Wow you should really check the new video out on the Crying Out Now website, there's some incredibly foxy ladies in it (!! ha ha !!). No but seriously this site is a godsend and was very helpful to me in my early days. I remember watching their first video and crying looking at all the strong sober women holding up their signs (maybe it was the Katy Perry song that got my tears flowing).
I do agree with a lot of what Ellie is writing here about changing the way the world thinks about what an alcoholic is. The word has such a stigma attached to it. So much so that even though I do think I am an alcoholic (someone who cannot control their alcohol intake) I hardly ever say that out loud.
I'm very open about telling people that I have a problem with booze and that's why I don't drink it. I told a woman who I hardly know while were were on holiday, and I also told a new neighbourhood friend at a school quiz night the other night. But when I do this I don't say 'I'm an alcoholic'. I say 'I have a problem with alcohol' or 'I was finding it hard to control so I cut it out altogether' or 'I was drinking too much and I'm better off without it in my life'.
I very rarely say 'I'm an alcoholic' because it just sounds so full on and dramatic, and like there's a whole lot of really dark and terrible shit in my past, like I was a disheveled, slurring, sloppy, stumbling loser, out on the streets or lurking in seedy bars. When in actual fact when I was drinking far too much I was a tidy, outwardly normal suburban mum. One whose slurring, sloppy, stumbling loser tendencies were confined to the privacy of her own home.
And this is the whole point - no? There are so many of us alcoholics who don't fit the dirty homeless stereotype - yet we keep the stereotype in place because we don't identify as alcoholics publicly.
Does the word matter? Do I have to use the word alcoholic? Can't I say 'problem drinker' or 'dysfunctional drinker' if I want? At least I'm being open.
One other thing Ellie said in her post kind of freaked me out though.. she says 'I don't think that one can stay sober long term completely online.' Well holy shit, I'm doomed. Online support is all I do. Am I destined to start drinking again if I don't seek out face-to-face support?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Don't let it be so!
Love, Mrs D xxx