At what point are you an alcoholic?

Is there a point at which you go from being a social drinker who drops Facebook posts about being out of vodka to someone with a very real dependancy problem?

My booze story began pretty late. I did the obligatory teen binge drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk and nothing else, but even then not a whole lot.

I started to sip on some wine here and there in my late-ish twenties, but it was in my thirties that it grabbed a hold of me.

Is that even normal, to become a certified drinker so late in life?

A lot had to do with the social circle where drinking was expected and approved of. Some was just maturing and suddenly appreciating a glass of red after dinner or a sticky Port in the Winter.

A huge factor was the fallout with my parents and the end of that relationship, which saw me self medicating and aiming to be drunk almost every night to block out my dad telling me I was dead for him, which kept reverberating in my head 24/7 on a constant fucking loop.

Actually I hold my parents responsible for a lot of my problems. But I digress.

Regardless, I am right now, on a Tuesday night, sitting here semi tipsy on the last of the Grey Goose. I bought it about five days ago, I can’t remember for certain, and it was the large bottle. Every drink is a double when I pour.

Since the shit with my parents I have grown somewhat accustomed to that semi tipsy feeling, when nothings bothers me too much and nothing can hurt me. I drink away any negativity except for the questions screaming in my head asking if I have swapped one set of problems for another.

I used to dismiss what I thought were the cliches of the stoned and drunk housewife. The whole idea of any wife or mother having the luxury of zoning out with booze seemed ridiculous. But I was a smug twenty something and real life and real pain hadn’t touched me yet.

I can no longer imagine being in a social setting and not having a drink, and it’s this more than anything which suggests to me that I have crossed some kind of line. The confident looking woman who juggles a large family and a business and always looks happy cannot imagine the freezer being bare of vodka. And while I know that it’s not okay I don’t even want to fight it.

I still need the blurring of edges, you see.

I saw my parents a few days ago and they left the gathering rather than stay in my company. My sister refused to turn up at all. My father addressed everyone there, even my husband who he supposedly no longer cares for, but would not look me in the eye. He walked past my daughter,  averted his eyes and ignored her too. My seven year old he was blind to.

So yeah, that motherfucker is responsible for a lot.

So for now I will keep the vodka close by, ponder every now and again on how much it scares me that I need it, and hope that in some universe somewhere it will all work out like it’s meant to.

-A.

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