I don’t often write about drinking, because I usually write about how I deal with life as a sober person. However, I felt compelled to write about the topic of hiding drinking problems.
As most of you have probably already read or seen on the news, that drinking problems and alcohol abuse, have greatly increased over the course of the pandemic. This seems especially true for women. This makes sense, as women are home more, and the stresses of children, job loss, and more, make it easy for women to reach for an easy “fix” to the stresses.
Unfortunately, the health issues due to binge drinking and alcohol abuse among women are rising as well.
When I was drinking there were several questions I had to fully face, ask myself, and honestly answer in order for me to move ahead to stop drinking. These are just a few of them.
Are you hiding your drinks or drinking?
In my early drinking life, I was going to happy hours, and having some wine or beer on the weekends. However, as my drinking progressed, I was sneaking drinks when Mr. UT was gone. I was “preloading” before a party, or insisting that we go out to get a drink before we went to dinner. Later, I’d buy those little bottles and hide them to drink when I was alone. Now I see young women hiding their drinking using “mommy” juice bottles. Normal drinkers do not do this.
Women seem especially prone to do this, partly because of the shame that comes with this addiction. I know I was ashamed of my drinking. I also hid it because by that point, I was addicted. I needed it.
Has a loved one or family member, or a friend, told you to cut down, or stop drinking?
Most of my friends and family did not know I was having problems, because I hid it from so many people. My husband told me often that I needed to stop. I finally realized he was telling me this, because he cared about me. He cared about our marriage. It wasn’t because he was trying to take away my fun or control me.
Is your life really better with drinking? Is your family happier? Or is the pain of drinking more than the pleasure you used to get?
I used to have some fun times drinking. I had not crossed over to having a problem for many years. The trouble was, I didn’t know that I was slowly increasing my drinking, partly using it to cope as teaching became harder. When I became addicted to it, alcohol soon caused more problems than fun. Mr. UT and I were fighting about my drinking. A few friends and family members realized I was struggling. I would cry more, and worry about getting a DUI. I would drink way too much at dinner parties and have to call the hostess to apologize the next day. It got to the point that drinking was causing a great deal of pain for me and Mr. UT.
Once I finally admitted I had a problem, I stopped for a while, but I still hoped I could moderate. I went back to hiding my drinking for several years.
What I finally realized is, I was only hiding from myself.
I was hiding from the truth. I was hiding from the light. I was hiding from people that loved me. I was hiding from a new way to live. It was scary at first. But day by day, I learned new ways to cope. If you have a problem, just take a giant leap of faith, and reach out and tell a trusted friend. There is better way.
If you have not read my story, you can find it here: Why Did I Stop Drinking.
With Much Love,
On Day 2387,
PS – Photo is from several years ago when were able to travel to Arizona!