As I mentioned, previously, when I received the most crushing medical diagnosis, that I would ever recieve, I did what too many other, people do and I turned to alcohol.
People that have been independent or had to fight to be independent, most of their lives, quite often will be more disheartened by a diagnosis of disability than they will be of one of terminal illness. After we reach the other side, we realize that everything that anyone else can do, we can too. It just takes longer and doing it differently, than what we have been accustomed to doing it. I must point out though, that there are exceptions to this, in cases where muscle use is restricted or paralysis are involved.
When teenagers were experimenting with alcohol, I was attending a boarding school, and I didn’t come from a home with alcoholism or spending time in the bars or keg parties, was a common thing. When I did start drinking I was much older than most and was a “binge drinker” rather than an alcoholic.
By the time, I decided to become sober, I was only drinking 5 or 6 times a year, and do not want to leave anyone with the impression that the morning I woke up and said, “this is it”, that I had to struggle or anyone had to do an intervention ,as so many others do, with alcohol withdrawal or addiction. To do so, only does an injustice to people, all over, that have a really hard time, for life, once they do make the decision to quit.
What I didn’t know when I was drinking was just how boorish people that drink really are. I would count myself, number one, in that department. We repeat and repeat and repeat without even being aware of the fact that we told this same story yesterday, last month, the year before and the year before. We are in denial to the point that we think others do not notice, if we are on the telephone or up close and personal, that we are drinking. We tell people even while inviting ourselves to stay with them, not asking of course, that we don’t care to talk about what they want to talk about.
The worse part or perhaps the most comical part of drinking is the paranoia that always accompanies drinking, It goes something like this:
“Did you hear what she/he said?”
“No I must have missed it.”
“She/he said blah, blah, blah”
“Oh, I guess I didn’t hear that, I thought she/he said, blah, blah, blah”
“Well she/he did, but what they really meant was blah, blah, blah! They just didn’t have the guts to say it to my face.”
Does that sound familiar to any one?
I had a cousin who thought, and still may think for all I know, that on Saturday night she would make her entertainment, that of getting on the phone, and having a few drinks. If she was set up with her toddies she would talk and talk and repeat and repeat to the point that she never realized that we had that conversation, already, at least a half a dozen times! If I called before she was set up, she would need to let me go because someone was at the door or she needed to change the water. Lord help me, if I ever called a different time other than Saturday, as it was certain snapping, like a snapping turtle, if I got her plans out of synch.
Most drinkers do hang out together,so they are not aware of just how they do come across to people, that are sober. I was no different. I don’t know why it is so important to get our point across to other people, when we drink, but it is. To the point that we get louder and louder and louder. We also lose all ability to listen or consider an opposite point of view and take it personal when someone disagrees with our point of view. We are all rude and obnoxious the longer we stay and the more we imbibe.
The thing is, that as long as we are together, we are usually having a blast! It never occurs to any of us that maybe, in the case of my cousin, my idea of an exciting Saturday night is spending it with my sober husband or family, and not being on the phone hearing someone snap,” I don’t want to talk abour that!”
When I tried to switch to e-mailing with my cousin, in order to get away from the “control freak” nature, that all drinkers develope, when we drink; I really threw her off her stride, as it is impossible to drink, smoke, and e-mail at the same time. To my knowledge, anyway. Perhaps someone else has figured out how to do it, but definitely my cousin, who lost total control, over controlling the conversation, while drinking, hadn’t figured it out. Many times if we do want to get sober, it does mean leaving behind people because they do not want to hang with someone unless, they drink with them.
I’ve touched on strictly the social drunk here. This in no way is meant to get into what families and children have to deal with when it comes to the MEAN or out of control drunk. I have had the good fortune of never being around that and can only feel total and complete empathy for people that live in fear, on a dailly bases living with these kind of drunks. God Bless and Help you ALL!