Day 3 of The Behavior Exchange Challenge. Binge Drinking
Day 3 of The Behavior Exchange Challenge is tackling the subject of Binge Drinking and it lands us on the 4th of July…a real party weekend. Have you ever uttered the phrase, “I’ll never drink again!” Had too much to drink the day before and now the entire day (after) is ruined?
Drinking (even social drinking) can be hard to avoid. The pressure of “joining the celebration” or even “misery loves company” is present at practically every function or gathering we attend. The socially approved “happy hour” isn’t always exactly what we need to make us….happy. We’ve all heard and are well aware that alcohol is a depressant. It’s sometimes a mystery why binge drinking can become a form of self induced “therapy” for whatever ails us. Alcohol can help loosen you up in social situations, drinking excessively on a regular basis can cause all sorts of havoc on your life. The following day after drinking yourself silly usually results in a pretty painful and unproductive day. The problem is everybody always loves the “over served” guy at the party….everyone except his wife who has to clean up after him.
You’ve heard the old joke: Listen, I’m not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings. I’m a drunk, we go to parties.
The perception is easy to assume you have to drink in order to be happy. We’re not big drinkers here, but we do appreciate the joys of a great glass of wine and wonderful conversation.
How about you?
Back in the day…..well, back in my younger days, I could pound ’em. But I never used it to fix hurt or hide from what was going on in my life. Back in the day, I had a husband who did that. His drinking went from social, to trying to play catch-up with more experienced drinkers, in a field where machismo was king. It was heartbreaking, infuriating, and embarrassing, to watch the complete downward spiral of a person due to alcohol. At the end of our relationship – he’s my EX husband – booze was his “best friend” (a direct quote I’ll always remember), he was addicted to alcohol, he lied to cover up things that happened when he blacked out, he was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive. He went from our relationship to his second marriage quickly and repeated all the same behaviors – including a divorce. He’s now with wife #3.
It took me a LONG while to date, or be comfortable around, men who drank scotch. On a first date if they ordered a scotch, I didn’t see them again. Too scary, too many bad memories, and it wasn’t worth the potential of putting myself in harms way.
I’m married (15+) years to a man who drinks socially. I drink socially. A glass of wine or two, not the whole bottle. A mixed drink or two, not the whole fifth. Problems are discussed, not drowned in alcohol or found at the bottom of a liquor bottle. Social drinking = fine. Binge drinking to cope = a mess in the making. I like being just fine….
[Insert Lee’s Binge Drinking Story & Resolution]
In my youth I could party. Oh hell ya, I could hold my own. I was THE funniest person (I was, wasn’t I?) in the room and you could hear me all the way across it too! But nothing sucks the joy out of a party like being married to an alcoholic. After being married to an abuser and cleaning up after him….I didn’t enjoy the party anymore. My EX husband (I put EX in caps to draw your attention to it) was an alcoholic. It took me years to even stop and enjoy a great glass of wine again. I associated all bad things in the world with drinking.
So everyone laughed when my New Year’s Resolution was to drink more. It’s not usually on the list of resolutions most people make. But my husband, who doesn’t binge drink (I felt it was important to make that clear….in case he decides to read this) enjoys a beer or a glass of wine after work. I had to resolve to sit and have one with him so we can have that warm, intimate conversation you can have only over a glass of wine. It’s a weird resolution….drink more, but I guess it’s all on a sliding scale. I’m happier now.