A Culture of Alcoholics: When Booze is Part of the Job

The always-candid Chrissy Teigen gave us another totally relatable reason to love her when she announced her struggles with booze.

The beautiful model seems to have it all; a dream job, a super successful (and handsome) partner, a healthy and adorable baby and a personality that most people can’t resist.

As one of the most candid celebrities around, Teigen has been open and honest about everything from fertility issues to plastic surgery, dispelling the notion that celebs lead picture perfect lives. Most recently, Teigen opened up about her struggles with alcohol abuse. In an interview with Cosmopolitan the superstar admitted that she probably drinks too much. Like many of us, she told the publication that she is the type of person who “can’t just have one drink.” Not surprisingly, she says booze comes with the territory of being a superstar.

“I was, point blank, just drinking too much […] I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show,” said Teigen. She isn’t immune to that feeling of waking up hungover and mortified either. “And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected,” she said. “And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible. It’s not a good look for me, for John, for anybody.”

That “morning after” feeling can be extremely anxiety inducing, even if you don’t struggle with anxiety and postpartum depression the way Teigan does.

While Chrissy Teigen’s superstar lifestyle isn’t something most of us can relate to, a central component to her struggles is that alcohol is sort of a part of the job. For many of us, the same can be said. Between entertaining clients, networking events and client dinners, our booze consumption seems to have increased as our careers have progressed (maybe not in the university-esque binge drinking, but definitely with regard to the frequency to which we drink). In fact, the urban young professional scene may indeed breed a culture of alcoholics.

The more successful you become, the more you have to celebrate and the more people you meet, the more your extra-circular calendar is going to fill up. Meaning, you could end up drinking daily and become addicted to booze without you even realizing it if you equate every social outing with alcohol. Even if you’re not getting drunk with every client meeting, according to the World Health Organization, enjoying just one or two alcoholic drinks per day can be linked to liver disease.

The problem is that – as opposed to the disheveled drunk who sits night after night on a bar stool at his local – the amount of booze we’re actually consuming is disguised by the circumstance in which we consume it. Meaning, if you’re all dressed up at a glitzy charity event, or entertaining a new client over rounds of $20 cocktails at your city’s hottest new place, the whole intake of booze is more glamorous – and less obvious – than the said drunk on the barstool. Even if we do get drunk three times a week.

By pretty much any definition, most of my friends have “drinking problems.” They’re not regulars at a local watering hole and don’t drink at home alone. They’re succeeding in their careers, are impeccably put together, workout regularly, and their parents are proud of them. But on average, my young professional friends report getting “really drunk” (as in, the end of the night’s hazy) at least once a week and “nicely buzzed” about four times a week. And for many, it’s all part of the job.

Because many of us live downtown, we don’t even own cars, so the whole “not drinking because I’m driving” thing never even crosses our mind when we go for our second or third glass.

While going “cold turkey” is a challenge, there’s nothing wrong with taking a booze break for a few weeks every so often. Not only will it clear your system (and likely your mind), it will inspire you to be more selective in your booze in-take once you gracefully step off the wagon.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to sober breaks is that it becomes way easier after the first two weeks. See it as a social challenge – how engaging can you be at networking events without the confidence offered by a glass of wine? How charming can you be on a date without a cocktail? It may sound torturous, but you may actually find it liberating.

If you don’t believe us, take it from Teigen, who says that abstaining from alcohol has made her feel “really, really, wonderful and refreshed.”