There are many reasons I never sought treatment for my excessive drinking. But basically, it comes down to one thing: I never saw myself as an alcoholic. I didn’t fit the profile or my image of what an alcoholic looks like. Below are ten common myths about alcoholics that helped me justify my continual drinking:
He/she doesn’t look like an alcoholic.
I was healthy, or at least looked healthy. I worked out. I wore clean clothes. I didn’t look like an alcoholic.
He/she only drinks wine/beer.
I only drank beer. I never drank hard liquor. Thus, I was not an alcoholic.
He’s not a bum.
I had a job and a few bucks in the bank. Alcoholics don’t have jobs.
He only drinks at night.
I never drank before noon – unless I was on vacation, in an airport, or at a ballgame. Generally speaking, I only drank at night (after 5:00 p.m.).
He’s not always drunk.
Because I didn’t drink all the time, I wasn’t always drunk. I might be buzzed, but I wasn’t falling down all the time.
He has a job and a house.
I had an apartment, paid my rent, and kept a job. Alcoholics don’t do that.
Women can’t be alcoholics.
Well, I’m a woman. Women simply aren’t alcoholics. Period.
He’s too young.
Alcoholics, in my experience, were in their 50’s at least. Anyone who drank a lot and was under the age of 30 was simply partying.
I’ve never seen him drink.
Most people never saw me drink, except socially. No one knew about the cases of Budweiser in the closet.
He comes from a nice family.
Well, I did come from a middle-class, white family. So I guess I fit that one, too.
Basically, I didn’t fit the mold in my book, so I never thought I had an issue. Looking back on it now, I know I was wrong.