You GO Girl!
I love that expression! It’s so empowering and positive. People have been saying that a lot to me and although it’s been a long time since I could be described as a girl the expression has defined me perfectly as I've traveled through my first three sober years.
Positive and Empowered!
I am part of a generation of women that grew up expecting empowerment. As little girls in the early 1970's we danced in our nightgowns, singing into a hairbrush with the Enjoli perfume ad belted out Helen Reddy’s I am Woman in the shower. (https://youtu.be/_UIktO4Pnlw)
We didn’t have to fight as hard as our mothers had for opportunity. Sexual stereotyping, sexual harassment, and unequal pay for equal work were problems that we did face but our mother’s had opened the door for us and said “Break the Rules! Take Risks! Define Yourselves!" Back in 1968 Virginia Slims cigarettes told us “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby" and now in the twenty first century the alcohol industry enthusiastically sells us daily drinking as our just reward. (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ksye)
My generation of strong independent women , and our daughters, are being sold the idea that we not only deserve to drink to wind down but we NEED to. Products like Anti-AGin and Skinnygirl Cocktails sell us the fantasy of drinking without consequences while Mommies Time Out wine normalizes the idea that we NEED to de-stress by drinking. In this age of social media saturation, when facebook pages like Mommiy’s Time Out proclaim “ The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink. Unless of course you drink Mommy’s Time Out. We’re affordable”
not drinking to "wind down" seems positively counter culture.
It's become un-cool to NOT pop the cork at play dates, book clubs and PTA meetings. Advising women not to drink while pregnant is often called "sexist" and any suggestion that women drinking to black out in social situations are more vulnerable to assult is met with a strong accusation of blaming the victim.
A few years ago I found that It didn’t matter how normalized my nightly bottle of wine seemed because the contents were breaking down the empowered woman that I had grown up to be. After a bottle and a bit of wine at night I would often forget going to sleep only to wake at four in the morning with a splitting head ache, dry mouth and extreme sense of regret. I was tired, bloated, and insecure. My personal and professional lives were holding together but I felt lost and alone. I was on a hamster wheel, constantly over compensating during the day for the nightly drinking I regretted.
At three years and a bit sober I have my power back and will do everything I can to reach out to my sisters and our daughters, as well as my brothers and our sons, with the message that “sobriety offers everything that alcohol promised “.
As part of my first sober year I did a lot of thinking about why I drank so much . I’ve come to realize that many of the reasons that I felt justified in binging on a bottle and a half of wine most nights are the same reasons that so many women in my generation are doing the same thing.
That beautiful woman in the Enjoli perfume ad that inspired us as little girls in the 1970’s was everything to everybody. When we grew up and realized in the late 1990’s that being her left us exhausted and drained the alcohol industry jumped in to offer their products as our rocket fuel. Cocktails for one and "my special wine time" have become a symbol of empowerment and freedom for women. Drinking alone has become an accepted way for women to recover from the stress of multitasking. Me and my bottle. Do not disturb.
As a culture , it's time we looked at our NEED to drink to socialize. Our NEED to drink to wind down. Do we really NEED to normailze heavy regular drinking or is it the alcohol industry that's selling us the idea that the spirit is in the bottle.
A little over three years ago I realized that I had become addicted to my wine crutch. I was terrified that I might not be able to stop. I was terrified that life without my rocket fuel would be dull. But I found my self in sobriety and I'll never go back to drowning my voice.
If you're Drinking too much too often Rethink the Drink.
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The spirit is not in the bottle.
It’s in you !
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