I was recently neknominated by a friend. For those of you who have been living on a desert island (that has no internet access) for the past couple of months, Neknominate is an internet-spread drinking game whereby the nominated drinks a pint of alcohol (often beer) and then passes on the nomination to someone else via social media...
I was upfront with the doctor who confirmed Jonah's pregnancy at around six weeks about my alcohol consumption. He tried to alleviate my fears, telling me his wife didn't realise she was pregnant until she was five months gone. "We just don't know what the effects might be," he said, but you are far from the only one who gets drunk before they realise they are pregnant.
It is not a game. It is a competition, and a very dangerous one at that. As the chain goes on, so too does the intensity of the videos. Those who back out or break the chain are ridiculed by their so-called friends. The cybershame of failing to live up to the nomination is putting increased peer pressure on youths to rise to this dangerous challenge.
Surely you must know the adverse effects of bad diet and no exercise. Why should the taxpayer pay for what is, ultimately, the exercise of your freedom of choice? This is the question that Jeremy Paxman asked the former NHS chief Sir David Nicholson, when Nicholson went to Newsnight to describe his transition from being the head of the NHS to becoming yet another NHS patient with diabetes.
The other huge problem about body dysmorphia is the normalisation and misuse of the term. You only have to look at gossip magazines covers to see celebrities mouthing about their muffin tops, slamming their cellulite and loathing their legs; thats human nature, its natural. Its not necessarily right, and we all do it far too often, but it's something innate in all of us.
I rarely drink alcohol. I have a physical condition that means that I can live with either alcohol or gravity but not both, and so went dry not just for a month but for ten straight years. Not just any ten years either, the good ones where you are old enough to have proper fun and young enough to outrun the Fuzz.
Anyone who thinks dying from an overdose is selfish has a weird idea of what an addict wants out of life. There comes a point at which drinking, drug use, all that - they're not fun anymore. Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn't out partying. He was alone in his bathroom, compelled. Cory Monteith in his hotel room. Chris Kelly in his living room.
Before my month away from the tipple, I was very self-aware about how young and immature I was. Now I feel as though I am actually an adult. Someone who can have one drink and mean one, who can have a diet Coke instead of a shot of vodka at a busy venue, who doesn't feel obliged to stay out if in fact they want to go home.