Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday: Alcohol

I was reading Michelle's post yesterday about her wine of the week. I thought that would be a neat thing to try different wines and maybe learn the art of the wine so to speak, but it is something I just can't venture in. I know as soon as I acquired a taste for it, since I don't really like wine, it wouldn't be good.
After I found out I was pregnant with Peanut Butter, not being able to drink alcohol really made me assess my relationship with the stuff. I would not say I am an alcoholic in the sense that I have to drink everyday to maintain, but once I have one drink I find it very hard to stop. I get the sense that I have to fuel the fire until there is no turning back. I have more than likely consumed enough alcohol on instances that I probably should be dead. Can I have one drink and stop yes, but I have made a conscious decision not to even have "the one" anymore. I was also starting to get sick just by having one or two. I hate throwing up and to be throwing up after one or two the next day, wasn't worth it to me anymore. J doesn't always understand this and I don't think he could unless he's been there. Though he has mad the comment that I am like another one of our friends, who ironically grew up in the same town as I, that it has to be all or nothing. I think it does stem a bit from the way we learned how to drink. That friend and I learned by going to parties to get as messed up as you could, yet make it home my curfew and not get caught.
Alcohol is also so ingrained as part of socializing, I will say in WI not to offend any other Midwesterners, that people don't always get that "have just one," doesn't always work for some people. And it never seems to be just the one. Most of our friends know that I gave it up, the why maybe not, but I'm sure some have pretty good idea.
Do I miss it? Sometimes, but never waking up with a hangover is fantastic. I feel like an outcast sometimes, but I will deal with that. What will I tell Peanut Butter? Well, I would hope to at least teach her that slamming your way through drinks is hardly the way to go, that as alcohol has its place, it shouldn't be used as an escape or coping mechanism and having a few drinks responsibly can be done, but if you can't remember the party, how fun was it?
So do you think you "learn" how to drink? Do you think alcoholism can be hereditary? Any thoughts on the subject at all?


Michelle Leigh said...

Good for you. It takes a lot of will power to give it up. It takes a strong person to realize they may have a problem. Not saying you have a problem, but you recognize you don't like the way you are when you drink. I definitely think you "learn" how to drink. I started drinking early on, but I have always respected the stuff. I know what my limits are and I know when to stop. There was never a time that I don't remember. That would scare the heck out of me. I also think that alcoholism is definitely something that can run in the family. I'm not saying it's necessarily hereditary, but addiction in any form is passed down.

Leslie Collins said...

That is so awesome of you, Robyn. It takes a lot to realize that there is or potentially could be a problem.

I think that you definitely learn how to drink. I am not a big drinker for the simple fact that I don't like the way it makes me feel. I have been sick for a few days before and it wasn't fun. I rarely ever drink. I like wine now and then, but we don't keep alcohol in the house. There isn't a particular reason for not.

I definitely think alcoholism is hereditary. We have a lot of alcoholism on my dad's Uncle's side within his kids and their kids. It's really sad.

Anonymous said...

I think there is definitely a genetic component to alcoholism, and that people 'learn' to drink as well. I went to college in Wyoming with kids who had nothing better to do than drink . . . the parties started Thursday night and went straight through Sunday night - it only took one episode of having to hold my roommate's hair back while she puked in our trash can for me to be thankful that I wasn't really into partying. (We were great as roommates - she would come home from partying as I was leaving for class in the morning. She would sleep while I was in class and then get up for her afternoon classes, leaving me a quiet room to study.)

Good for you for recognizing that drinking wasn't necessarily the healthiest behavior for you - that takes a lot of guts!

Dana said...

I'm not a drinker either... but never have been. I'm 27 and have never been drunk, never had a beer, and the only alcohol I have consumed is a sip of a friends while out at a bar and the champagne toast at weddings.

I'm not for sure why I made this decision. I think it is partially because my father is a drinker and I didn't like him, and still don't like him when he's had a few drinks. I don't want to be THAT person... also, I had my daughter at a young age (17) so while my friends were out partying, I was home taking care of Jaz.

I've realized, and it does upset me when friends of mine get so drunk that they cannot function. Parties at our house last until 6 or 7am. Now mind you, since I am now 27 and have a 9 year old... maybe that's why I get upset, but I feel that many people don't know when to stop. There was a time when I have been told... "oh, just one more" until we go home... and 6 or so later is when we leave.

I don't know if alcoholism is necessarily hereditary but more learned. When someone grows up around it I think it has a major effect on them. Sometimes negative, sometimes positive...

I could go on and on about this but I won't! :) Hope you have a great weekend.

Kim said...

I hear you with the not being able to stop after one. I am one of those people too. I've always been that way. I grew up partying with my friends and alcohol was usually involved. I started as early as 14 years old.
As I got older I started to hate the way that I felt when I was drunk so I cut back a lot.
Finding out that I was pregnant was a shock and I did find myself saying WOW I will not be able to enjoy a drink for a long long time and I hate to admit this but I was kind of sad about it. I have never in my life gone more than a month without a drink but at least I can say that that it will all be worth it.
I want to try to teach my child different than how I was taught because it would break my heart if she or he was partying and getting plastered at 14.