How a Comment on Social Media Made me see Drinking Differently
The comment came on our Facebook page on a Sunday morning. I remember it well. It was the weekend my grandmother passed away and I was sitting on the couch with my second cup of coffee. That’s when I got a notification that there was a comment on a post I had just put on our Facebook page.
“You guys promote alcoholism and drinking.”
I had to rub my eyes to read it again and read the few other comments that were coming in from a woman online. All with the same message: You drink too much and it looks bad.
The comments were on a post about exhaustion. Buried deep in the blog post there was a photo of Sarah and I with wine and a line that urged people to bring home a bottle of wine for their tired partners.
Other than that, nothing about boozing it up.
I was mortified. I defended ourselves for weeks, saying, “we don’t actually drink that much.”
I felt like I needed to say it to everyone we met.
“Hey, I’m Apryl and I don’t drink a lot, despite what you may think.”
We were careful with photos or videos and I was so hypersensitive about it that I would avoid doing anything with a glass in my hand.
All this for a woman I had never met. Hell, a woman who wasn’t even a follower.
Why did it get to me?
Because I knew there was a bit of truth to what that woman wrote.
I did drink. I drank more than I should. I recognized that in 2018 and changed that about myself privately. But online, I still looked like I enjoyed a few glasses.
So when this woman called me out, I have to admit, there was a bit of truth to what she was writing, and like any woman, criticism hurts the most when it hits the nail on the head.
Last year, and the many years before that, I would enjoy many, many glasses of wine with friends and neighbours. I realized my tolerance for wine went from two glasses to nearly a whole bottle. At first, I thought it was great, but soon realized it wasn’t. It was getting out of hand.
I needed that glass of wine after work. During dinner. While watching TV. I didn’t think anything of it, I thought it was a stress reliever and I used it as such.
Most women feel that way, right? That was my excuse.
But a year before our friend called us out on Facebook, I had already come to the realization that what I was doing wasn’t good. I looked tired all the time. I WAS tired all the time. I overate because wine made me hungry.
I would skip workouts because I had a glass of wine with dinner and thought, well, I wouldn’t be able to run after that. Oh well!
The wine that I was using to make me feel better after a busy day was making me feel worse. It was kicking my ass.
That’s when I decided to cut back, in fact, take a massive step back from the wine.
I didn’t waste my time anymore with drinks or miss workouts. I didn’t look exhausted anymore. I felt great. I would have a drink socially with a friend or with my husband once in awhile, instead of nightly.
The best part was, I didn’t miss it.
So, when a person online tells me I am always drinking, I was angry. I was mad because she was right.
She pointed out an area that I had improved but hadn’t owned. I hadn’t admitted out loud it was a problem. It took me a bit to figure that out.
Months later, after a lot of processing, I’m glad she did point it out.
It sparked conversation in our community and forced me to look at the issue straight on. We as women do everything and a glass, or in my case, a bottle of wine, made us feel like we could unwind. It’s a crutch, and as we were told by a few other moms, it’s an unhealthy way of doing so.
We got DMs from people who said we had a responsibility to women who look to us to use our platform to educate about the dangers of “mom juice” and the dangers of glorifying day drinking.
It took a while, but I finally got it. Not everyone enjoyed this trend of moms drinking.
We as a gender have made it a fun part of our identity to have a glass of wine or make fun of day drinking or asking friends to come over for play dates so we can drink while the kids play. We’ve made light of it and made events and photos and our online personas all about wine and cocktails. For some, it’s fun, for others who may be struggling with addiction, it was not. For others who are looking to make better life choices, they couldn’t relate. I’m generalizing here, but if you look on Instagram, you’ll see lot of moms have hopped on the bandwagon, glass in hand.
So, here’s the gist of this blog post. Wine with friends is fun but drinking to excess is not. When someone you don’t know tells you it looks like you’re promoting drinking, listen. They’re probably telling you something you already know.
Believe me, I preach that I don’t care what people think about me, but I care deeply about our position that we’ve been told we have: as women who inspire other women.
For me, I found better ways to unwind that make me feel better and look better too. I think this version of myself is much better than the one that said bottoms up every night.
I owe that to a woman I’ve never met who called me out on my crap.