Alcohol is Not Normal

I grew up in a family with a lot of alcohol. A lot. My mother was and is an alcoholic, though to single her out as the only alcoholic is in fact the very first step in society’s clever and insidious avoidance of the whole picture.

An addict is defined as someone who is “…dependent on a substance and has formed a physical and/or psychological habit around that substance…

Which also exactly describes my father’s relationship with alcohol and all of his friends. Because they all ‘needed’ to drink pretty much every single day. And all did. They were all “…dependent on a substance and had formed a physical and/or psychological habit around that substance….”

But they would never consider themselves alcoholic and nor would the zillions of people who all religiously go the pub every evening and/or have a glass of scotch before going to bed. I don’t want to get into a big discussion about what is and isn’t an alcoholic – that is a debate that has enabled millions to live in denial for years.

Its acceptance as normal is what is important in what I am saying.

My mother was not a raging, angry, dysfunctional alcoholic. Quite the opposite. She (almost all of the time) held it together expertly, running our extremely busy and full lives with amazing dexterity and skill. She kept the ship afloat and kept it on some kind of course.

So nobody was doing or saying anything about it. Society accepts alcohol. So, for my parents and their friends, their consumption and my mother’s consumption was normal.

If you are used to listening to music with the volume at 9, you would never notice if someone else is listening to it at 11. That is how it is. That is what society’s acceptance allows.

But I can now see how deeply damaging this all was. In two ways.

Firstly, the alcoholism itself. Secondly the way she, my father, and my life were held together. The first of these two feels like it has been well documented by many, so I’m less focussed on that.

“Holding it together” is what is relevant.

It may seem weird, but in a way, that is the absolute worst thing for a child growing up, because it makes it all seem normal – as if this is how it is meant to be. And this is exactly what society’s acceptance of alcohol supports.

In amongst that ocean of booze was me – a child – growing up…. looking around, learning, seeing, feeling, watching, evolving.

No matter that I may have instinctively known that this was wrong and felt that it wasn’t true…. in my case, that didn’t last long. It can’t. If it is everywhere, you just assume that it is life. It was my world, my normal. So I believed it, I took it on as my truth. That’s what kids do – their world ends up as only what they see. That is the extent of their boundaries, of their experience, of their influences.

So, for me, it was normal to have cold, functional, disconnected relationships.

  • Normal to look at someone you love and to feel distant and utterly alone.
  • Normal not to trust someone enough to cry with them.
  • Normal for a hug to feel empty.
  • Normal for a goodnight kiss to feel perfunctory.
  • Normal to feel lost.
  • Normal to think that this somber cloak of denial and subterfuge enveloped every family.
  • Normal to have no actual experience or example of true love as a marker in my life…. the list is long.

Now it would be erroneous to land all of the above at the door of alcohol. Indeed alcohol is never the root of the problem. And in my family there were certainly many, many deeper issues at play.

But even as only a percentage of the full picture, it is still powerfully affecting, and what is so damaging about alcohol is that because everyone considers it normal, then the child grows up believing that it is normal. And in my case it was all SO normal. I can’t over-stress the effect of this. As I have said, Mum was coping with our lives, the ship was afloat (sort of!), the days were working, my parents’ friends were all around us, all seeming to be having a grand time (and, in their minds, they were),all doing exactly the same and all further embedding the ‘normal’ of it. There was nothing to cause any alarm bells to ring. Nothing to make me think that this wasn’t exactly how it should be. Nothing to make me question it. Nothing that didn’t cement it all deeper and deeper into my consciousness.

I had absolutely no notion that there could be another way.

But inside I was craving for true love, craving for true intimacy, craving to be met, to be heard, to be understood, to be respected and valued, craving for this fog to lift and to be able to connect with another human being as an equal.

Again, I reiterate that nothing extreme was going on. I wasn’t being physically abused or anything dramatic like that. On the surface I had it all. Parents, lovely home, friends, toys, holidays etc…..

But the more normal and happy it looks on the outside, the more confused and messed up the kid is on the inside. Because I knew, but nothing was telling me I was right.

And thus I gave up. I started coping. Putting on mask after mask, layers and layers of protection. I became an expert at life. At doing. At surviving. At coping.

I lost trust in myself. I had to. Because everything that I was seeing was contradicting my feelings, thus my feelings must be wrong. Thus I stopped feeling.

It’s obvious. It’s science. It’s evolution.

It is only in the past few years that I am really beginning to see the depth to which this has been embedded in me and the expansive damage that it has done to my trust in myself and in humanity. To my ability to accept love, intimacy and the truth.

BUT…

I do know love and intimacy. And I do know the truth. I always have.

