Using alcohol as a crutch during university

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21gem21
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I started doing this during sixth form, mainly when I had to do presentations or to loosen up when socialising. I would use vodka in a clear bottle. It was meant to be a short-term fix but I have done this on more than a dozen occasions, including my medical school interviews. Obviously I can't be drinking during medical school but I'm worried that I'm going to be completely out of my depth :s
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sunny.side.up
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Yeah, you should not be doing this! Maybe before these stressful situations try to meditate and do breathing exercises, they may help loosen the tension.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by 21gem21)
I started doing this during sixth form, mainly when I had to do presentations or to loosen up when socialising. I would use vodka in a clear bottle. It was meant to be a short-term fix but I have done this on more than a dozen occasions, including my medical school interviews. Obviously I can't be drinking during medical school but I'm worried that I'm going to be completely out of my depth :s
I can relate to this, slightly.

Despite what you read of me, I am a very shy person, who is reluctant to socialise after work. In fact, I am working from home, and would be happy to carry on doing so indefinitely, to avoid having to make conversation and be critiqued by others.

This was particularly the case during parties, where I would get drunk (as a student) so that I would not have to face that fear. My ex husband (boyfriend at the time and a medical student himself) egged me on, because he thought I was funny! He would get a coffee jar filled with liqueur and shout at me if I refused to drink it.

I really hit rock bottom when I went to a house party. After he passed me the coffee jar, and I drank it, I produced three washing up bowls worth of sick, kissed one of the teachers (I was at secretarial college) and also went round hugging his friends and telling them I loved them as well. It was quite hard for them to hug me back, because the coat I was wearing was covered in vomit. It was my favourite coat, too, and I had to throw it away afterwards.

What's more, all the other girls at the secretarial college (who weren't on the best of terms with me) fancied this teacher (a young assistant from Spain) so after that, they disliked me even more.

What I am trying to say is, drunk is not a good look. In fact, in your position, it's downright dangerous. If you are caught drunk at medical school, you will be finished. (it's ok to drink socially in the evenings). Imagine if, in your drunkenness, you put a patient at risk, the damage to the school's reputation, the lawsuits etc. I can hardly bear to see the image in my mind's eye, after you have worked so hard to get into medical school.

Eventually my ex husband left me, and I realised all this forced drinking was a form of control. He was sneering at me, and once free of him, I felt empowered. I now very rarely drink, and I don't need drinks to be outrageous, or funny, or, indeed, popular (I have just been voted Member of the Year by the TSR students).

You are bright and have many gifts. I am pretty sure you would have made it through that interview without the vodka. Getting confidence through drink is a road to humiliation (as I have proved above). I am sure this isn't who you really are. Your sober self is good enough and I personally would not want your talents to go to waste. Neither would your future, grateful patients.

Please do seek help, and all my love goes out to you.

harrysbar
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harrysbar
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(Original post by 21gem21)
I started doing this during sixth form, mainly when I had to do presentations or to loosen up when socialising. I would use vodka in a clear bottle. It was meant to be a short-term fix but I have done this on more than a dozen occasions, including my medical school interviews. Obviously I can't be drinking during medical school but I'm worried that I'm going to be completely out of my depth :s
It's not good to use alcohol as a crutch as I'm sure you're aware, and the fact is most of your class at medical school will also be anxious they are out of their depth! It's called imposter syndrome and particularly seems to affect high achieving individuals, who worry that they will be "caught out" for not being as good as they "pretend" to be. But you got to medical school on your own merits, and the admissions team are experts at picking out the best applicants, whether they are nervous about doing presentations/giving interviews or not.

Going forward, I would stick to using alcohol in social situations only and vodka in very strong - try sticking with something like wine which you can enjoy with a meal rather than the aim being to get drunk as quickly as possible.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by harrysbar)
It's not good to use alcohol as a crutch as I'm sure you're aware, and the fact is most of your class at medical school will also be anxious they are out of their depth! It's called imposter syndrome and particularly seems to affect high achieving individuals, who worry that they will be "caught out" for not being as good as they "pretend" to be. But you got to medical school on your own merits, and the admissions team are experts at picking out the best applicants, whether they are nervous about doing presentations/giving interviews or not.

Going forward, I would stick to using alcohol in social situations only and vodka in very strong - try sticking with something like wine which you can enjoy with a meal rather than the aim being to get drunk as quickly as possible.
PRSOM. Top post from you, Harrys!
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glassalice
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Sounds like the beginning of something potentially very unpleasant. It's possible to further into these kind of things than you are aware of.

Social anxiety is a treatable condition and it is actually quite common, if that's what your struggling with. There's no shame in seeking out treatment for it. To put it bluntly the treatment is far easier to go through than the treatment needed for alcohol dependency.
Last edited by glassalice; 2 weeks ago
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You seem to use alcohol to boost your confidence when situations make you anxious.

Alcohol actually is largely a depressive thing overall despite the relaxation it seems to bring.

You cant be under the influence of alcohol during your classes - that could end up in you being expelled from medical school.

You cannot be under the influence of alcohol during your professional career - that can kill patients, get you sacked, lose your licence to practise.

Seek professional help for your drink problem and treatment for the anxiety you mask by using it.

Its good you have identified so early that its an issue.
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Oxford Mum
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Yes, OP, thanks for being honest, realising you have a problem, and asking for help.
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