Drink Your Way Out of Alcoholism: by pretending to do so.

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If you're living with a parent who has a substance use problem, you might be having a tough time. Reach out to others for safety, help, and support. Here are some things to do:. Open up to someone. Talk to a good friend. Also talk to an adult you trust. For example, a teacher, doctor, therapist , or relative. Let them know what you're going through.

It can be a relief to share what it's like for you.

The next AA? Welcome to Moderation Management, where abstinence from alcohol isn't the answer

And they may be able to help you in other ways. Know that it's not your fault. Some people blame themselves for their parent's substance use. They may think about times when a parent was angry or blamed them.

Admitting the Problem: The First Step in Alcoholism Recovery

They may wonder if they caused a parent to drink or use drugs. But kids can't cause a parent's substance problem. Know and name your emotions. Don't bury your feelings or pretend that everything's OK. Notice how a parent's substance problem makes you feel. Everyone turned and stared at me. My face reddened. When my club soda arrived, it looked so cool and clear in the glass — the sparkling bubbles, the clinking ice, the bobbing slice of lemon that the waitress had considerately inserted into what was essentially a two-dollar glass of water. I suddenly realized that I could pretend this innocuous drink was a double vodka and tonic.

Next thing I knew, I was ordering another pretend-drink and then another and another. As the night wore on, my voice grew more loud, my gestures more broad, my clothes more off. Multiple club sodas later, I was pretend-drunk. Plus I really had to pee. The same thing happened at a cocktail party a week later.

Not drinking makes you some kind of freak, even though choosing not to drink is just like choosing not to eat meat, except without the smugness. I felt like running home with my cocktail between my legs. Which is not easy, by the way. Instead, I pretended. I pretended I was drunk. Passing off my ginger ale as high-octane, I staggered about the party, making inappropriate comments about colleagues and telling an off-colour joke about the rabbi and the paper shredder. Where are you when I need you, blackouts!

But I could remember every single detail because I was so… so… lucid! I became a heavy fake-drinker at every social occasion, deeply aware that no one trusts a sober person, except to drive them home. Before I knew it, I was pretend-drinking every day. I started showing up for work pretend-drunk, although I was able to carry out my functions as I always had, which was pretty terrible in the first place, so I completely fooled everyone.

My control of drinking was out of control. After one straight bender, I woke up in the morning to find The Stranger in my bed, the novel spread open to page 92, wantonly dog-eared and sloppily bookmarked. In French! I hit soft-rock bottom the day I got pretend-drunk in front of my kids and realized I was pretend-slurring my words. And old. Now, who wants some tea? I loved this. I will have to show it to my husband.

For numerous reasons, he has never drank, like not ever. Not even during his football days which was a really tough one to pull off. I know he will appreciate this. Very funny. No wonder you made it to CBC radio!

Drinking in Europe: The rules

I sound nothing like Stuart McLean. Thanks for the compliment. How do you live with yourself, Rosemary?

As a non-drinker — I feel your pretend pain. Being the DD does give me some social purpose and, if not cool points, at least popularity points. Oh, I remember seeing The Bald Soprano for the first time in high school. It was so macaroni. Did you have to out yourself so publicly? Way to go, rossmurray1. Thanks a bunch. Very funny post! My husband and I are teetotalers these days as well. I was pretend drunk once, in 7th grade off that fake champagne. Currently trying to read Un Aller Simple.

I m-m-m-mean M-M-M-Mr. Long before that, I was using wine to decompress, to ease into the second shift of the evening—and so too were my friends, both the stay-at-home mothers and my professional peers. As many women discovered, a drink is a punctuation mark of sorts, between day and night. What else can we do? She drinks that first one with dinner.

Each and every night, like clockwork. I get my ass out of bed and I go for a run. Life is high stress, and I juggle a ton of balls every day. This is about peace, the right glass, a ritual. Never would I call myself an alcoholic. But am I dependent?

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For me, that glass of wine is a total joy. A total joy that is causing her grave doubts. The day I interview Perron, she is on her third day of a twenty-one-day cleanse, eliminating wheat, sugar, and wine. If I can do this for twenty-one days, I will give myself permission to continue.

And if not? She seems uncertain of the answer. My glass of wine will be full, and gone in two minutes. Her friend Paige Cowan, with whom she is sharing the cleanse regimen, is clearer on the outcome. Cowan is a tall, expressive woman who owns Wild Bird, an eclectic little store in midtown Toronto that sells a wide variety of seed for birds and food for the spirit as well: books on Buddhism, meditation, healing. On a snowy winter day, I find myself drinking delicious coffee in her airy living room, nestled on citrus-colored armchairs, listening to her story of wrestling with alcohol, and the role it has played in her life.

Partying was really a rite of passage. But I have noticed a big difference—and so has my husband. I have more vibrancy, my sense of humor is back. Alcohol adds a cloud, and the cloud lifts. Perfectionism is a culprit that Cowan knows all too well. I was involved in so many community efforts—it was that feeling that I was never good enough. That whole perfectionist thing was driving everyone: you could bust your ass, and it wasn't good enough. A relentless standard of perfection. I found it shocking how hard women are on other women. At our little school in a pretty little neighborhood, there was an abusive standard of perfection.

Get on the treadmill, bust your ass at work. It wears people down. People are exhausted at the end of the day. They go home and have a drink as a way to cope with all of this—a lot of people have to self-medicate because it would be hard for them to look in the mirror otherwise.

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Signing up to be conscious: this is what Lisa decided to do after many years of drinking too much. A prominent woman in her sixties with a packed Rolodex and a full calendar, Lisa is a mover and shaker.

Alcohol Cessation: How to Quit Drinking Without AA

The former senior manager of several companies, she has spent much of her life in her adopted home of Canada, but has now settled back in the States near her grandchildren, in Chicago. They had a house in Florida and belonged to a club where there were many so-called functioning alcoholics—on the tennis court at seven a.

He would scream and yell and leave the house in the middle of the night. I didn't stand a chance. I have two brothers—one who has been in and out of Hazelden and the other who is in AA. I was visiting a boyfriend and I went back to my little hotel room and passed out. I was so horrified and ashamed, I didn't answer the door when the guy visited that night. I remember a birthday party for Bella Abzug on the top of the World Trade Center: I got blotto and ended up going home in a cab with a friend who called me on it—but I didn't want to hear it.

Married, she and her husband, Henry, ended up moving to Toronto when their three children were small. I remember going to the kitchen and filling my coffee cup with vodka. When they asked for my phone number, I couldn't even write. Needless to say, I never heard from them again. Was she efficient when she drank? All of those years, I would just run from one thing to the next, not really thinking. I was such a boozer—but I was an amazing organizer when I drank.

Egg cup-size glasses in the Netherlands

Partly, it was to prove that I wasn't a drunk; part of it was compensating for my drinking, my lying about not drinking. I was up early, making breakfasts. After they left, I decided to make hamburgers, while I had another glass. I started cooking them under the broiler and there was a fire. Henry raced in and he knew I was drunk. I also drove drunk once with the kids in the car. I was just sloshed and went straight to my bed when we got home, passing out. My eldest woke me up because he had been sick—and I had no awareness whatsoever.

night before

I was so lucky that I never set fire to the house or killed anybody. Two, this is a progressive disease—it only gets worse. I may not have hit a horrible bottom, but I could see it, and it was terrifying. Lisa isn't alone in pushing her drinking too far. Jennifer, who worked in sales, quit as well—but not before her drinking helped her get ahead in business.

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