Alcohol Addiction Awareness

The month of April spreads awareness on many worthy causes.  Here’s a list of some of them, though I can guarantee that I’ve missed some!

Autism Awareness
National Child Abuse Prevention
National Donate Life Month (Organ Donation)
Parkinson’s Awareness
National Cancer Control
Head and Neck Cancer Awareness
Testicular Cancer Awareness
Esophageal Cancer Awareness
Stress Awareness

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First and foremost!  Alcohol addiction is not having the occasional drink.  It’s not getting drunk every once in a while.  To me, it’s needing a drink all the time.  Being unable to unwind or relax or enjoy yourself without having a drink.  Needing to get drunk every weekend, regardless of where you are or what is going on.  It’s feeling the need to go buy and crack open a beer at a one year old’s birthday party.  Okay, that last one is personal, but I mean, really?!  Okay, back to the subject, my bad!

Now, this article isn’t going to be about that, I just wanted to clarify my thoughts on it.  No, this is going about something that I saw that just keep niggling at me, kept bothering me.  And then about my realization that that nagging feeling about it was a direct result of growing surrounded by alcoholics.

This little story is about a wine glass that my friend recently won and gave to me.  She doesn’t drink at all, and I, rarely.  But when I do, it’s a cold glass of Blackberry Arbor Mist.  (That’s right, I’m cheap haha!  Sue me, it tastes good!)  This glass is where the problem lies.  It’s cute, has some stripes and little phrase that, to most, is harmless and funny.  And it should be!  It’s was never meant to bother someone, and it really shouldn’t, honestly.

Wine is Cheaper Than Therapy

See?  Nothing inherently wrong with that, right?  Yet, it kept popping back into my head, whispering to me that it is not, in fact, cheaper than therapy.  If you come from an alcoholic family, wine is the LAST thing you need in place of therapy.   Wine could very well be the cause of your need of therapy.  Sure, maybe drinking a bottle at a time will make YOU feel better for a time, but how are those around you being affected?  Are you causing irreversible damage to a child’s psyche?  Is your vodka addiction causing you to lash out and hurt people?  Or, maybe, is your incessant need to guzzle beer until you can’t see straight raising a child who blows things out of proportion and overthinks things, to the point of writing an entire article on the words of an innocent wine glass?

Well, that may have been a bit telling, there, but seriously, I’m little screwed up.  I’m afraid of making people angry because of personal history, and so will go out of my way simply to try and keep other’s appeased.  I’m so afraid of the grip alcohol seems to have on my bloodline that I avoid it almost completely, save for my single glass of cheap, sweet wine maybe twice a year.  And I have become the black sheep of the family for NOT wanting to drink all the time.  And that is okay, because I would rather my own children not have the issue of losing sleep over, contemplating obsessively about, and being generally haunted by a simple string of words on a glass.

 

Wine is Cheaper Than Therapy

Except for when it’s not.

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I put out a call for short stories from those affected by alcohol for this little piece, and here are the results.  Do you have anything to add?  Maybe a story of your own to share in the comments?  Feel free to share whatever you would like!

 

With Love and any support you need,

Val

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Book lover, SAHM

7 thoughts on “Alcohol Addiction Awareness

  1. A short story? Alright. Here’s mine.

    I was the girl beneath the covers. In my mind, I was anywhere else. People recognized me by my smile before they registered my name.
    “Why are you always smiling?”
    “Why are you always happy?”
    The questions were harmless, but I hated them after a point. A smile is the single most powerful form of camouflage people have, not because of its ability to garner attention, but to deflect it.
    People see a smile and feel that something must be right in the world. They don’t bother to look beneath. Few go looking for dungeons in a flower field. Fewer really want to know what lurks inside. They didn’t see the girl beneath the covers. They saw the smile, and never guessed it was the lie.
    Above average grades. A can-do attitude. By all accounts, I was the antithesis of teenage angst.
    They didn’t know I picked the locks into my own house because of the number of times they were changed to keep out my stepfather. Nor did they listen to me listen to my mother crying about how much she loved him, so late into the night I had to be up for school in a half hour. They didn’t see the lies he painted on my name, the enemy I turned into in the eyes of my family, all because I refused to buy into his Smirnoff idea of normal.
    I had a mental breakdown my sophomore year during spring break, the kind that prevented me from understanding words, or recognizing the face of my lifelong friend. I was told, when everything was said and done, that I tried to bash my head against the wall. That I was held down and forced to eat so I wouldn’t starve. It says a lot when a 15 year old girl tries to knock herself out, in her most primal state, because consciousness terrified her to that extent.
    I smiled the next day in school, and as I gave my mother an ultimatum: choose the monster you married, or choose me.
    And for the first time in months, she saw past that smile.

    The lesson? Even if everything seems okay on the surface, it doesn’t hurt to ask, once, twice, six times -are you alright? I had people there to break me down before I passed the point of irreparable. Don’t let yourself believe you’re the problem. Don’t confuse abuse with normalcy. Don’t be fooled by the smile.

    I’m proud to say this is seven years in my past. I’m alright. I’m a proud indie author, even if I do struggle with reviews like everyone else. I still smile.

    But I’ve learned to cry since then, too.

  2. I grew up in a alcohol household with two parents who became monsters when they drank. I swore to never drink myself but at the age of 12, I too became an alcoholic. It was like a switch was flipped after that first drink and I could never go back. I made everyone’s life around me a misery but I didn’t care because all I cared about was drink. I was so desperate and miserable that I wanted to die. On 25th March 2002 I went to my first AA meeting and I found the help I needed. I haven’t drank since that day and celebrating my 15th year anniversary was amazing. My daughters have never seen a drunk mommy and cross fingers they never will. Alcoholism destroys lives. Today I have a program for living and my life is full of joy. Nancy M

  3. You should be proud of yourself, you did an amazing thing! I understand the early aged drinking, and am so happy that you pulled yourself out it.

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