Society has an amazing way of making alcohol very romantic. We toast at our weddings. We pop a cork to usher in the New Year. TV and Movies are full of images of the posh pouring glasses of scotch in crystal glasses off of the bar cart in their living rooms or topping off the wine glass at the fancy dinner table. It’s classy to go wine tasting. Wineries are pictured in wonderful places like Napa Valley and the hills of Italy. Everything we see about drinking alcohol is so beautiful and romantic.
Until its not.
When you hear the word “alcoholic” the images that come to mind are far from romantic. It is easy to for your mind to go to people who can’t control themselves. People with “white knuckles” who can’t go anywhere around booze. People who can’t have cough syrup in their house because of the temptation. The word even summons the image of a person sitting with a bottle inside a paper bag.
Today I am 129 days sober. I guess, technically, I am an “alcoholic”, but myself and most of my support group, hate that term. Why would anyone want to be associated with the connotations that come along with the word. To be honest, I prefer to call myself a ‘drunkard’. It just sounds more fun and it doesn’t bring to mind images of me cleaning out my cupboards of all cold medicines and clenching my fists when I see someone with a margarita at the Mexican restaurant.
While I work daily on my sobriety, I am still early in the process and I notice every little thing related to alcohol around me. I see the moments on TV when the attorney pours the scotch at the end of a case or a meet up at the bar after work to share a glass with friends. As I mentioned in my last post, even in my favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies I notice every single time they drink wine instead of hot cocoa! But the things I have learned in the last 129 days help me see there is nothing romantic about alcohol no matter how our society portrays it.
Sad to say, another word that brings up similar connotations as alcoholic is obese. I happen to fit into both categories. I know when people think of obese they think of people who can’t control themselves. People who can’t be around anything sweet, deep fried or fattening without losing control. People who can’t have anything but fruit and vegetables in their houses because of the temptation. I bet the word even conjures up images of a sloppy person sitting alone eating a pile of McDonalds cheeseburgers. Sound familiar?
I hate the word Obese. Honestly, I would rather be called Fat. It feels more real to me. I would rather be a fat drunkard than an obese alcoholic! While I attempt to change the images generated by both terms – I know society may never get there. I can tell you this – being fat doesn’t make me a slob or unable to control myself around food, and being a drunkard doesn’t make me white-knuckled and unable to be around alcohol. I am a person who stopped drinking because I “couldn’t stop drinking” and I am a person who must control my eating so I can get healthy. And no matter what labels are used, I am becoming the best version of myself.