Lately, I have been contemplating my relationship with alcohol. I would like to think I have a healthy, albeit committed, relationship with my cocktails, but some days I’m not so sure about the healthy part. There is absolutely something that is so seductive to me about a dirty martini or a cosmopolitan at happy hour...maybe it is because of the civilized way it is presented in a beautiful glass with some lovely garnish, or perhaps it is the manner in which it washes over my brain, taking with it all the stresses of daily life. Whatever it is, I have decided that while I am not fascinated with QUANTITY, but QUALITY, I cannot see me ever giving up booze completely for an extended period of time...like YEARS. Does that make me an alcoholic? Probably, at least on some level. I believe that while alcoholism is definitely a disease, there are varying degrees of it in the world. At times in my life, I’ve given it up for quite a while – usually for some diet I was on that forbid drinking while on it. My record? 3 months. I nearly drove Bill mad. I think he may have actually been glad when I picked up a glass of wine again. It made me more sane, and less bitchy.
I’ve actually known more than several people who have given up the bottle, or beer, or whatever their vice of choice was, and I am always in awe of their strength and fortitude. I’ve gone to AA meetings with them, comforted them, listened to them, all the while wondering if I was really “one of them.” Where is the invisible line with such a thing? I am pretty sure wherever it is I’ve crossed it more than once, especially in my wilder, free-spirited days. Alcohol has always been my “drug of choice.” I’ve been around various forms of other drugs over the years – I did live through the 80’s during my 20’s, so it was fairly hard to avoid if you embarked upon any kind of social scene. But those types of drugs never had the allure for me that alcohol provided, in fact, I was completely disinterested in them. I never thought it was “sexy” to be snorting various things up your nose. To me, it was kind of gross and unseemly, and smoking was equally nasty. But a few people around me swore by these vices, indeed some threw their lives away for them. I still miss them, and wonder what where they would be if they had turned their addiction around. It's hard to say really. Life with alcohol is a more prolonged ending, and I believe, more insidious if you lose control. Have I ever lost control with alcohol? Yep, I sure have. In the end, I had the presence of mind to pull myself back from the edge of the martini glass, before I drowned in it.
I’ve tried to be honest with my own daughter about alcohol, and being responsible with it when that time comes. I let her have a sip of champagne on holidays or special occasions from time to time, but mostly because I do not want it to be that “forbidden” thing for her. My experience is, the more something is forbidden, the more it will carry stigmas with it later in life. She knows that there is a time, a place and an age for responsible drinking, and she is keenly aware of the effects of irresponsible drinking, and how it can ruin your life, as well as the lives of others. I am thankful she is level-headed about these things, and I hope it continues. We shall see...as any parent knows, our kids are not perfect and there are no guarantees. All we can do is set a good example for them and pray...a lot...
So for now, I will continue my love affair with my nightly glass of wine, or my Friday evening cosmopolitans. I cannot guarantee I will always be a drinker, but I can promise you that I will try very hard not to be a drunk.
OH! You can follow me on twitter @LolaPaloozaTuck