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Tag Archives: women

It’s All Fun and Games: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Hi friends. I almost hate writing this post, but I really can’t seem to help myself, so…let me begin by properly introducing myself:

Hi, I’m Bobbi, and I’m a complete and total buzzkill.

Wait – whaaa’?

That’s right. I’m a buzzkill – Bobbi Bummer Buzzkill, at your service. It seems that since I’ve become a “person in long-term recovery” (i.e. bboorrr-iiinnng), I’ve noticed with a combination of amusement and horror the ridiculous lengths to which we find new and dumber ways to perpetuate the drinking myth – that alcohol will take care of just about everything, and therefore should be in just about everything – in our culture. Which I then feel compelled to share with all of you.

I’m sure some of you may be thinking, “So what? Why do this?” To which I can only say, you’re right – who the hell do I think I am, coming down on people who can have their fun without me poo-pooing this and tsk-tsking that like I’m some kind of pseudo-In- Long-Term Recovery-Church Lady?

Well, for the record, I can ignore people and their drinking quite easily – do it all the time, actually, and hardly ever think much about it. People drink and have a good time, people get drunk and do fun/silly/stupid shit, people get drunk and kill themselves, people get drunk and kill other people –  it’s all just another day in the life in America.

But lately (OK, yesterday), throughout my time online I was peppered with several of these fun-coded messages of Ain’t This Great-ness, all involving alcohol, geared mostly toward women, all…day…long. At first I just went with the flow, but by the end of it my “Oh, dear god, you have GOT to be kidding me” meter had reached the saturation point, and now, well, I have to say something.

First was this cute, funny, very timely “IMomSoHard” video about what women of a certain age with an average body type/figure have to deal with come swimsuit season, and just how utterly ridiculous it can be. Allow me to say this: I really like it! I get a real kick out of these ladies and love where they’re coming from, ‘cuz, um, I can totally relate – and I’m not even a Mommy!

So I hate to complain, you know? I wonder, what would this video have looked like without the wine, though? I’m sure it would’ve been just as funny and just as good. It only makes a somewhat subtle appearance, like it’s just the perfect conversation piece to accompany the subject matter at hand – women having to put up with the outrageous expectations of what being a woman is in this day and age – and no doubt a prop to signify it’s just a part of the fun.

OK, I get that. Mommys gotta have their wine, fine, whatever.

But…were those mini bottles of booze I saw sitting on the red chair in the background during their posing sesh? Like, maybe this video was brought to us by Bacardi? No, no, it’s probably just those little sample bottles of perfume. Or mouthwash. Or something.

Then a little later on in the day I came across this Cosmopolitan Magazine post on Hip Sobriety’s Facebook page, and then the meter started really registering in little fits. The old-fashioned flask aside, this business of sneaking fermented beverages in somewhere with you on your person in such a manner isn’t really anything new, believe it or not. “The Beer Belly” and “The Wine Rack” came into vogue years ago, and as you can see on their pages they retail right along with several other such handy little items on Amazon.

How convenient! What hilarity! I mean, it’s only wine, fer chrissakes, not, like, vodka or something. I’m sure that Cosmo girl doesn’t have a problem or anything.

And I used to think that was a pretty ingenious idea, actually – but even when I was still drinking you couldn’t have paid me enough to try doing such a thing, at work or any place else. (Wait, does this mean I’ve always been Bbooorrr-iiinnng™?) Now it just seems desperate, cheap, and really, not all that funny.

Hip Sobriety’s eloquent words on the subject (Note: the post comes up but then directly links to Cosmo’s video – just X out of the video page and you should be able to read it) reminded me of – and stated much more effectively than I can – the reasons why this shit bothers me, so I’m most happy to see I’m not alone.

And last, but certainly not least, I came across the final insult of the day (on a website called “Thrillist”): Yes, Virginia, we have rum raisin ice cream – hold the raisin…

To which I can only ask, “Why is this needed?” To which I can only hear so many fun, urbane, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, young(-)ish ladies answering, “Why not? God, stop being such a stick in the mud!”

