It’s wine o’clock mommies! Time to bust out that bottle of rosé and decompress from that long stressful day you’ve had. We’ve all heard these things, or seen them floating around social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, but honestly, when did it become okay to push drugs and glamorize addiction?
You may think I am taking this too seriously, and taking the fun out of enjoying a drink or two, but seriously, alcohol has some very real, very serious side effects and consequences, so why are we encouraging others and especially women and mothers to reach for that bottle of wine to make all their troubles go away? As much as you may not want to believe it, you and I both know it’s true. This type of thinking only pushes our problems aside and we never end up facing them.
Point blank, if we want real change in our lives and want to stop just finding things to cope with our lives but instead actually be happy and at peace, we need to start getting real.
This article was inspired by one from the Huffington Post. After reading the headline I knew I needed to write my own take on the issue, as it’s something I’ve become extremely passionate about after having suffered the detrimental effects of alcohol addiction for nearly 10 years. I have written about alcohol abuse in the past, and this side of that story needs to be addressed as well.
Being a Mom Is Hard
Yes, being a mom is tough. I wouldn’t know firsthand, because I don’t have any children, but I do know that it is stressful, exhausting, and demanding in ways I can’t even begin to imagine, and many women struggle to cope with that load. But can I ask, on what planet is it okay to suggest someone drink something that has known carcinogenic properties and other detrimental side effects in order to temporarily feel better? Oh yeah… it’s ours.
Shouldn’t we be learning better practices and more lasting techniques that we can implement to cope with stress more effectively and maybe even prevent us from feeling it so much in the first place?
After drinking wine in the evening to feel better, it’s very likely that your next morning is already going to be off to a stressful start, especially if you are a mother and have motherly responsibilities to attend to. By the end of the day, it’s no surprise that you are seeking the solace and escape that a bottle of wine can offer you, but it is so important to see that this is a dangerous habit that can easily drag you into a vicious cycle.
It is common to see products designed to sneak bottles of wine with us everywhere we go advertised on social media. All the accessories a woman could want to hide alcohol on her person are there, because a gal on the go needs her wine, right? From purses, to bras, to shoes, it seems a woman can hide her precious wine anywhere these days.
Those Who Can Handle Booze, Those Who… Can’t…?
For some reason, when it comes to drinking alcohol, we tend to lump people into two categories: those who can handle alcohol and those who can’t. Essentially, we think of it as those who drink and those who are alcoholics, but it’s really not that black and white. There are so many people who have a problem with alcohol and have alcoholic tendencies, but because it is so heavily pushed in our society, they are in denial about their addiction.
I used to justify this all the time. I would tell myself, I’m young, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Literally everywhere I go, people are drinking, what makes me have a problem? I want to have fun. I need alcohol when I’m meeting new people. Everywhere you go as an adult, there is an opportunity to drink, and what I’ve learned since stopping is that many people look at you strangely or are shocked to find out that you don’t do it. This baffles me — I prefer to congratulate those who do not need to rely on substances in their lives.
This idea that it is natural and normal, and the way in which it is promoted and even expected in our society, shows just how deep this problem goes. It reminds me of a line from the novel 1984:
So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern. . . . Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.
Just swap out wine for beer, though both apply. This is all leading to my next point, however.
Women Aren’t the Only Victims of the Glamorization of Alcohol
This glamorization doesn’t just affect women. Men are heavily targeted as well, but instead of wine it is with beer. In many ways, men might have it worse, because to be a man is to drink beer, and lots of it. At least, this is what the media would like us to believe.
“After a long, tough day’s work, there’s nothing like cracking open a cold one with the boys.”
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? The media would really like us to believe that the only way to cope with our otherwise mundane and often unfulfilling lives is to drown out those feelings with alcohol.
For me, alcohol was an escape. I recognized that even before coming to terms with my addiction. I used it to escape my emotions, to avoid dealing with them, because in all honesty, despite a very conscious understanding of our world and the knowledge that everything happens for a reason — I still hadn’t managed to actually apply the tools I had learned to help me to feel and process my emotions. The thing was, though, the feeling of relief alcohol provided was only temporary, and the next day I was left feeling even worse than before. This is why things continued to escalate and worsen over time.
I know there are people reading this who can relate. I know because every time I write an article like this I get emails from people who tell me how much this speaks to them. Many of us are suffering in the dark, not only because we haven’t accepted our own addiction, but because even if we know in our hearts we’ve taken things too far, we are still being encouraged to drink by not only the media, but often our friends and family, too. Misery loves company.
Here’s What I Have Learned
People will accept you if you don’t drink, but it may not be the people you are used to hanging out with. Things changed drastically for me when I stopped drinking. In fact, my life completely turned around. I regained my sense of self-worth, became confident in who I was — I mean who I really was, without the mask and confidence alcohol provided me with.
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I’m here to tell you that you can have fun without drinking! Lots of it, in fact, and the best part is that there are NO HANGOVERS to deal with, so the next day, you can go right on having fun again and you won’t have any feelings of shame or guilt weighing you down.
You might discover what really brings you joy and who you were always meant to be, but here’s the thing: You won’t know unless you try.
Up for a Challenge?
If you are on the fence, wondering whether you can sustain your current drinking, then consider this challenge. Try cutting out alcohol for one month and see how you feel. During this time, journal out your feelings and implement some sort of practice that is good for you, not an escape.
There are plenty of ways we can truly face and get to the core of our challenges. In fact, we created a challenge here at CE called The 5 Days of You Challenge that helps you focus on you, face yourself and get into alignment with your soul and purpose. You can take the challenge free here.
You can also try yoga, running, walking, meditating, reading, playing an instrument, or learning something new. Keep track of how you feel in settings where others are drinking and you’re not. You may find that you actually would prefer to do something else, and that’s okay. This will give you time to reconnect with yourself and find out what truly needs to change and what really makes you happy.
We are capable of achieving ANYTHING we desire — we just have to believe it.
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