DRINKING DIARIES is a forum for women to share, vent, express, and discuss their drinking stories without judgment. Whether you drink or not, are the child of an alcoholic or the mother of a future drinker, sip wine on occasion or binge drink for sport—we want to hear your story.
Whether we are drinking it or not, alcohol remains a potent part of our lives. Our culture is saturated with it, steeped in it. Drinking is one of those hot-button topics. Ask anyone you know to scratch the surface and she will find a drinking story. Maybe it’s the night she got smashed and so belligerent she spat in the bartender’s face. Or the time her alcoholic mother poured wine into a Sprite bottle so she could ride an Amtrak train, her self-medicating uninterrupted. It may be that her teenage daughter’s scar—from the time her beer-drinking boyfriend crashed the car—is healing, while hers is not. That the deepest philosophical question the stressed-out mom ponders is: “How big the glass?” Or the eyebrow-raising looks she gets when she mentions she doesn’t touch the stuff.
We drink for different reasons: to quench thirst, to loosen up or get drunk, because it tastes good, to enhance a meal, because we’re addicted, as part of a ceremony, to celebrate, to mourn. We drink when we’re happy. We drink when we’re sad. And then there are the non-drinkers, for whom abstaining may be as much of an issue as drinking.
For the two of us, alcohol is a loaded topic.
Leah: For my first grade school photo, my alcoholic mother put my sailor dress on inside out. My mother stopped drinking when I was nine years old, but by the time I hit fourteen, my older sister was sent to rehab. I spent half my adolescence at self-help meetings, and although I would rather have been hanging out with my friends, I found the personal narratives of fall and redemption riveting. From high school to college student, writer to stay-at-home mom, I have run the gamut from abstainer to binge drinker.
Caren: I grew up in a home where wine was always around. My European parents drank every night with dinner, and my mother–a French, hidden-child survivor of the Holocaust–often bragged about how she’d corrupted her American friends with the joys of a late afternoon glass of wine. But later in life, my mother’s wartime demons came back to haunt her and her social drinking morphed into need. Since then, I—a lover of wine in moderation—have been wrestling with what drinking means to me.
We want to reach out to women, like us, for whom alcohol—for whatever reason—is also a loaded topic. And so, we started THE DRINKING DIARIES…
Please check back on MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS and FRIDAYS for the latest round of new posts, questions and interviews!