However, it wasn’t until I came across Universal Medicine and its teachings…. it wasn’t until I came across human beings like Serge Benhayon and his children Simone Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon, Michael Benhayon and Curtis Benhayon…. it wasn’t until I came across the numerous other people that I have met through Universal Medicine…. that I began to see that I was in fact, and always have been, right. That my life wasn’t normal. That there is another way.

I have made enormous and amazing and fantastically courageous steps away from my old normal and am now discovering the deep wells of love and tenderness and intimacy that reside in me, that are me, and that reside in all of humanity. It is glorious and wondrous and joyous…. and, at times, hard – as I discover another layer of protection or hurt.

But I now clearly see that any of those hurts are just a product of my life that I have described above so it is so much simpler to discard, so much simpler to say NO to and so much simpler to see as NOT NORMAL. Because I now know that it IS NOT NORMAL.

All over this world there are zillions of kids who are living amongst alcohol consumption, KNOWING that the life it is making them live, is wrong. KNOWING that it isn’t right. But, because life isn’t confirming that knowing, in fact because life is actively telling them they are wrong, they abandon themselves and enjoin.

I know because that is EXACTLY what I did.

That is the true evil of alcohol. It’s acceptance by society is what allows it. And this is what imprisons so many.

I now know that it is not normal. And that the little child who knew that something was wrong, was in fact, right, all along.

A postscript:It was totally normal for my mother and father to live like this, to bring up their children like this. They had no idea there was another way – they had been brought up in exactly the same way. All their friends were the same. It was everywhere. It was their world. Like me, they had no way of knowing any different, so I have zero blame for them. I have total understanding of their choices. And I have a deep and true love for them.As it is all of society’s normal, it was also their normal.

By Anonymous

Inspired from a comment in response to: The Abuse of Alcohol – The True Harm

964 thoughts on “Alcohol is Not Normal

  1. My parents did not drink. In fact my father tried it once, didn’t like the taste and never touched it again. Alcohol became part of my life through sport where at my local cricket club the youngsters were given shandies for 10p which I later discovered were made from the ‘slops’ that were drawn off the pipes when the bar was opened. I stopped drinking about ten years ago. Alcohol had lost its allure for me as I made more self-loving choices – and observed someone very close to me destroyed by an addiction to it. When you are in the habit of drinking it does seem normal and easy to justify – but then why would we need to justify it if it were truly good for us and for our wellbeing? Surely the desire to drink is fuelled by a deeper need within us all and this is what we must address. A drink may give us temporary relief but it clearly does not heal anything in truth.

  2. The word normal seems to be such a movable feast I wonder if we need to consider life in terms of what feels true to us rather than what is considered normal. So many people take drugs these days and have tattoos, we could say this is normal behaviour – but is it true, and is it self loving? Not for me, no way. What is the basis of what we consider normal – just the fact that a ‘critical mass’ of human beings are doing it? For me we must return to our innate and common sense for our reference point and not a rather arbitrary survey of human behaviour. If we do the latter we could consider war as normal, or abuse for they are common behaviours across humanity. We need to reconsider our reference point here.

  3. This is such a great point, Anonymous, about not noticing volume level eleven when everything is already a deafening level nine. We are so de-sensitised and numb to the harshness and lovelessness with which we treat ourselves and each other, that we do not register the harm we are perpetuating as the norm.

  4. I have noticed this to be the case with so many things in life one in particular springs to mind and that is the normalisation of dairy and gluten. When I was growing up I always wondered for instance why do humans drink another animals milk to the point where it forms the basic staple in our diets and is recommended from young to drink everyday. It makes no logical sense as we were certainly not designed that way. Normalisation in this way is the normalisation of a pure lie.

  5. When I read this – If it is everywhere, you just assume that it is life. It was my world, my normal. So I believed it, I took it on as my truth. That’s what kids do – their world ends up as only what they see.” – I saw the trick so clearly.

    As adults, we often talk about where does it go wrong where children lose their playfulness, innocence, energy, joy etc…and some of that is looking at us! You show that so clearly with alcohol, many children see it as a part of everyday life – a coping mechanism to get you through. I can feel the call for us for a much deeper responsibility in life to reflect another way for our young children.

  6. It is the lovelessness that we in general have accepted as normal, a lovelessness that comes when the soul is being excluded from our lives. This is what leads to the substance abuse and children feeling lost.

  7. I think we could say that there are many addictions that we normalise or generally accept in society as long as someone is seemingly ‘functioning’ ok – that they are turning up for work, getting things done, holding relationships/ families together, achieving things… But in this we are negating the actual energetic quality of life, the part we don’t necessarily see but do all feel, whether we acknowledge it or not…

  8. Yes is having a glass of wine every weekend with dinner not also a dependency on alcohol? What would happen if we could not have that glass (or two) of wine? So many things are seen as normal because everyone is doing it, but are they really? There really is a big force that comes through when many are doing something that is not true, it can seem like it is true because everyone is doing it. Yet truth is truth and not defined by how many people are saying/doing it. A really great blog to read, thank you anonymous.

