The Space Wine Occupies in Women Lives
How often do you go home and drink a glass of wine? With popular t.v. shows, like Scandal, it is publicly normalized. It’s like, that is just the thing to do, “wine and popcorn.” Well, maybe not popcorn, but I’m sure it’s some unhealthy snack.
For years, women have enjoyed their glass of wine after the children go to bed, “Ah, FINALLY, I get to relax!” At least that is what I say to MYself after working all day, homework, dinner, and sports practices. Hell! I deserve a glass of wine, it’s a wonder it’s nothing stronger in my glass.
“After all, it’s not like I am drinking a whole bottle or even drinking every single night.”
Yes, that’s me, justifying to MYself, reasons it’s ok for me to have a glass of wine. If it’s not a problem, then why do I feel the need to justify it, right. I don’t know or I didn’t know until I read this article by Caren Lissner, on the Washington Post. She made a valid point using this quote from, Joyce Maynard’s book.
“It wasn’t the quantity; it was the space wine occupied in my life. I could tell it was occupying an unhealthy one. I was using it increasingly as a comfort and a reliever of stress.”
It hit me! Even though I wasn’t drinking nightly or in excessive amounts, it was about the reasons I was drinking. The comfort found in having that glass of wine the reward myself for a long, tiresome, stressful day was the message I was telling myself that gave me permission to drink.
Again, why do I need permission if it was harmless? I guess subconsciously, I knew using wine as an unhealthy way of dealing with the stress of the day. As an addiction counselor, it makes sense, but as a woman, mom, and working woman, it didn’t resonate that way.
Yes, us counselors are human too!
I made it a point to never drink when I was sad or angry, because in my experience I understand the dependency that can develop to deal with these difficult emotions. However, it didn’t occur to me the dependency the mind can have from the occasional stress reliever of a glass of wine.
Addiction can easily form from being dependent on a glass of wine to be your go-to stress reliever. Researchers are comparing this to food addictions, which women have been known to be more vulnerable to.
The increase in women being addicted to alcohol, is probably due to all the factors have to deal with in this age, as opposed to a hundred years ago, expressed in an interview by, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
This makes plenty of sense. There is an increasing population of working women and single mothers, which was unheard of 100 years ago. So, there is more pressure in the workforce, overwhelming stress of raising her children alone, and/or being the sole provider. As a result, women are more likely to report depression and anxiety, which goes hand and had with addiction.
So, Listen Up Ladies!
Let’s get it together! What space is wine occupying in your life? I have identified where it’s occupying my space in my life and I have committed to not allow it. I will create healthier tenants to occupy this space. I am not saying I’m not going to have a glass of wine here and there. I will be adding to my list of emotions and feelings that I refuse to drink, when I am experiencing them.
Be careful and understand your reasons for using substances, food, sex, or gambling as a stress reliever or for comfort. It can possibly lead you on a path you never knew you were headed until it’s too late.
Let’s not forget…
If you struggle with addiction or are in recovery, drinking shouldn’t be an option. Your brain is already vulnerable to addictive behaviors and alcohol can trigger those neural pathways that will create compulsive addiction behaviors.
Ashley M Dais