Oh, right, that. Sorry…


P.S. For those of you wondering about, and still waiting for, Part 2 of my series “On Belief”, I’m still working on it, and will be publishing it in short order. Honest! 🙂





Keeper of the Month – January

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

Strength Grows


 This month’s Keeper is contributed by a wise and wonderful long time LifeRing e-mail list member with over a dozen years of sobriety talking about what she does to keep herself on an even keel, while navigating a busy and sometimes stressful but rewarding life, during a discussion about avoiding relapse:

…the relapse talk is really useful to me. I think as we stay sober for longer we need another kind of maintenance perhaps, or maybe just to keep up the maintenance ?

I’m sober longer than I ever considered starting out. My life has changed so much. I’ve grown and become more competent, more brave, and in many ways more true to myself. I mean, I feel defeated by Ph.D rejections! But I always thought I would never even be capable or want to attempt it because I would then have to teach. Something I considered so terrifyingly beyond me, and I’m teaching and loving it. I forget sometimes to consider these kinds of things.

I move in new circles and I do often feel like a strong cool sober woman but also sometimes like a weird marginalized wanna be. Sometimes I embrace that and think it’s ok to not really fit in and other times I suffer.

If I don’t remember my drinking history and how terrible everything could get – I may start thinking I’m the kind of cool sober woman who can drink sometimes to take the pressure off, to fit in, to celebrate like those around me, or to hide away in my old hole of fear and pain.

It’s actually hard to navigate. I can do so much more now, but I am still a person who feels stress in ways that can really damage me and over things that surprise some people. On the other hand, I can live with some variations of chaos and pressure that others regard as impossible. I think because I remember how crazy it and I used to be.

It’s hard to be strong and fragile at the same time. But I think it’s often the case for people in recovery, and also it seems many tend to take on too much at once when we find we gain strength. I have done it so many times! But I have also done very little at times. It’s hard to balance too little and too much and I find I manage it better when I’m in touch with sober support. It helps me keep perspective – or at least get it back when I lose it.  😕

Shit this is a ramble – I’m really worn out. I had exams this week and yesterday and today I’ve been feeling really tired but my head was spinning and I felt a little manic in my thoughts. Intense and speedy and exhausted. I got some time alone this evening and turned to Netflix – I feel like its safe to meet the world tomorrow. 🙂


AA vs moderation — false dilemma rears its head again

NY Times image

And unfortunately, it rears its ugly head in a New York Times op-ed, and even worse, it’s one of those New York Times op-eds written by an author who’s got a new book to plug.

Gabrielle Glaser thinks that she is saving many a woman with some degree of a drinking problem from the moralizing of AA. She gets right that, as well as noting that AA is male-focused, unscientific, and still largely rooted in the days of its founding.

She also gets right this:

Women increasingly need help, as their drinking has escalated. Women are being stopped more for drunken driving than they were two decades ago. They’re also the biggest consumers of wine, buying the larger share of the 856 million gallons sold in the United States in 2012. These women are drinking partly because alcohol is a socially respectable way to slog through the smartphone-tethered universe of managing demanding careers, aging parents, kids’ activities and relationships at once. And while it’s not healthy to pour yourself a third or fourth glass every night, it doesn’t mean you’re powerless to do anything about it.

But, she then says the alternative to this:

(T)he A.A. program offers a single path to recovery: abstinence, surrendering one’s ego and accepting one’s “powerlessness” over alcohol.

Can, and should, (often) be moderated drinking.

I put the “often” in parentheses because she does, at her website, albeit on a hyperlink whose linkage is broken, or was for me, abstinence-only alternatives to AA. Besides us, and the others, I was simply flabbergasted that, because her column was about drinking problems particular to women, she wouldn’t even mention Women for Sobriety in the column.

She then goes on to specifically tout Moderation Management, without noting, besides just founder Audrey Kishline, its own problematic history, lack of verifiable information, etc. This is a sad case of wanting to have one’s cake and eat it, too.

Next is this:

This approach isn’t for severely dependent drinkers, for whom abstinence might be best.

“Might”? Try “is.” Period.

Unfortunately, she got curt with me when I pointed out some of the above issues in an email. I have made multiple comments on the Times op-ed, my original ones being about the book itself, then responding to a couple of diehard AAers trotting out the classical “no true Scotsman” stance in saying Glaser wasn’t critiquing true AA, etc.

Her book is getting a number of unfavorable ratings on Amazon from people who are NOT diehard AAers, for a variety of reasons, so a few people are looking at the devils in the details.