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  • Writer's pictureMiMi

Alcohol and Honesty

I can't help but think... I wish I could be totally honest in my blog. I feel there is so much good that can be accomplished with honesty about my situation, because, truthfully, it's terrible to have to think about mental health challenges every day. So many people like me have to do it. But so many, many more people... don't. They were blessed with stronger minds.

I believe so much good could come out of total honesty but I have to hold back. There's a desire not to hurt the people I love. Not to encourage risky behavior in others with similar challenges. Not to cause strife in a family already pretty concisely divided. Then, of course, not to lose my job.

A simple beer, for example. My brother and I agree that we shouldn't. Alcoholism is in our family, in our blood. Our father passed away at 50 years old, a heavy smoker and drinker. Was it 3 packs a day? My brother has commented that I played games with my mental health in the past in drinking, like I was being irresponsible.

We have great uncles who were known for their alcoholic tendencies; one who died in the elements in West Virginia. (or was it western Virginia?)

Do I really commit sin if I drink? It hurts people I love to hear I've been drinking.

Another issue I'm finding myself unable to be totally honest about is sex. My step-father reads my Blog and I feel he really doesn't need to hear about my sex life. But... I honestly can't think of anyone I'd rather read my Blog more than him, so I leave it out? I feel a connection with him as a parent, but also as a writer, and know that he appreciates honesty and sees a big picture with true writing.

Is it true that sex can sometimes be just sex? Would it hurt people I love if I engaged in it and it didn't include love? Would it be considered sad? Or normal human behavior. It absolutely must depend on the person.

My stepfather was a journalist for United Press International (UPI), then editor, and I'm still not sure if he's truly retired from it. I get my love of writing from him. And a grandmother who had a newspaper column many years ago, "Out and About in Fenwick."

I have a loyalty to other individuals with mental health challenges like my own. If I'm being irresponsible drinking, or having an inappropriate relationship, and they read my blog, might they feel it is ok for themselves to do the same? Role modeling.

Finally, employment. I lost not one but two pretty good jobs in the last three years because of my illness. I don't want to lose another. I really want to get brutally honest in my posts but worry that someone from work will catch on to it and a post will be misconstrued. Even if my employer is the most understanding in the world... the written word can do harm.

Just things that have been on my mind. The point is to help, not hurt, others. But I have some lines to consider. And I also have to consider that if I were truly honest... that's what would sell the blog. That's the real. That's the good stuff. The feeling. The living.

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