But how much is too much?
Of course, some women exercise moderation while consuming alcohol, but statistics show that these are the outliers. Most women overdo the recommended 1 drink per day guideline, established by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, which keeps drinking in the "moderate" zone.
So think about it.
One drink per day.
Seven drinks per week.
That is moderate.
|Is this the behaviour we want to be modelling for our young girls?|
My first thought? That's everyone I know. Well, almost. I have some very close friends who are super responsible drinkers, or who don't drink at all. When I was a heavy drinker myself, I looked at them with awe, as if they were mystical unicorns or in possession of a super power that I couldn't tap into.
The truth is, many women (sadly, lots of young moms) will continue to drink at dangerous levels without understanding the physiological, physical and emotional repercussions.
Alcohol abuse is a slippery slope, which often starts off as "fun" and social.
Mimosas at brunch! Then a glass of wine or two for lunch! Why not have a few beers on a hot sunny day?
See, drinking is not inherently problematic, IF you aren't abusing it.
The problems start when people are abusing with blind awareness.
The people who, deep down, know that they shouldn't be having that much wine tonight.
The ones that keep telling themselves that next Monday, or on the first of next month, they will detox and the problem will be under control for awhile.
I know this type all too well because it was me.
I kept myself on the hamster wheel for a long, long time.
I come from a pretty booze-free family. Growing up, there was rarely alcohol at home. My parents would buy a big bottle of vodka or rum to make cocktails with at Christmas, and that bottle would sit, for months, for years, in our liquor cabinet, just a few inches emptied from a glass or two of eggnog.
My Dad would have the occasional beer; usually amongst friends when we had a summer BBQ, or when he invited his pals over for a chess match.
And then there was me.
I started drinking at 14, and quickly developed a problematic, chronic binge drinking habit. Drinking was a big part of my life for close to two decades, until I decided to call it quits for good when I became a mother.
So, my concern and interest in the rate of drinking problems among women hits close to home. It is my personal experiences that have inspired me to do research about this epidemic, and try to raise awareness about it's dangers.
Women are being hospitalized for alcohol-related issues at a rate of FIVE TIMES that of men. Yes, my friends, this is a WOMEN'S ISSUE.
Why are we drinking so much? What are we trying to escape? To run from? To cover up?
Why are we glorifying drunkenness?
Why do we brag about our drunken blackouts, our epic hangovers, and how much booze we were able to guzzle the night before?
Why is drinking a "hobby" for so many?
Why are we putting ourselves at risk of a number of unpleasant side effects, namely doing things we wouldn't do sober?
Why are we covering up our awesome, naturally amazing selves with poison that dulls our shine, causes us emotional instability, hormonal fluctuations, heart, liver and brain damages, and not to mention increases our cancer risks?
And why, why, why are we tearing down women who decide to not drink? As if they are "lame" or "boring"?
Why is our reaction to an informative article about how marketing influences women to drink more, "this author needs to calm down and have a glass of wine?"
Look, I don't blame those that have these automatic reactions.
We're totally brain-washed by clever marketing and drinking culture.
Furthermore, I'll never leave out the parts of my "story" where I was the drunkest person I knew.
And it's those experiences, in contrast to a life of sobriety, that inspire me to speak out.
I know there are women out there that need to have these conversations. Because I did. And I won't shut up now, cause it's important that we raise awareness about this dangerous epidemic.
P.S. I can't be the only one who is actually enjoying motherhood and raising a child so much that I don't want to be drunk anymore?! Cause he's a better high than wine? How are people not just high off of baby laughs and snuggles?!
Big love and big glasses of sparkling water to all