Bad Decisions v. Bad Luck?

Alcohol-induced back luck?

As we sat umm-ing about what to write for this blog, it was suggested that we do it on Friday the 13th, tossing around personal experiences and anecdotes, because – really – how often have you gotten drunk, lost your wallet, keys, phone, dignity, worse, and just blamed it on bad luck?

Today’s blog explores bad luck versus bad decisions and the excuses we give ourselves when we make them. What started as an amusing swapping of stories, turned slightly more somber when you realise – really – it’s because we drink as a society so much to the point that we lose the capacity to hold on to our possessions, or to ourselves. When everyone around you giggles at similar stories is that funny or is that disturbing?

Look – I was so far in denial about my drinking that I used to lose books when I went out. I once lost the same book twice. I was a drunk, but I was trying to be a well read drunk. And while I took this as a sign, it was for the wrong reason. Instead of deciding that it was probably time for me to reel it in, I decided that the book just wasn’t meant to be read. Call it a higher intervention of sorts. If that intervention smelled like tequila and looked like the corner of a bar.

Sending a regrettable text

“You should text them. That’s clearly a good idea”. How often have you woken up grabbing your phone to check messages and calls made, with that sinking lurching feeling. What was said, what was done, how much can I blame on the booze or pretend didn’t happen. More than once, I’ve also been the recipient of ‘lol Im drunl’. In swapping stories, I heard about someone who’d received a drunk text that said ‘I love/loathe you’. Covers about everything then.

An Australian study found that 72.1% of 25-34 year olds had called or texted an ex when drunk. And 49.3% of people admitted to calling family members and saying something ‘inappropriate’. The research also showed 12.8% owned up to calling or texting their boss, which has the potential to go very badly wrong.

Verdict: That’s booze. It’s not like you dropped your phone and it spelled out a text to your ex. The best way to figure this one out is asking yourself this: would you have texted/called them sober? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to delete their number before you become a serial drunk dialer.

Losing stuff

Have you ever lost anything on a night out? Your phone, your keys, your memory, your dignity? I once lost a phone on a beach because I was trying to find my friend who had run naked into the sea. It had all the kitten pictures of my cat on it and also it is really really annoying to lose your phone. Laura has gone into her purse to look for her card and instead found a bar tab. And then had to figure out which bar it was from…

You can actually get an app called Linquet designed to stop you losing your stuff when you’ve overdone it. It is a small device that clips onto any item you might be at risk of losing on a night out, working via GPS to send notifications to your smartphone. If you are walking out of a bar without your bag, the app sends a message to your phone. Though it only works if you don’t lose your phone, otherwise you’re pretty screwed.

Verdict: To be fair, I lose stuff sober at the best of times. So, this can’t always be down to booze, but it definitely doesn’t help.

Injuries

Ever woken up with a bruise that you’re not entirely sure how you got? Fallen into or out of a cab and skinned your hands? Attempted to jump over a wall and twisted your ankles. Broken your wrist? Repeatedly spilled red wine over your friend’s very new, very white house?

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents. The more you drink the more likely you are to decide that, yeah sure you can jump that wall, and the less likely you are to have the coordination to actually do that.

Around 40% of patients admitted to Accident and Emergency departments (A&E) are diagnosed with alcohol-related injuries or illnesses. At the most extreme, these are things like drunk driving injuries or fires – 1 in 3 fires is caused by someone who has been drinking. But there is also a whole range of smaller injuries that you are at risk of, and that may or may not require a trip to A&E.

Verdict: The statistics show that yes, you can fall over sober but you are more likely to fall over drunk. Bad decisions edging ahead of bad luck on this one.

Throwing up in a cab

I have never thrown up in a cab. I’ve thrown up from drinking. I once got lost on the way to the bathroom and ended up throwing up outside the room of my friend’s teetotal housemate. I have nursed other people through nights hanging over a toilet, and I have thrown up at Waterloo station. But I haven’t actually thrown up in a cab, which earns me extra points because I get carsick at the best of times. As well as the shame and the mess you could be facing a hefty fine, anywhere between £30 and £100.

Verdict: Unless you get very, very car sick this is all on you alcohol.

Blackouts

There is nothing like waking up in the morning and not being entirely sure what you did the night before. Defined as the loss of vision and momentary lapse of consciousness due to diminished circulation to the brain and retina can be a scary thing. Not eating a meal before a night out, drinking water, pacing yourself, avoiding drinking games – these things will stop you from blacking out. Drinking copious amounts of booze with no water on an empty stomach and not sleeping well – that’s plain dangerous.

Verdict: If you wake up after a bad night, it might just be bad luck. But if it’s starting to seem like a pattern you might need to try and cut down on your drinking.

If you’re worried about blackouts, you can read about Claire’s experiences with them, and find some tips to help reduce them happening.

So, there you have it. As you head out tonight into Friday the 13th, keep in mind that sometimes that bad luck is actually down to some bad decisions. And really due to the booze.

Text by: Cassie Gibson & Claire Tunnacliffe

Illustration by: Laura Willoughby

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