Yesterday, I did the scariest thing ever: I “came out” to the world (ok, it was just my Facebook page (HA!), but still…it’s MY little world). I “came out” sober and man, what an emotional TO-DO!
Holy hell. I was a WRECK leading up to this.
I mean, when you quit smoking (which I did 6 years ago), you can’t wait to tell people! You’re proud and everyone is glad because they were secretly tired of smelling like a bowling alley every time they went to dinner with you. It’s a big hug of congrats, a little admiration, a few “atta girls” and everyone moves on. No one looks at you sideways and wonders if you were a creepy addict this whole time.
No one says, “Ok, so I know you quit smoking, but surely you can have one tonight, right? It’s your birthday.”
No one asks if you quit because you’re on medication, trying to lose weight, or if you’re seriously planning on doing this FOREVER (what a gas!).
No one asks that because smoking is toxic and gross and kills people.
Newsflash! So does alcohol. Every single day.
But when you quit drinking…it’s a way bigger deal to share. WHY IS THAT?
Why can’t you say “I quit drinking” the same way you say, I quit tobacco, or toxic men, or gluten (that evil bastard)?
You say you quit drinking and people, while they may be happy for you, still feel a wee bit uncomfortable. I mean, if you quit drinking, you MUST be an ADDICT, right? Maybe even…shhh, she’ll HEAR you…a drunk!
At minimum, you’re flawed.
At worst, you’re ostracized.
Either way, it’s twisted and not ok.
I am here to shift that narrative.
Alcohol is the only drug on earth that you have to justify not taking. Have you ever honestly thought about that? I know I hadn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I had wine while cooking dinner, but what if that was a joint? Would that still be cute?
How about those wine memes? Replace wine with prescription pills or meth. Still “adorbs”?
I know that when I “go there” about alcohol being a drug, I get some internal eye rolls. I know that not everyone is ready to hear it and that’s ok. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I only want to provide support and education to those of you who are open enough to listen and accept.
One last thing: the more that each of us steps into the light and talks openly about addiction, the more we give others the permission and courage to do the same. The stigma of addiction is rooted in ignorance, which quite literally means “lack of knowledge, information or awareness”. There’s no finger pointing or fault here. Many simply don’t connect the unlikely dots between an “addict” and their favorite yoga instructor quite the same way they can connect “diabetic” to their mother-in-law. And we need to.
We need to see the faces of addiction. Real people. Smart people. Intelligent, honest, loving, hard-working, women of all backgrounds who can have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and still be worthy of the same love and support as someone with inoperable terminal illness.
Because we are lovable.
We are worth it.
And we deserve to be seen – in the light.
Be well today, loves.
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