What a nightmare. You’re the only one not drinking on a night out. While all about you are enjoying a cold pint, a cool glass of wine, or a wham-bam whiskey shot on a summer’s night in Wigan, Warrington, Wrexham or West Kilbride, you’re stood at the bar sipping a Coke. Or you’re clutching a J2O, mumbling something about “driving”, “an early start in the morning”, or being “on medication”.
But it’s all falling on deaf ears. You’re feeling as welcome as Big Ron Atkinson at the Notting Hill Carnival! The temptation to cave in and order something stronger is understandably massive. By ordering ‘a real drink’ – a single pint, or even a half – the problem would instantly disappear, wouldn’t it.
And there’d be no more comments like this:
- “Why don’t you have a proper drink?”
- “Can’t you handle your ale, then, mate?”
- “Don’t be a wimp.”
- “You see, I KNEW you were pregnant!”
- “If you’re not going to drink, then you’re not one of us.” – a wounding, potentially devastating statement that can make you feel as unwanted as a carpet fitter’s ladder.
So, apart from breaking, what on earth to do in a pressured situation like that?
The obvious answer is to simply grab your coat and head for home – back to where the heart is. But what if home is where the booze is? What if it is an enabler who awaits you there? Aargh!
If you’re a reformed alcoholic, or you’re trying desperately to stop drinking or to significantly reduce your alcohol consumption level overall, cohabitating with someone who drinks heavily can make tackling your problem nigh on impossible.
But enablers can also be non-drinkers who still help you to continue abusing alcohol! How? By making it easy for you to live with them “while you sort yourself out”. They provide food, shelter, warmth, companionship… They take the pressure right off you by covering the utility bills and other household expenses “while you try to turn your life around.”
Of course, your enabler’s actions are invariably well meant, but they are actually allowing you to avoid your responsibilities in life – by doing all the things you are unable to do for yourself (but should be doing) because of your addiction. “What a result!” you might think. “Whatever I do, and however many times I mess up, my enabler will always be there to save the day, to sort everything out!”