04/07/2014 by syrbal-labrys
My father drank. He was self-medicating his PTSD and possible bi-polar issues. He didn’t drink all the time, sometimes going years with almost no drinking. He was, generally, a functional drinker. For most of my childhood, he drank only on weekends. Then, as he aged, he drank daily at some point — but still he was capable of working, socializing, reasoning and all the normal ‘sober’ attributes.
So far as I know, he never attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. At various times in my life, when I sought counseling for my childhood abuse related PTSD issues, I was advised I should seek out the AA groups dedicated to adult children of alcoholics. I hate alcoholism’s results, you see; it has impacted my life drastically. Thus, I inquired about precisely what AA preached.
And I hit a huge roadblock…or five. The first two in the linked article were the biggest for me. So, what, it is presumed you have to be a gutter-crawling sort before you say “Enough is enough!” And the whole giving up personal power thing of the second item, that is what really made me think that maybe, just maybe even I would far prefer being drunk myself to EVER saying that I was not in charge of my own life and choices. I even had teachers tell me I would be a drunk…like father, like daughter, they said.
Well, like the AA religion pushers — they were full of shit. We home brew, I drink less than twice a month and those times, at most maybe two glasses of mead, or one of beer, or a single cocktail. A bottle of vodka — my main ‘go to’ for nerve pain relief — lasts me two to three years. Because, I AM in charge of my life and my choices. Oh, but you say, you are not an addict.
Well, yes, I am, actually. I’m just not addicted to alcohol, nor tobacco. I am addicted to foods, particularly sweets. In spite of this, I weigh within 20 pounds of my high school graduation weight after three children and years with injuries that slowed or rendered impossible most forms of exercise. In spite of my love of sweets, I DO control my own access to and enjoyment of such pleasures. I don’t beat myself up over the occasional delightful binge of eating a pound cake in 1.4 minutes (or whatever the quote from Practical Magic was); I simply look at it as an infrequent gift I give myself to cope with something I truly have NO control over.
Like the behaviors of others that rattle my cage. Like the Supreme Court making it legal to sell Congress to the highest bidder. Like Jeb Bush saying he might actually run for President. Like the climate change deniers of the world going on about it all being bullshit from liberals — well, especially that, since climate change could make my favorite things impossibly expensive or non-existent in the future!
So yes, coffee warms my mornings, the infrequent vodka shot stills the pain of spinal injuries, e-cig delivered nicotine disperses the fog of fibromyalgia, and a piece of cake sits me down so I don’t feel the desire to go rip off a politician’s head to piss into….sure, my society would prefer I gulped big pharmaceutical’s pills and repented publicly. Me? Sorry, I’m too busy being a dripping fang liberal, loving my lesbian friends, practicing paganism, and baking cookies. At least MY addiction doesn’t require armies dying, like addictions to power, wealth, and prestige do! All those twelve steps programs? They can step right out in their lock-step mode — off a nine-step pier!