As a teenager growing up in the 60s, binge drinking was the norm in my school and with most of my friends. The word alcoholic was not even on people’s lips in those days. An alcoholic was someone that lived on skid row and was homeless.
My first clue as to the dark road I would travel is my first binge drinking. The very first time I set out to have more than the occasional holiday wine highball at my grandparents’ house, I loved the feeling of getting drunk. The alcohol felt like a warm blanket that surrounded me. Back then, the drink of choice was Slow Gin. It may have tasted bad, but it felt so good. I could not get enough of that warm feeling. It made me feel safe for the first time in my life. I did not even care that I passed out. I thought this was normal.
From that day on, I started abusing alcohol every chance I could get. It did not matter that I would do things in a blackout that I would never have done sober. For the first time in my life, I fit in with the rest of the world. I always felt out of sink with the rest of the world as someone who was always outside looking in. The drinking, so I thought, brought me in. I was finally sociable, cool, and had a popular boyfriend.
This went on through high school and college. When I met my first husband, he liked the idea that I was a party girl and a free spirit. That was until we got married. Then we were going to climb the ladder of success together and live a perfect life. The image was everything. So I sobered up and lived the white picket fence syndrome. Then the babies came, and my husband pulled farther and farther away. This was not part of his plan. Having babies was not something he wanted to invest in. He shut my girls and me out of his life. He would come and go as he pleased and would only want to be with me if the kids were not around. By now, I was running in circles, trying to be the perfect mom and trying to abide by my husband’s wishes. I felt so alone.
After a few years of this, we finally started to socialize with my husband’s co-workers. Of course, this meant drinking on the weekends and drinking a lot. Come Monday morning; I would have a huge hangover. I never drank one or two drinks on the weekend; I would always drink until I was drunk or in a blackout. I don’t remember exactly when, but I learned the art of the hair of the dog that bit you. So on Monday mornings, I would have a drink or two to try to feel better so I could function with the kids. The Monday morning drinks led to the Tuesday morning drink, and so on. I was also fed up with my lifestyle, and I finally joined an addiction rehab treatment center to get rid of my drinking.