Do you know a lot of the bartenders, bouncers, and regulars when you go out in Hillcrest? Are the endless nights of socializing, hook-ups, drinking, partying, and whatever else comes your way a regular occurrence in your life? Or better yet, have you mastered the party scene in Hillcrest and know exactly how to find the next hotspot of the night?
Partying can be a blast, especially in a community where you know a lot of people. But let's be real....sometimes partying can simply get way out of hand. Don't get me wrong, I like to have a good time and go out on the town....but I have also seen how partying can damage various aspects of relationships and life. The gay and gay-friendly community is large in San Diego, yet it can also be very small at the same time.
No matter if you are simply grabbing a bite to eat at Baja Betty’s, having a drink at Mo’s, or dancing at Rich’s, it is likely you will run into people you know. Out of control partying can hurt reputations, put a label on someone’s character, impact the way people see each other, or hurt friendships. Partying is completely fine…as long as it is in moderation. The unhealthy part is when it becomes extreme; out of control, hurting your relationships, and putting yourself at risk.
Here are a few signs you need to cut back on partying:
The “What happened Last Night?” Thought (Again)
You wake up again the next day after parting with no memory of getting home, difficulty recalling exactly what happened and your stomach sinks hoping that you didn’t do another thing you’d regret. You try to piece together the night, but are lost without any answers. You end up hearing parts of the story through your friends, finding pictures on Facebook and on SDPix.com, and/or reading the random text messages you sent out from the night before.
Behind on Your Responsibilities
Your daily responsibilities are falling to the side and you’re simply not getting things done. Recovery seems to require more time and your body isn’t bouncing back as quickly as it used to. Your work or your personal “to-do lists” are coming to a halt.
Too Many Random Hookups
The sex is fun, yet it is getting out of control. You have more and more nights of random hookups and then feel bad after. You hate the way you feel afterwards, yet you continue to put your body through the ups-and-downs of one night stands. You tell yourself it will be the last time, but then it continues. You are on the emotional rollercoaster wanting to get off the ride, but partying is like a safety seatbelt that keeps you anticipating the next fun part of the ride.
The “How did I get home?” Question
Another morning you wake up with your car parked outside, your keys next to your bed, and confused because you were going to take a taxi home. You don’t remember how you got home, but you put the puzzle pieces together about your night and realize you drove home drunk…again.
Every Activity is Focused Around Alcohol
Your social events, daily routines and night life activities involve some sort of alcoholic beverage.
You have a theme of damaging relationships when partying is involved. You continually have to do repair work with your friends, family and relationships. The relationships suffer when the party side of you comes out.
The worst mistakes happen while you are faded…bad choices put yourself in danger. The endless bad choices could be from too many random hook-ups to more drug use, from getting another STD to having to take another HIV test, or from getting another DUI to another inappropriate comment made to a friend. You continue to face the consequences and you are personally suffering from the bad mistakes.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653