Drinking – is it your normal?
There were a lot of drunk women at BlogHer.
These were moms. Approaching – or already in – middle age.
Drinking past having a glass of wine or two.
It was completely understandable: they were away from the kids – some for the first time – and nobody was driving. There were tons of fun parties. And, it being a conference for bloggers, alcohol does have a way of softening that social anxiety.
These women left the conference and went back home to their families and maybe haven’t had much to drink since. Or maybe they went back to their glass-or-two a day lifestyle. For most, drinking isn’t even an issue. They enjoy wine or a margarita, but they can easily stop.
Then there are other women. Other women who count the minutes until they can start drinking in the afternoon, who drink a few glasses – or more- every night.
This should shock me. But it doesn’t. This same story quoted three women – all moms – who I know through blogging. I have met all three of them in person and I consider one a very good friend. And though I knew the stories of the first two, I had no idea my good friend Deb had a drinking problem.
I read her words in the magazine piece and I cried. I was terrified. So I called her. And we talked. I know about driveway gatherings in the afternoons. The kids play and the parents relax in lawn chairs, chatting and drinking wine. It happens on my street pretty often. Or you go over a friend’s house and the wine is immediately poured. If you have any sort of drinking issue, it’s easy to hide it where it is socially acceptable. Where you fit in and maybe nobody notices that you didn’t stop at just a glass or two.
I am not a drinker. I had my years where I was, but my husband rarely drinks (he is half-Korean, and many Asians lack the enzyme that breaks down alcohol) and so it’s not part of my daily life. Yes, I have the occasional glass of wine or a beer, but never if my husband is away on business, in case I have to drive my kids somewhere or there is an emergency. I do not need it to be social. I do not need it to dance like a maniac at BlogHer. I do not need it to relax after another grueling day of chasing a boundary-pushing toddler, sparring with a sassy six year-old or engaging in Homework Wars with my second grader.
And so maybe some of the things I see are skewed. Because my normal is different from others. But that doesn’t mean someone else’s normal is not excessive.
I am worried about my friend. She is beautiful. Genuine. Incredibly talented. A kind, thoughtful, wonderful friend. A great mother to two little girls.
All I can offer is my love and support.
Asking a person with a drinking problem to just stop drinking is like telling an anorexic to just eat.
If it were that simple.
If only it were that simple.