I have been noticing alcohol commercials lately. Often. Really Often. The thing that strikes me about the commercials is the method of advertising. They all use the same “drinking makes your life ‘fun’” line of advertising. I think I bought that for a long time. I think I bought it for so long that I lived it and somewhere down the road drinking stopped being fun.
For the record, and I am trying hard not to rationalize my thinking, I didn’t have the kind of drinking problem that would cause my friends to wonder if I was an alcoholic. I rarely vomited, didn’t have black outs, never took anyone home with me from the club, always successfully worked at my job..and sometimes two jobs, paid bills on time, raised my kids, didn’t drink and drive and I guess whatever else a stereotypical alcoholic does.
What prompted me to delve into sobriety was the slow deterioration of my quality of life. Not vomiting didn’t mean that I didn’t have that overall shaky feeling when I woke up. While I didn’t black out and lose large moments of time I didn’t remember conversations I had with people. Not taking anyone home from the club doesn’t mean that I didn’t make bad decisions in relationships- decisions that were often made while drinking. I am sure I hurt a lot of people emotionally in the haze of alcohol. I was successful at work, but didn’t hesitate to have one glass of wine before, during and right after work. Paying bills is easier now – it was done on time but I have a lot more money now because I don’t spend $500 extra per month at the grocery store (not including the $$ I spent at bars and restaurants). The time I spend with my kids now is better. My point is- I didn’t fit the profile of what I thought an alcoholic is/was. I didn’t fit the profile of what anyone around me thought was an alcoholic.
But I was. And I was slowly dying. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And no one saw it. Or, if they saw it they didn’t say anything. Or maybe they were dying with me. I don’t know what the case was. Ultimately the effects started to become evident. My weight ballooned with my blood pressure. My memory was HORRIBLE. I emotionally disconnected from my husband because I didn’t want him to get close enough to me to smell the alcohol on my breath. I had always been ambitious- but my ambition was non-existent as I spent most of my time sleepy from alcohol. Alcohol is the great motivation sucker. I am in more control of my emotions- thankfully.
Today, for a second, I wanted to be “fun” like in the commercials. Then I thought about it. Being “fun” wasn’t really all that fun.