Growing up, it was very important in my family to be “normal.” People were described this way all the time. Normal was good. Anything else was not.
And alcohol was an important part of normal life. “Cocktail parties” were normal. So was a daily five o’clock scotch and water. There was always wine with dinner. Normal people drank. And normal people knew how to drink without drinking too much. Having a “problem with alcohol” was not normal.
As a kid, I drank milk out of a wine glass. Every night. And on special occasions, I was given actual wine. That started in middle school for sure, maybe earlier. I started drinking with friends in high school. I never got in any real trouble over it. I was a normal teenager. I drank in college. Also normal. After college, after marriage and kids. Yep. Normal, normal, normal.
Alcohol was a normal part of my entire life.
Until I realized it was making me miserable, maybe ruining my life. And now I see it for what it really is – an addictive and carcinogenic drug. And we sell it in grocery stores next to organic vegetables.
The other night, at dinner with friends, their daughter pulled out two small wine glasses and asked which she should choose. Then the mom opened a bottle of fancy grape juice – fake wine – and poured it for her. She is eight.
It’s hard to go against the grain. But is normal always good? I don’t think so.
Today I feel grateful for…
the knowledge that I can be amazing instead of normal.