This article is not meant to “pick” on Deborah Bradley. Her story has brought the problem of mother’s who drink to excess, with children in the home, out to the public. While she is used as an example in parts of this article, she is only one of many who have this problem.
Deborah Bradley admitted she “frequently drinks heavily at home”, but only after her children are safely in bed. She also said she takes anxiety medication and had taken a dose that day. While that would be questionable behavior, mixing alcohol and prescription drugs, the fact is that the son’s of Bradley and Irwin were awake while she was drinking. By her own admission, the boys were playing in the house with the 4 year old of Bradley’s drinking companion, thus showing she did drink while her children were awake.
This is very troublesome, especially as a mother with a young baby and two boys 6 & 8 years of age. The danger is real if you have the only adult in the home, drunk. While Deborah Bradley is used as an example, she is by no means, the only mother in the world to do this. Three children died in a fire, started by a cigarette discarded by their drunk mother when it ignited a fire. A drunken mother passed out and suffocated her 4 month old baby. Mothers driving drunk makes up a large part of the problem, mothers drinking in the home, also can cause the dealth of children. Any type of drinking to excess, when you have children with you, at some point will cause a major problem. Too many events can occur when a person is drunk, even more so when they are in a blackout. Blackouts are referenced later in this article.
Many people deny they have a problem. Anyone who drinks heavily, frequently, has a problem. Being a recovering alcoholic for 20 years, I remember it never occurring to me that I had a problem. I would hide a bourbon and coke behind the toaster, so my husband would not see it, before he went to work. This was 6:30 in the morning! I could not imagine anyone who did not drink, having any fun. When I look back at my unsuccessful life as an alcoholic, the kind of fun I had, I can live without.
Depression, relaxation, peer pressure, and other issues, can lead a person to become an alcoholic. It relaxes, takes away inhibitions, makes you that outgoing person you always wanted to be. Sadly, the people around you do not find it that attractive. When a person has had too many bad experiences with alcohol, may want to quit, but there seems no way out. Alcohol is addictive, that is why people have alcoholic withdrawl symptoms and can die from them. My husband was trying to quit, he had a gran mal seizure and died.
I have plenty of relatives who were alcoholics or drug addicts. Some alcoholics can point to this as why they became what they are. Personally, I think that is an unconscious excuse, to give yourself permission to drink. My daddy did it, so thats why I drink. I have known people who’s parent or parents were alcoholics, and they had no problem. They could take a few drinks and leave it alone. An alcoholic is not able to do that.
Gran mal seizures, liver damage, brain damage, and alcoholic blackouts are some of the issues a person can face if they keep drinking or attempt to stop drinking on their own. An alcoholic is usually pictured as a rundown homeless, man or woman, under a bridge with a bottle in a paper sack. That picture has been shot down by many people who are wealthy, celebrities, and politicians. Alcohol is a equal opportunity destroyer. There are many people who run companies, mothers who are good mothers, keep their homes spotless, attend all the soccer games, celebrities who make endless movies, make endless appearances, yet in each category, you will find an alcoholic. There have been many marriages break up because of alcohol. The wife will say, if you love me, you will stop. The husband, children, parents will say the same thing. Alcoholism has nothing to do with whether someone loves someone. It has to do with a need for that feeling, a need to combat the hangover from the night before. It becomes an alcoholic’s lover, best friend, the only thing that he needs. That is when alcohol turns into a certain death if the person does not get help. That is the point that there is no fight left in the alcoholic to stop. The alcohol is winning, and the person will have to hit rock bottom before they can see the light. Hopefully they hit bottom before it kills them. I look back and my house was filthy, I looked like crap and did not care, I was Ann Landers to any drunk who wanted to tell me their problems. The only person I did not like when I was drunk was me. The alcohol covers that up, you drink to keep those feelings of being worthless far away.
Alcoholics do not have to drink 24/7, its the first drink they take that day, and it will decide that they will be drunk that night. There is a love-hate relationship between the alcoholic and the alcohol. Many people hate that they cannot stop, but after the first drink, they love the way they feel, then the hangover, its back to hate again. Its a vicious circle that is not easy to break.
When you are drinking frequently, and by your own admission heavily, you have a problem. When you have children in the home, especially a baby, your problem becomes a time bomb, waiting to go off. When you are drinking like that, blackouts are quite possible. Having a blackout while in your home with children is criminal and could actually land you in jail, you just won’t remember why your there. I have had blackouts and you do not know you are in one. Your just as funny or depressed, your the life of the party or your sitting in a corner, a blackout is a regular drunk, except you have no clue of what you are doing. Your awake, dancing, walking, and talking. I have had people come up to me and talk about what a good time we had. hmmmm okay, I have no memory of it. Sometimes it will come back the next day, sometimes it may come back a little bit at a time. Deborah Bradley as much as admitted she was in a blackout when she said I don’t think alcohol can make a person do something like that. Without going into the case, she is saying, I don’t think instead of, no, alcohol could not make a person do anything like that.
If you or someone you love, wants to quit, see a doctor first. This is more than necessary, if you have been a heavy drinker. A doctor can help you with medication and other ways of stopping. If you try to stop on your own, it could lead to what happened to my husband. You need help, there is nothing to be ashamed of. The shame is in not stopping, today alcoholism is recognized as a disease. With that said, no one should ever rely on “alcoholism is a disease” to keep drinking. The word disease is a serious one, it is not chicken pox, measles or a cold. It is a killer waiting for you to have a seizure, waiting for you to be diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, or waiting for you to drive drunk one too many times.
If you thought like I did, that there was no way anyone can have fun without alcohol, its a lie. When you stop drinking, you have nothing to hide, no more sneaking drinks or trying to cover up the fact you have been drinking. It is like being let out of a bear trap. I cannot lie and say, I don’t ever think about drinking. On a hot day in Texas, when the temp is 105, a really cold beer sounds so good. But, I know if that one tastes that good, another would taste even better, and another and another. Even though beer was not my choice of drink, when your an alcoholic, recovering or not, alcoholic drinks are alcoholic drinks.
One last thought, many people will say, I am not an alcoholic, I only drink wine or beer. As I said, alcoholic drinks are alcoholic drinks. Whether you are drinking a glass of champagne or a can of beer, it does not make you unable to be an alcoholic. It is again, an equal opportunity destroyer.