I wish as a woman living in this country that I could be a social drinker. This morning it was a beautiful winter’s day and my husband and I took my children down to the playground. When we arrived, we met another family from school and we got talking about an upcoming social event. They were talking about drinks at this event, and it became quite apparent to me, that I can’t be a social drinker.
Perhaps one of the saddest realisations as an alcoholic in recovery is that I will never be able to safely drink socially again. I have so many ‘good’ and ‘bad’ memories drinking at social events and I have always been the life of the party. When I got home, I asked my husband if he thinks I would be able to drink at the school function, he said definitely not.
We spoke about this at length and he reminded me of the number of times I have said to both of us that I won’t drink through the week, I’ll only drink at social occasions. Every single time I’ve made this promise to myself, I break it.
The entire premise of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 step program is abstinence, one drink is too many and 20 drinks are not enough. As much as I crave so badly to be a ‘normal drinker’, I am not. This breaks my heart because it reiterates that I have a problem, a disease, a flaw in my emotional, physical & mental make-up.
I would love to open up to many that I am an alcoholic, but I know people won’t understand. I dream that others would be able to stand with me in solidarity and stay sober with me in social events, but I would be a social pariah. Yet the irony is, if I was to stand up and say I had a peanut allergy, cancer or a broken bone I would receive sympathy and people would go out of their way to accomodate my condition. Alcohol is so ingrained in our society that it isn’t socially acceptable to not have alcohol, it’s sad, its heartbreaking as an alcoholic.
I know that I’m still early in my journey, but it isn’t easy knowing that something that has brought me such joy, can never be a part of my future again. Whilst it has brought me such joy, I am also aware of the damage that I have inflicted on myself, through my drinking.