Why Can't She Just Stop?

Recently I've been part of several 'how much is too much' drinking
conversations and having them brought back lots and lots of bad
memories.  Watching as women sat and made attempts to distance
themselves from what the outside looks obvious.  After one such
discussion a husband looked at me and asked if I had been the same
way.  Yes, was my answer.

It's a tight line I walk sometimes with discussing drinking too much.
What is drinking too much?  When is it too much?  Where does the line
cross from 'something we all did when we were young' to over the top?
When speaking I have to tell the truth - the answers to questions like
the ones asked above have to be answered by the person who is asking
them.  Unfortunately there are no easy answers and no rules.  If only
there were a list to check off - hungover more than 3 times a week?
Blacking out more than once a month?  Counting down the hours until
5:00 when it's 'acceptable' to have a cocktail?  If only.

I sat down and discussed that when I was drinking my mind was not
really my own - that once the line was crossed it became harder and
harder to see the progression of my drinking and its impact and that
at some point it was impossible.  The husband told me that his wife
was a good mother.  A good friend.  Of course she is I said.  I told
him that women feel so much guilt and remorse about their drinking
that just making a decision that having a problem is the easy part -
the hard part is what to do about it.

So many questions.
Can't she just stop?
Can't she see that she's hurting the children?
Can't she see that I miss her at night?

The best that I could do was to help him understand that the problem
didn't start yesterday.  That it had been there for a while - even if
it wasn't evident.  I talked about how for me it wasn't something that
just went way like a bad case of the flu.  That it takes  time and
that truly it's never really 'done'.  My husband suggested that he try
and find someone to talk with so that he would have somewhere to vent
and to get support for himself - that helping himself wasn't selfish -
it was necessary.  So many things to fit into an hour - an hour was
just the start.

Just Stop.  Just Stop.
How I remember thinking that .... for years.

I bet she is too.

xoxo, sober mommy