Daily Archives: 26/08/2014

Are you an Oblivion Drinker?

‘Are you an Oblivion Drinker’ was a feature article headline for a Daily Mail piece written last October that I discovered recently.

The key paragraphs were these:

Indeed, experts are suggesting that alcohol abuse has become the modern ‘mother’s little helper’, replacing the widespread Valium addiction of Sixties housewives and offering multi-tasking women a temporary escape from the pressure to look, behave and perform as the perfect wife, mother and colleague.

Psychoanalyst Jan Bauer, author of Alcoholism and Women: The Background And The Psychology, who coined the term oblivion drinking, explains: ‘Alcohol offers a time out from doing it all – “Take me out of my perfectionism”.

‘Superwoman is a cliche now, but it is extremely dangerous. I’ve seen such a perversion of feminism, where everything becomes work: raising children, reading all the books, not listening to [your] instincts.

‘The main question is: what self are these women trying to turn off? They have climbed so high that when they fall, they crash – and alcohol’s a perfect way to crash.’

A recent British survey confirmed her observations, with 81 per cent of women who admitted they drank above the safety guidelines every week saying they did so ‘to wind down from a stressful day’.

‘This is an epidemic. High-functioning, intelligent women are using alcohol as a coping mechanism to take the edge off and stop their brain going at 300 miles an hour,’ explains Sarah Turner, co-author of The Sober Revolution and owner of the Harrogate Sanctuary for middle-aged, middle-class women who drink too much.

While relaxing after a hard day with a drink is nothing new, it’s the scale and sudden increase in the problem that has now worried experts. Thanks to the recession and an uncertain job market, more than half of 35 to 54-year-old women say they are more stressed than they were in 2008 – and many are relying on drink on a daily basis to help.

Oblivion drinking is insidious. ‘It’s now seen as acceptable to knock back two or three glasses of wine a night, but if they’re large ones, then that’s a whole bottle,’ says Sarah Turner, who regularly sees clients at Harrogate Sanctuary who have been drinking one or two bottles a night.

The article doesn’t link to the recent British survey so it is difficult to assess the quality and size of the sample group to ascertain it’s credibility unfortunately but as a eye ball grabbing headline statistic it certainly got my attention!  81% is a truly shocking statistic.
What I find equally puzzling is all of us out here felt alone at the beginning and know nobody sober in our real lives and yet this statistic suggests we are absolutely not alone in sharing the same issue.  It makes me wonder how many others are out there struggling with this even within our own groups of friends and acquaintances?  If it is 8 out of the 10 females we each know then that is staggering ……
26 days to go