Women drinking at party

The Disney-fication of Drunk

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This past week, from the bully pulpit of social media, the Today Show and Fox News helped this image of American moms welcoming the new school year, XL wine glasses joyfully raised in a toast to “me-time” go viral.

It has become the feel-good image of the new school year.

If you read the Today Show article carefully, rather than simply reacting to the photo, saying “GO GIRL! ” and scrolling on, the Disney-fication of drunk that’s created by this image is even more apparent.

“It was pretty spontaneous,” said Genua, who has three children. “We were trying to think of something fun.”

They grabbed chairs, glasses and a two-liter bottle of sparkling fruit punch. And since they took the photo before the first day of school, their kids watched them.

“People thought we were drinking. But we only do that when the kids are at school,” Kelly, 49, a mom to one child, told TODAY Parents.

Since the photos have gotten so much notice, the moms are getting praise from unlikely people: their kids.

“It went viral, I was shocked,” Emma, 14, Patterson’s daughter, told TODAY Parents.

I am not judging the behavior of these moms. I am a mom and I know that me-time is absolutely vital to my sanity. As is time with my best friend and time with my husband alone. I am all for the empowerment of me as a woman and me as a person, not just me as a mom.

But

What the mainstream media frenzy of celebrating these Facebook posts has done is to say it is COOL to drink wine in the morning, it is COOL to joke about hiding it from your kids. And that makes my heart break, because that behavior, that drinking during the day, that hiding it from the people who you are closest to, that behavior is the behavior that is killing off women younger and younger of alcohol-related diseases. Because that is what alcohol does if you are not careful with it and those XL wine glasses and Rosè all day promotions and the Mommy’s Time Out/Mommy Juice culture is NOT serving women it is serving a bloated alcohol industry that THRIVES on addiction.

It is serious. It is not funny. It is not cute. It is not about empowerment but rather about the cultural bullying of women by women who do not mean to bully but to share support.

That sounds terribly dramatic but sadly it is true. It’s true not just in the United States but in English speaking countries around the world.

USA Today Published 4:09 PM EST Nov 19, 2018 USA Today

Alcohol is killing more people, and younger. The biggest increases are among women

The Irish Times Sun, Aug 18, 2019 The Irish Times

‘Sharp rise’ in number of women dying from alcohol related illness

The Metro UK Published December 4, 2018

Record numbers of women dying from alcohol, says report

I was watching the news with my 19 year-old daughter yesterday and we were surprised to hear that 4 of the top 5 movies of 2019 are Disney. That is almost a monopoly on the market but it makes a lot of sense. Fantasy sells in troubled times. Nothing makes us feel as good as Disney.

Unless of course, it’s the bright and sunny, information – news and views of the early morning network talk shows. Especially the Today show and Fox. Nothing says bright and sunny new day in America like the Today Show and Fox News smiles.

If you are popping the cork at 10 am with Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show and you are not finding yourself trapped in a battle with the bottle then go about your business and enjoy your day.

But

If you are finding that your Me-time has been drowned in a wash-rinse-repeat cycle of drinking more than you intended, and then finding that day after day, you feel the need to drink, then please come talk to us.

This article will not go viral. But that’s ok. If it reaches one person who needs help figuring out how to stop drinking when the world around them is awash in Happy-Zappy-Feelgood-Viral Disney-fication of Drunk Memes then I am more than happy that I took the time to write it.

And speaking of Disney the second half of the article from the Today show on the happy wine moms tells a story of another mom who celebrates her “free-time” in a really fun, creative way – by going alone to Disney on the first day of school. Just for fun-without the kids in tow.

Now that is brilliant, creative, Me time! In my fourth sober year, I will tell you that the greatest thing about never being drunk, never being hungover, never feeling the NEED to drink anymore, is the absolute childlike wonder I feel at the world around me. It is something that you cannot buy in a bottle. Sobriety has given me everything that alcohol promised.

If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.

Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much.

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