Grey Area drinking and Mommy Wine Culture…
These are topics more people need to be exposed to….
See, even in the midst of my true addiction to alcohol, I was never the type of drinker that woke up and needed a drink to calm the shakes or to stop the headaches from the previous day’s binge. I got up and went to work and functioned “fine” despite being unbelievably miserable. However, I did plan my day knowing that when I got home in the afternoon, I would have a drink. I didn’t arrive at that place without first conditioning my body and lifestyle to society’s norms on drinking like “Mommy Wine Culture”.
I wanted a drink to reward myself for surviving another day.
I wanted a drink to calm my stressed-out nerves.
I wanted a drink to relax.
I wanted a drink as a reward.
I wanted a drink to numb the pain.
I wanted a drink because it was just what we do in today’s times.
One drink wasn’t enough in most cases.
Ok once I turned 35,1 drink was never enough when before that, I could take it or leave it. I knew my family was watching also so I would hide anything that was in surplus of 2 drinks. I would be cooking, and I would open a beer and then hide it in the pantry so I could sip on it guilt-free. Or I would hide airplane samples in my purse or drawers. Or even an entire handle in the closet so no one could monitor the level of what had been consumed. All the while I knew what I was doing was bad but so long as I didn’t say it out loud or I didn’t drink before 5 pm, I was going to go along with it. At some point I’ll quit, I would tell myself.
Now, this isn’t necessarily grey area drinking. But it is the gradual downward slope evolved from grey area drinking which is what I am explaining to you now. I ended up having an addiction, yes, but I shouldn’t have felt shame for it.
If I were a smoker and my smoking increased from half a pack a day to a pack a day, I would have no problem admitting I needed to cut back. With drinking, we hide in shame even though alcohol is a known addictive legal drug and the more you consume it the more it will alter the structure of your brain thus making your body require it to feel “normal.”
Your body is always trying to regulate itself or be in a homeostatic state so when it adjusts to a new normal (with booze) it will want it. There wasn’t a problem with me, there was a problem with the substance I was ingesting. But it’s legal, right? So, I used it. Everyone else appeared to be doing it too and they are fine, so I ignored my inner voice, told it to shut up and I continued on.
There is a very fine line with Grey Area Drinking like Mommy Wine Culture and becoming addicted and I see so many of my friends walking it…
They use alcohol to celebrate successes or failures. They use it at breakfast with
Mimosas and justify it as being classy and sophisticated. They use it for Sunday afternoon brunches, and they center it around playdates. They drink if their kids have been bad and drive them nuts. They drink it to celebrate when they do well. They cook with it in hand. Heck, they can now drink it while grocery shopping.
They use it for any and every reason.
They have no idea what they are risking becoming dependent on it. When you couple Grey Area Drinking (like Mommy Wine Culture) with a bad life occurrence that could arise (death, divorce, financial trouble), then what was once “normal” drinking by today’s standards become dangerous seemingly overnight. Which is what happened to me.
When my marriage tanked, my use of alcohol switched from what I thought was “fun” and safe (although it never truly was, alcohol is a legal drug) to something that I knew was slowly killing me. My goal in life isn’t to shame the culture we live in but to educate those taking part in it, that what they are doing is very scary. It can change overnight to something unmanageable and we aren’t even discussing the adverse health effects grey area drinking can have on us.
I found this on Youtube from Jolene Parks Tedx that is amazing!
So I beg you to pay attention to your relationship with alcohol. Start to notice why you are drinking and how often. See if this is something you think you could adjust. See if your kids are watching you. Take inventory on your consumption and if you ever need support in cutting back, reach out.
I run a free Facebook group for people to discuss their drinking habits and I help them to find the strength to have honest conversations on eliminating booze.
Rhiannon is a Certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach focusing on Sobriety.
You can find her at:
Facebook: Rhiannon Tzimenatos Fitness