I am no angel

When our son hit 18, I brought up the subject of responsible drinking. I actually talked to both my kids way before but the conversation I had with him at 18 went towards why his dad and I chose what we chose.

Here is a quick rundown. Between 2005 and 2012, I found my dad dead; I was estate liquidator; my hubby had two exploratory brain surgeries, a number of status seizures, two major brain resections; his rehab; we fought different offices for support or services; I broke my elbow; my rehab; I did a master’s level certificate (DESS) and we supported our kids and our aging parents as best we could while holding down a couple of jobs. All in all, a bit busy.

In the middle of all that, our boy turned 18 and I had a talk with him.

Booze is a drug.

It is a socially acceptable drug.

It is socially expected in celebrations.

People joke about it .

Some people use it to sef-medicate… to calm down after bad news or a bad day at work.

Sometimes life is sucky and, low and behold, it can get worse!.

It is a slippery slope from having a drink to take the edge off to falling into a bottle.

It was important for me that our children not have to pick me up out of a bottle. I had seen a strong adult in my life fall into one and it was horrific to watch and live through.

Though I had seen it , that lesson had not been quite enough. When I was in college, I stopped by the pub because life had hit a rough patch. I got a drink to drown my sorrows. I was lucky it made me feel worse. It turned me off on the spot.

I was also lucky I had been such a boring adolescent. I was blessed to have a few close friends who did not partake to party. I also had a mom who did not touch the stuff. By the time I was in that pub, I was 20 years old and had never partied that way. (I lived in a province where drinking age is 18.)

Since that drink made me feel worse, I had to figure out how to ride out the rough patch differently.

This brings me back to our house being a dry one when the sh… hit the fan. (It isn’t always dry…We do partake lightly when all is well.)

Our kids were watching us.

The hubby was going to have his brain played with. Alcohol affects the brain. Though he could be a wild child, he wasn’t in these moments. There was too much at stake.

I didn’t want to add trying to climb out of a bottle to my long list of stressors or things to deal with so I stayed away to never risk falling in.

It was a logical choice for us.

Here is my call to action. For all who are watching us, I would love for all of us to stop joking about having reasons for a drink. Let’s show by example how to be resilient and take care of ourselves instead. Give those watching us lessons in going for wellness and not self-medication!