I often times focus on the fun side of drinking here but to be realistic, not everyone deals with alcohol the same way. Most people whether you know it or not know someone who has or is dealing with a problem with alcohol. I personally have immediate family members to have dealt with drinking problems, ruining their lives to the fullest extent of the word, and others who don’t want to admit they do. A lot of us have the luxury of being able to have a few drinks with our dinner and not giving it a second thought but it’s those who don’t that we often don’t think about.
Last year at this time, I met a friend who was approaching their one year “sober-versary” and in solidarity, not that they asked me to but out of respect I chose to spend January without taking a drink. A little difficult in my line of work but ended up being a quite humbling.
In the alcohol business, everyone knows how to have a good time. Everyone. I was personally so scared of alcohol because of my family history, I didn’t get drunk for the first time until I was 22. (Clearly I’ve made up for it) If you had told me 10 years ago I’d have anything to do with the alcohol business, I would have laughed you out of the room. I wanted to be a mom, raise kids in Indianapolis, and have a white picket fence, now I’m a business owner, I have no kids and don’t plan on it, and can’t see my life in anything other than the city. Funny how life changes isn’t it?
So now every January, I take the month to check in, get my body back in order after what is generally the hell month of December, and continue to make sure that I keep myself grounded in a world full of booze. I’d be lying if I said I don’t worry that going out all the time, the booze, the wine, the beer, won’t someday turn into something I need versus enjoy. Maybe it’s something everyone who has people with alcoholism close to them deal with and maybe it’s not but it’s something I need to do to keep my mind in check.
What I also realize is that doing that keeps me on a healthier path. So many people in my industry don’t want to admit something is more than just drinking for fun or for work, but our industry perpetuates it. Though until someone is ready to admit that, they will continue to go out, have “fun”, and drink until they hit rock bottom but it takes a really strong person to realize and admit that. It takes an even stronger person to maintain sobriety. This isn’t supposed to be a PSA but sometimes its just smart to “check yo self before you wreck yo self”. And to everyone out there that is struggling, to those staying sober even though it’s tough, I applaud you. So cheers to a happy and healthy new year!