  9. ‘Its acceptance as normal is what is important in what I am saying’ – Accepting what society told me was normal really messed with the way I have been in the world, it added many layers of illusion and lies which clouded my connection to what was true. But the truth is always there and when the space is allowed and the choice to re-connect to our own breath, to breathe our own breath then re-connecting becomes easier and allowing what is not true is no longer a possibility. The numbers of people choosing to live in disregard or choosing to make alcohol a way of life does not make it normal and never will. Once the truth of who we are is re-connected to, there is no other way to be.

  10. Questioning alcohol and what it brings is never personal, but seeing the truth. But it is defended very strongly when it is brought up and turned into something that is seen as personal. It’s a very sad state of affairs when we defend our usage of alcohol and yet allow relationships and people slip away. That alone convey’s the evil of this substance. It’s ok if everyone is drinking, but throwing a few non drinkers in the mix and then those who say no drinking in my house, then watch the defenders rise. People do have the right to make their own choices in how they live, but we also have the equal right to be able to call out the truth of something.

    1. I find people start explaining their alcohol intake to me when they find out I don’t drink. Its as if they feel judged and I’ve noticed they do get defensive.

  11. Anonymous you bring up some great points here, especially how alcohol is accepted as being perfectly normal, when we use alcohol to numb ourselves, it should be ringing alarm bells within ourselves, because the alcohol masks what is truly being felt, and by numbing the feeling we are not dealing with what needs to be dealt with.

  12. It’s a great point you make about giving up our inner knowing (especially as children) because everyone is living a life that though feels so very wrong because of the loveless choices, is considered normal because of the amount of people participating in the same behaviours.

  13. The normalcy of alcohol is the starting point for a long road of pain, misery, illness, abuse and violence. Time to say it how it is – alcohol is a poison that is at the root cause of many of our societal issues.

  14. In a deep sense, we are all addicts. We are addicts of avoiding to feel energy passing through our body. This is our main addiction. What we add on top of it is another choice and not everyone adds the same. Yet, we all know how to play ourselves, to alter us in one way or another (at the levels of particles, chemically, etc). This is important to be acknowledged.

  15. It really highlights how we live sets the boundaries of what others will then follow. We don’t really live in bubbles, our choices do have an impact or inspiration on others.

  16. Great blog Anonymous. There are many things that are not normal that children grow up with. Television, sugar, drugs, alcohol, even our education system is far from normal. When I felt sad and empty as a child I assumed something was wrong with me. Now I know that there is nothing wrong with me. I have been in reaction to the lies I’ve been sold about normal.

  17. When something has been accepted and practiced as normal for so long by the majority, it can be very hard for our logical mind to question its stand and rightfulness, but our body does know. It has always known the truth. It is our choice and very often we don’t even know we are making one. Now that I do know there is a choice to be made, it now is my responsibility.

  18. “Society accepts alcohol.” This is so very true and there is so much hypocrisy that comes with alcohol and peoples views of it. I was talking with someone I know recently, whereby they were at birthday function for her uncle, who is and has been an alcoholic for a large part of his life. His grown children have had to contend with his alcoholism for a lot of their life, so at times not very kind or forgiving of his behaviours, rightly so when hearing of what those behaviours are. However, my friend was expressing how hypocritical it was for these 2 grown adults to arrive at the birthday heavily hung over from the night before. Yet they were always so critical of their father. Alcohol divides and it doesn’t matter for what reason it people use it for, its use can be manipulated to be drunk for very individual and selfish reasons.

  19. We use alcohol to “get out of it”, that is avoid responsibility. It all come down to not wanting to be responsible for the divine beings that we are.

  20. We have come to accept things like drinking alcohol as normal, but don’t look at the reasons behind why we need to drink in the first place.

  21. Society has normalised alcohol, it is accepted and considered to be part of everyday life, and this is the reflection children get as they are growing up if their family is part of the normalisation. I wonder what it will take for society to wake up to the fact that alcohol is a poison, that it is making many people sick, it is the reason for a huge amount of abuse, especially family violence and that there is nothing about it that benefits our bodies in any way? All the evidence is there pointing to the fact that “alcohol is not normal, but it appears that despite the truth being right in front of us society finds a way to justify the continued drinking of this poisonous substance.

