I love to create and design it is such a healthy outlet. Helpful and healing in every way. Especially on a day today.
New Year’s Eve! This is the one night of the year when society unites in a pro-drinking mentality that accepts and excuses all manner of drunken behavior (except, of course driving drunk). It is not just that excessive drinking is tolerated on this night; it is that it is encouraged and promoted. Ads on TV for sparkling wine and other assorted cocktails. Security guards and long lines appear at liquor stores and images of “happy” alcohol related celebrations decorate billboards. Bars and clubs vie for the attention of their patrons with promises of the “best” drinking environment for the most celebrated drunken spectacle of the year. What’s happening? The message is: the only way to enjoy yourself is to get drunk.
While this is in itself a disturbing suggestion that affects the whole spectrum of society – children included – it has a specific consequence for alcoholics. No one knows the dangers involved with excessive drinking better than those who suffer from alcohol addiction. The psychological motivation of the“good time” and alcohol is a driving force for many who struggle in recovery. Learning that what represents a real “good time” does not require the use of varieties of alcohol stimulants which can be a difficult lesson to absorb in sobriety. Attending parties, watching Saturday night sports, dinner with friends – these are all environments that usually involve the use of alcohol. The recovering alcoholic learns how to adjust to these environments (sometimes needing to avoid completely) and often comes to terms that life itself can still be enjoyed with a glass of sparkling water instead of wine.
But New Year’s Eve is different. The aura of superfluousness – feeding off the superfluousness of holiday indulgence. And herein lies the great danger for the alcoholic. In recovery, what estimates “unacceptable” is a drinking mentality that moves fast into self-destruction. It is not so much about how many drinks or if one drink can be “managed”. It is about a state of mind, in the mind, that is destructive to the individual who is suffering and is “triggered” by drinking alcohol to ease the pain inside. This state of mind that is “unacceptable” to the alcoholic and the encouragement at New Year’s Eve to embrace the alcohol induced behavior has a very different affect on the alcoholic than the “social” drinker. The illusion of New Year’s Eve is that it is the “exception”. It is the one night where there are no rules. For the alcoholic, when she or he is not sober, every night is the “exception”. The “exception” is the norm for the active alcoholic and the road to recovery involves a re-programming and rethinking of what incorporates the norm.
It’s a misguided idea about “Fun” on New Years Eve. And friendly reminder .. to take it one day at a time.