MEMEntos from an Earlier Life.
Alright. So I was online prepping for a different post completely, when a wine meme popped into the search results. It caught my attention, and so I looked up ‘wine memes’ and within five minutes, I think I had pulled at least 20 different ones. As I went further and further into the search results, my stomach just turned. Ugh. Yuck. So many of these would have made me laugh aloud in my drinking days (only 6 months ago), and they would also make me feel okay about how much I was drinking on a daily basis (i.e. a LOT), as well as make me feel justified for drinking as much as I was because Hell, everyone was doing it! Jump on the drunken bandwagon, Monster! (So I did. (Over and over and over again.))
Now, here is a heads-up if you would like to cut out of here and go read another blog, I totally understand. The following material may induce flashbacks to ‘The Good Ol’ Days
of Regular Public Embarrassment,’ or make you wax nostalgic about those sweet days of yore rife with alcoholic hook-ups and drunken stupors.
Looking at these memes in a collection really unnerved me. Some of them are actually quite offensive, and others of them just make me sad, because even though they’re meant to be funny-ha-ha-jokes, they really ring with a bitter tone of Truth.
Personally, until I got sober, I had never noticed how pervasive the message of ‘You should drink‘ was found in every facet of my life! In my early drinking life (read: 20s), my primary Achilles’ heels were movies or TV shows portraying people ‘just like me’ who always sought out the coolest, trendiest cocktail bars, or dive bars for the ironic factor, or tried the new craft beer or whiskey because they were Just. That. Cool. My imagination and perceived perception of reality (read: idiotic) in my early 20s came partially because I was one of the younger people on staff, and I truly believed my older, more mature, and wise coworkers socialized like those people in the movies who I aspired to be like, so again, I multiplied my efforts and tried to be just like all of them.
Imagination and projection are problems for me (They are also my bread&butter for the record, but in this reminiscence, they’re a problem.). In my early 30s, motherhood found me, or I found it rather. The above memes were probably first seen on my Facebook feed about that same time, a thing I would check obsessively multiple times a day. And every damned time, I would believe everything I saw. I believed the memes because they were tongue-in-cheek funny. I believe the people posting them were laughing at themselves and how much they drank, but they were so cool and hip and awesome (I am sensing a recurring theme here), they could be self-deprecating and drunk at the same time – and be totally okay with it! For the most part, these memes appeared on girlfriends’ walls and status updates. Women, who I already thought were pretty cool and awesome in and of themselves, would post these types of memes pretty regularly. Combine the trendy memes along with the everyday posts of these young mothers kicking ass and being awesome (because who takes pictures and posts them when things are normal, boring, or fucking awful?), and I was buying it all hook, line, and sinker. Oftentimes these super-hero-perfect-hair-moms (or so I believed) would post cute, trendy photos of themselves out and about, or in with cozy yoga pants on, with girlfriends clinking glasses, or sharing a bottle of wine, and seriously. I thought every mother in the United States was coping with the suckage of motherhood by drinking herself into a buzz, if not further down the drunken spectrum Every Night.
Now that I am somewhat removed from the constant circles of drinking (social, as well as my own much more regular lonely circle of 1), I have felt a true release and relief from the pressure to ‘Drink! Drink! Drink!’ And all of those outside images and perceived lives I hoped to achieve and emulate? With the filter of drinking lifted, I see a lot more Reality. Even in my 20s (and 30s, if I’m honest), I think my addiction was trying to hide itself inside the whisper of ‘Be like everyone else.’ Without the constant need to drink, and/or the constant obsession to hide how much I was drinking by looking more like the Perfect version of Life, I am now more okay with being myself. And my FB friends, they are still my friends, but I (finally) get that what I am seeing are filtered realities. Of course they are. It just took me 10 years to consciously make myself aware of this fact any time I check in on the ol’ FB. (Sidenote: I’ve been away from FB for 5 weeks just because, and so far? So good.) Without my addiction making me feel like I have to look around at the world and feel like I don’t measure up, or that I have a dirty secret (which I did), I am now able to see more of the reality all around me. And all because I get to look around now. Before I was too taken up with worry because someone was going to find me out. But now? Now I have nothing to hide. I get to sit back and really see what’s going on.
Day 200, Whoa! Fun surprise! (I just looked it up on a sober counter and really had no idea.) ….. I was going to write: Not drinking the kool-aid anymore… Phew! ….. Edit: I already wrote that on an earlier post. I am so passe…
p.s. And compleeeeetely off-topic…. I loved the new Star Wars movie! Finally saw it over Christmas and laughed with pure delight soso many times.