My mother hates drinking.
She has this idea that someone who drinks = an alcoholic. Her mental math also thinks that having a drink or two = drunk.
Uh, that’s not how it works. A person can be under the legal limit and still have had three or four drinks, depending on body weight, size, their health, and tolerance. How long it takes for the alcohol to be consumed is highly important to the equation as well. The type of alcohol being consumed also matters. Some people react differently to beer than, say, vodka. Others can’t mix and match.
I’ll use myself as an example. It drives some of my friends crazy that I can switch from a beer to straight shots to a beer to mixed drink back to beer with no issues. That’s just how my body handles it. Tequila however, makes my heart race. Literally. One margarita and my heart’s going to the races. It doesn’t stop me from drinking tequila but I watch my limitations in case the racing heart takes a turn. Likewise, I can drink three beers in two hours and still be under the legal limit. That’s just me though. My father can drink three or four beers and be wasted. He’s an angry drunk when he drinks vodka (my drink of choice) but he’s a champ at tequila (his drink of choice). It all depends.
She KNOWS this. She’s a medical professional. But her history with alcoholics (our family’s infested with them) gives her this prejudice that having a drink -> being drunk (and will always drink with the intention of being drunk -> being an alcoholic.
It just upsets me because I know she judges my brother and I (and all of our friends) by the fact that we drink. Today, for example, my brother and his friend has two beers at a bar. Maybe three but over the course of four hours. Not only are they not drunk, they’re not even buzzed. They’re reasonable, rational, and able to move and speak with no issues. My mother immediately assumed that because my brother’s friend was tired and went to crash for a few hours on the couch that he’s drunk. No Mum, he’s just tired. He likely worked late last night. Maybe he didn’t sleep at all. Maybe he worked this morning. Neither of us have a clue at what time he met up with my brother but it was likely around ten or eleven. There’s a hundred different scenarios that could make someone tired, including just the type of alcohol he was drinking. That doesn’t make him drunk.
I really don’t know why I’m rambling but it annoys me to see people so harsh on folks who drink casually, socially, or even on a daily basis. There’s a difference between drinking and alcoholism. Conflating the two is a huge issue because many alcoholics don’t get the treatment they need because of the “all drinkers are alcoholics” ideal.
As I said, I understand where she’s coming from. Her background and history with alcoholism is a huge issue for her. She hates drunks and she’s terrified that if she drinks she’ll become one. I understand that, I really do. But, demonizing everyone who drinks isn’t helping anyone at all.