I heard quitting drinking is a lot like thawing out.
Its wet and messy and there are a lot of tears. I agree with this statement.
I went through a big thaw myself when I got sober.
At first, it was so hard to not have that drink to deal with the things I had been drinking away. The things I had been drinking at.
I am talking about the injustices in my life. The pain, the trauma, the anger and sadness, that I have felt.
I addressed these issues by poisoning myself. You might relate.
It was the only way I knew how.
Drinking did not start out as the problem. Drinking began as the solution to the problem.
As Russell Brand says, “Drugs and alcohol are not my problem. Reality is my problem. Drugs and alcohol are my solution.”
For me, the solution to a bad day = take 2 glasses of wine and call me in the morning.
The solution to being mad at my husband, = Wine! It takes the bitch right out of me!
Lost my keys? My job? My father? Drink. Drink. Drink.
The alcohol industry hit a niche when marketing to women. Problems with alcohol increased by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2013. Among women, alcohol abuse and dependence increased by 83.7 percent.
Alcohol markets a solution to our problems. Mommy juice for stressful parenting days. SkinnyGirl alcohol to keep our ladylike figures. Rosé to make us pretty.
Lucky for me, alcohol was easily available. It was even at Target. Who goes to Target? Me. Moms like me. We are the target, at Target. We "don’t go to Target for what we need, we go to Target and they tell us what we need”, said every suburban mom everywhere.
I said so myself.
So now by the front door is a large pyramid of wine on display. Its what we need to live a stress free, beautiful, skinny life.
I want it all. I want to take the edge off too. I want to be skinny, beautiful, and a perfectly patient mother. Alcohol promised all of that and delivered none of this for me.
As a group, women, have been conditioned to prioritize everyone else’s needs above our own. We are the first to put our own needs last.
There are people that benefit when we do not listen to the voices in our heads and in our guts. These people fear the power we would have if we didn’t keep quiet, but instead started speaking up. Perhaps they would be called out on their actions. Some people fear of the notion that women should be treated like people too.
The patriarchy works best when women keep our thoughts and feelings to ourselves.
So that is what many of us have done.
I have drown out my voice to better fit into the world around me. I spent a lot of time not listening to myself. I drank to numb. I drank to not listen to what I really have to say, because the world doesn’t want to hear it, and for a minute I thought maybe I didn’t want to hear it either.
I destroyed myself with alcohol so I could fit into society’s expectations of me. I made myself as weak as possible. When I was drunk, I couldn’t drive, speak, or think. I was undeserving of respect in drunken state, and it was all my fault. I was to blame, and I was to shame, shame, shame!
This was mostly perfect for the people that didn’t want to pay attention to me. They did not have to look at how they were holding me down, I was happy to do it for them. Look around, the world tells us an ideal woman is young, dumb, and drunk. Pretty young things sipping rosé all day. I fell right into this trap.
Its bullshit because no one can drink rosé all day without the consequences of ingesting poison, and then becoming dependent on it.
It doesn’t make you beautiful. It doesn’t make you strong.
It actually hurts like hell to get rid of it once you decide to quit. And it hurts going down too, as you become weaker and weaker, farther and farther away from yourself with every sip.
To the stressed out mom who is just trying to get through the day, its ok to feel exhausted. Mothering is exhausting. You don’t need a glass of wine. You need a break.
To the woman who “does it all” at work and at home. You don’t need a happy hour, you need to rest.
To the woman with a smile on her face, feeling rage inside, you don’t need wine to calm down, you need to address the injustices of your life, and maybe also go for a run.
Alcohol does not help us, it hurts us.
Quitting drinking was the best way for me to gain my power. An absolute act of rebellion was to gain my own inner strength and not rely on a drug.
To my fellow females, moving away from yourself solves nothing. Ignoring the voice inside only delays what you need to hear. The best way to reconnect with yourself and your spirit is to listen to you.
At first it will be very hard and it will bring you a big thaw of wet, messy tears. It will be worth it. It will all be worth it. You can do it.
Yes you can!