Day 26 – No one taught me how to drink

This may sound like I’m playing the blame game, but it is something that has been simmering in my mind, especially today so I want to explore it.  Also, I really really really want to drink right now.  I’m trying to acknowledge the craving and then do something else in its place which is to write this post.  I know that I do not have a physical need for alcohol and that my brain is just playing tricks on me.  I don’t know why though….I’ve been so good to my system these past 26 days.  I’ve given it vitamins, sugar, sweets, healthy food, exercise, reflection, reconditioning, some long drives.  I even let it smoke a couple of cigarettes so the “naughty” quotient could be fulfilled.  How dare it try to betray me when I am so close to my 30 Day goal (or 31 for all of August…I’m still debating what to do on the 31st).

I went to a coffee shop to work today.  Timed myself, put in two hours on a report and now this post is my reward!

So, back to the topic.  I never learned how to drink responsibly.  From the time I started drinking as a teenager it was binge drinking and the purpose was to get drunk.  I learned from my peer group and they were just as stupid and clueless as I was.  In my home, my dad drank a couple of beers each evening but I don’t have any negative memories from that.  My mom did not touch alcohol.  She would not buy it for my Dad either, it was his responsibility to keep up his stores.  The few times that my sisters and I got in trouble for drinking, my mom would completely lose her sanity.  She would yell at us, ground us, tells us “what kind of girls” got drunk, etc.  In general, she completely flipped out when we got in the kind of trouble that put us in harm’s way.  However, she never talked to us about any of this.  It was all a huge mystery.  All I knew was that if I did not want my mom to flip out, I had to not to the bad things I did or not get caught.  I mostly chose to not get caught.  I didn’t even realize that my mom didn’t drink until I was in high school or college.

I guess it will come as no surprise that over the years I have found out about several alcoholics in my family, all from my mom’s side.  None on my dad’s.  My grandfather, my aunt, some cousins.  I don’t think my mom ever had a problem with alcohol, I think she just avoided it.  I also know that she carries alot of sadness about her childhood but doesn’t talk about it.  She will actually have a drink now and then out with her friends or when we are home visiting them.  As an adult, I’ve mostly been able to cover up how much I drink to my parents.  I cover it up as being the wine expert in the family.  When there are a few of us visiting I could drink more because it wasn’t unusual for a bottle to be emptied among several people, but it was mostly me drinking it, pretending to make white wine spritzers for everyone and, of course, giving myself the least watered down drink.

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So, I don’t know where this is going.  But alcohol was something that was never discussed in our family.  I have to think that the bad habits I learned in adolescence may have contributed to dysfunctional drinking as an adult.  Or, perhaps, no matter when I started drinking I would end up in the exact same situation just on a different time continuum.  The bigger question is also “why”.  Why do I drink?  Why do I want it?  Why did I depend on it so much in the past?  Why didn’t anyone catch me or teach me better before it came to this?  How do I fix it and do I want to fix it?

**Okay, I can do this.  I want booze but I think I can settle for picking up some dinner and doing the bare minimum for the rest of the evening.  I think some organic pizza from a locally owned shop is in order.  That doesn’t diminish the calorie count, but it does sound a little more sophisticated than saying, “I’m going to stuff myself full of cheese, bread and pepperoni”, doesn’t it?  The thought of that along with reading “Unwasted” and playing some games on my ipad (new obsession) – I think that could tide me over while I ride this out.

***Back at home.  Pizza in belly.  The craving is still lingering.  But I’m safe from it…unless someone knocks on my door with a bottle of wine in hand…then it was just meant to be.  But, safe, for now.

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4 thoughts on “Day 26 – No one taught me how to drink

  1. Who knows “why” some of us have a problem with booze? I do think some of us have a gene that predisposes us to addicition to alcohol. I can smoke and not get addicted. Others cant. Why? I have the alcohol addicition gene, but not the tobacco one. Same with gambling – I dont get it, of no interest to me. Not sure the answers are easy but its worth remembering that alcohol is a drug that has addicitve properties that some are susceptible to. Many people with horrendous life histories dont get addicted, so i am not sure looking for psychological reasons helps all that much. But who really knows?. The most importnat thing is that you are dealing with your issues and you are doing great. Well done!

  2. i agree with cleo. it’s the drug itself that sucks us in and makes us want more. it’s the booze itself that creates the craving for booze – just like taking heroin. if someone takes heroin, we don’t ask WHY they get addicted. everyone knows that the drug itself is addictive and pulls you in deeper and deeper. Alcohol is just another drug.

    Yes, some people seem to be able to take it or leave it. Not that many though. really. how many teetotallers do we really know? Can have a drink here and there but always stop at one, never overdoing it? hardly anybody. In the world of ‘take it or leave it’, when it comes to booze, most people ‘take it’. And then they take more of it. And then something happens like a death, divorce, loneliness, depression, retirement, affluence, poverty, whatever … and we fall into a pit and can’t seem to get out …

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