I’m writing a reply to Bryan B on my recent Day 1 post, in which I tell him I had no terrible rock bottom, and after I finish that, I’m afterwards thinking to myself, “Really? No drastic rock bottom?”
Every awful thing that “happened to me” or that I ever did, pretty much involved alcohol or some other addiction, such as wanting admiration or just to be liked.
Yes, I did a lot of lovely things while drinking, too, which I like to think included helping others… but how helpful were they really? I could just as well have done those sober, if I’d known how or had the courage to, without the ego-inflation-or-relaxant of booze.
I want my kids to grow up with a sober toolkit. One of the best ways to do this is to simply model cheerful and successful sobriety. I know other sober parents have said they expect their kids to drink. Everyone’s different and I understand that concept or expectation. And of course I will understand if/when my kids drink. But my wish for them is that they begin with awareness of why they will want to, some day, and that they will know there are alternatives.
I want them to know (and I do talk to them about this a lot, often making an example of myself and my own toxic addictions) that while we all have addictive tendencies, if we’re aware of them, we can choose to get addicted to higher-level, creative things. Wouldn’t an addiction to playing music, wood-working or knitting be more beneficial than an addiction to sitting around in basements, parking lots or bars getting drunk? Certainly more rewarding… though definitely not as easy.
And if you answered, in your heart of hearts, “No, if I’m honest, it doesn’t seem more beneficial or rewarding… not really…” as I certainly would have, if I’d answered truthfully and honestly, at around age 15… maybe it is time to wonder if you are in fact an alcoholic. No matter how much you don’t want to be. And even if the way you drink seems “normal,” in the crowd you hang out with.
These days (or at least until Covid) the slogan is or was, all about “Dream Big.” If I were to say anything to my 15-year old self, or better yet my 13-year-old self, actually, I’d say: if you want to achieve your dreams, stop dreaming while drinking (or taking other drugs)… start practicing what you want to be like.
Lots of love,
p.s. Thanks Bryan B!! :)))