  22. Anonymous thank you so much for writing this blog because it has helped me fit another piece of jigsaw to the puzzle of my childhood.
    You say
    “I lost trust in myself. I had to. Because everything that I was seeing was contradicting my feelings, thus my feelings must be wrong. Thus I stopped feeling.”
    I had a similar experience growing up, I knew there was something that didn’t feel right within the family, but as you say nothing was supporting me to feel the way I did. So I assumed it must be me that was wrong and doubted myself. I lost trust in what I was feeling and so started to withdraw from life little by little and like you I became an expert at surviving and all the time my body was screaming at me that something wasn’t right.
    From the age of 20 my lower back was incredibly sore, which was my body telling me that I was carry a great deal of sadness and there was no support in my life and that was true. It is only since finding Serge Benhayon and having sessions with Universal Medicine practitioners that I am rebuilding trust within me. That I do know exactly what is going on in life and that as ugly as it currently is, I don’t have to participate in it but live with integrity, decency and respect for myself and all others and reflect to everyone I meet that there is a different way to live.

  23. Love it and the ‘norms’ of life are challenged again. This article highlights what is going on for most of us, well I relate closely to it. What happens when something before your eyes consistently shows you that what you are seeing isn’t true even though there is an internal dialogue saying something is up? You break down and eventually join what you see and abandon what you are feeling. Then as you go on the feeling keeps coming back but you eyes are being fooled and so you look elsewhere for answers only to come back full circle and see that the ‘internal dialogue’ was the answer you were looking for all along.

  24. Addictions in one form or another are rampant in our society, and most of them help numb us from feeling what is truly happening in our bodies, and so avoid being responsible.

  25. When we have a knowing that comes from deep inside as children and it butts up against what society calls ‘normal life’ but every fiber in our bodies are saying this is untrue. It causes a huge disquiet in our bodies and for many of us we have to find coping mechanisms to deal with the trauma in our bodies. And we do become experts at doing, at surviving at coping and we do loose trust in ourselves. It stands to reason that we feel we must be in the wrong as the picture of ‘normal’ we are given is so overwhelming. But this doesn’t mean to say that society is right because we only have to look around us to see that actually the very fabric of our society is breaking down through illness and disease. So something is clearly not right.

  26. Yes alcohol is so normalised in our society, we do think that drinking a lot of alcohol is normal, which of course it is not. We don’t actually need it, it completely changes who we are, and not for the better either. We really need to change our views on what is ‘normal’.

  27. How this highlights the responsibility we have to not pass on our ill ‘normals’ to our children. Time to delve a little deeper and not simply accept some of our behaviours as ‘normal’… as many of them are very, very far from normal. We have a body that is magnificent in its intricate design and clarity very naturally.. if we let it be.

  28. This is a massive revelation that many would turn a blind eye too. It’s our lack of responsibility and willingness to take it that keeps this way of living ‘normal’.

  29. A very ‘sobering’ thought Anonymous – if significant others had more awareness of every single movement being clocked and copied by children, there would be a big change embracing responsibility and true parenting.
    “That’s what kids do – their world ends up as only what they see. That is the extent of their boundaries, of their experience, of their influences”.

  30. Even though alcohol was part of everyday life for me growing up, and was something I used to help me get through life for many years, i always had one eye on the abusive nature of my relationship with it. I couldn’t imagine who I was without it but my fear of becoming an alcoholic was stronger so I stopped drinking in my early 30s. It was only after coming to Universal Medicine several years later I truly understood what I had been feeling when I hadn’t felt like myself on alcohol, and it was then I was able to let go the fear that had impulsed me to stop and appreciate it was a deeply self-loving choice.

  31. Absolutely agree Matilda, ‘Our acceptance of that which is not true is one of the greatest evils in our world’, time to call out and express all that is not true in this world.

  32. The false social ‘normal’ is insidiously evil. Until eleven years ago when I renounced alcohol, thanks to Universal Medicine, I lived in the illusion I was not an alcoholic although I would not have owned up to being dependent upon alcohol as my level of consumption was as such a socially accepted norm.

  33. “I lost trust in myself. I had to. Because everything that I was seeing was contradicting my feelings, thus my feelings must be wrong. Thus I stopped feeling.” This is such a powerful awareness and observation as it is a foundational cause of the woes of this world as this occurs to 99% of humanity. What a difference it would be if children were supported to maintain their connection to their inner knowing and expressed from that Truth.

  34. Alcohol was so normal in my life too to the point that i just accepted it even though I knew it was not true. It was not the way and humanity is just coping with life not fully living it despite what is seen on the outside and how much alcohol is “enjoyed”. At the end of the day it is normal to have hurts but why is this the case? Why do we all grow up deeply scarred and hurt inside? Why have we not changed the way life is so this does not happen any more?

  35. Because we live by the decree ‘anything in moderation’ and have well established extreme ends of the spectrum, we allow ourselves to indulge in the ‘middle ground’, the place where the true evil lies by virtue of the fact it goes unseen and thus unchecked because we have an extreme to which to compare it to and say ‘well at least I am not doing that’. The thing with evil (anything that takes us away from the love that we are) is that it is always one and same energy no matter from what end of the spectrum we go to for our supply. And the truth is, at a deeper level we all know this and thus we know the degree to which our demand increases the supply for this all to be so.

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