How I Lost My Creativity to Addiction

By Lisa Boucher 07/27/17

When addiction takes over, there is little time to discover talents and gifts that can be used to create a more enriched life. 

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Lisa Boucher

After working for almost 24 years in hospitals I realized that our boozy culture is costing us all.

Families, on every rung of the economic ladder, continue to be devastated and torn apart by addiction and alcoholism. We have a prolific problem of substance abuse in America and other parts of the world. As a result of drug addiction and alcoholism, we are also losing an abundance of never realized brilliance and talent. 

It is impossible for adults and children to realize their gifts when they spend the better part of their lives trying to survive, or preoccupied with pondering when they can acquire the next cocktail. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), the annual cost of lost productivity in the business world due to alcohol is $249 billion! Yes, and that’s just in the business world. That figure doesn’t take into account what is does to families, nor the lost artistic brilliance that is never realized.

Too many children in affluent, middle- and lower-income brackets, spend evenings alone because their parent(s) prefer to enjoy cocktails rather than be present. Other children end up shuffled from one foster home to the next because of their parental substance abuse. This is the reality: adults and children too depressed to function well, all because of alcohol abuse or misuse.

No one worries about the clarinet lessons when Mom is more consumed with her wine, and Dad may or may not be around. Too many of these children confide that they are lonely, that no one talks or listens to them. They resort to finding any sort of connection and many of them turn to online friendships that can be further disastrous to their mental health. 

Children are admitted to hospitals because they feel suicidal, but after a few days many start to crawl out of their shells—because these kids finally feel safe. They have people around them who will listen to them. Far too often they want to stay in the hospital more than they want to go home. They sketch amazing pictures, the staff hears them sing, and we see them dance. So many have raw talent that may never be realized all because moms and dads would rather party than parent. Why are we immune to this tragedy?

The same argument holds true for adults. Adults who spend copious amounts of time sitting at bars, going to “girls night out,” drinking at the beauty salon, at home, and maybe even in the walk-in closet surrounded by designer purses and shoes—what are they missing?

When something takes over your life, regardless of what that thing is, there is little time to discover talents and gifts that can be used to create an enriched life. 

I didn’t find my gift until I got sober in 1989. I can rattle off all sorts of name of friends who had spent the better part of their lives chasing the “sweet spot” with drugs or alcohol, only to later get sober. In due time they discovered their God-given talents. Some turned to painting, sculpting, writing, languages, jewelry making, woodcarving, and the list goes on. The culture of “more Merlot please” is draining talent and brilliance right out of the world. Why do we accept the drinking culture, and even encourage more drinking?

Society has bought into the notion that life is better with Merlot or Chardonnay, but the truth is that if a person thinks they are a social drinker, but they are drinking more than a few glasses of wine once or twice a week, their drinking has already crossed the line and there is nothing social about it.

The wine companies won’t tell you this, your doctor won’t tell you this, and your friends won’t tell you this, but I will tell you because I know what it’s like. I was once on both sides of that proverbial fence. A child of an alcoholic who grew up to be an alcoholic. I was the kind of alcoholic who didn’t drink every day. The kind of alcoholic who had no consequences with the law, no overt penalties of any kind that would make me label myself an alcoholic. I wear the label now because I when I was drinking, I couldn’t always predict if I would have two drinks or seven drinks. I couldn’t always predict if I would show up as a lady or a loudmouth. That right there is alcoholism in its early stages.

I quit drinking long before it became necessary that I quit drinking. Knowing that alcoholism doesn’t “look” like any one particular thing may help you better appraise your own drinking, and reevaluate if you, too, are snuffing out your talent in favor of staring at the bottom of a glass.  

After short stints where Lisa trained polo horses, worked as a flight attendant, hairdresser, and bartender, she revamped her life and settled in as a registered nurse. For the past 28 years, she has worked with hundreds of women to overcome alcoholism, live better lives and become better parents. Raising the Bottom is her fifth book. She was prompted to write Raising the Bottom when she realized after 20+ years of working in hospitals, that doctors and traditional health care offer few solutions to people with addiction issues. Visit Lisa and find out more about her by visiting her website: Raisingthebottom.com. You can also follow her on Twitter & Instagram: @LBoucherAuthor 

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For the past 28 years, Lisa Boucher has worked as a registered nurse, helping hundreds of women to overcome alcoholism, live better lives and become better parents. She is the author of Raising The Bottom. Visit Lisa and find out more about her by visiting her website: Raisingthebottom.com. You can also follow her on Twitter or find her on Linkedin.

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