taking more energy than usual? Perhaps a light jog to catch the bus is requiring a masterful amount of coordination between your arms and legs; maybe you’ve lost your train of thought mid-sentence but you were actually in the middle of about four sentences at once and now your mouth is tired. In general, pay attention to how much focus and energy goes into relatively simple tasks such as walking, talking, eating, and thinking.
Do you feel like your life has transcended in some way, yet you are simultaneously on the precipice of making it drastically worse for a few hours? You may have found yourself in the calm before the storm (the storm being tearful oversharing, an injury, or woeful self-contemplation). Or you could be in momentary exhilaration which could transport you to another plane of existence but will most likely take you behind a wheelie bin without your friends or an invitation back inside the building. In that bathroom mirror, as you look fiercely into your own eyes before joining the crowd: are you hyping yourself up, or are trying to silence the higher being that is trying to tell you to slow down? It is one stare in the mirror, with two radically different results on either end.
In hopes that I have helped and with the knowledge that I probably haven’t, you can now go forth with this new roadmap to navigating your body’s limits and boundaries. At least when you’re hunched over the lecturer’s desk with nothing to say except ‘sorry’, you’ll understand why.