Where did the notion come from that any of us had to be superwoman? And why didn’t anyone tell us that wearing a cape isn’t the answer?
As if women don’t have enough to do, and then to heap that sort of expectation on our heads, is it any wonder more and more women turn to wine to help them turn off the noise in their heads and feel okay in their own skin? When I think back to my own drinking days, I can see that feelings of inadequacy often fueled my drinking, the sort of drinking that I called “partying.” I can only thank God that I didn’t have my twins then. I can’t imagine what sort of a parent I would’ve been so preoccupied with alcohol.
As with any self-medication, once those first few sips or gulps of alcohol went down—the to-do lists in my head, the feeling of inadequacy that moments before had me spinning, didn’t seem so important anymore. The wine or other spirits became my solution for every emotion: I reached for the drink when things were great and I reached for the bottle when things weren’t so great. Before long, I started to exhibit the signs of a problem drinker: unstable relationships, insecurity, days when I would sit in my office and by lunch time, I started to plan where I’d spend happy hour.
Why do women feel that have to do it all and be these perfect creatures? Who ever said that we had to be superwomen?
It all goes back to having low self-esteem. When you feel good about yourself you can be comfortable with imperfection. Let’s face it, women can be critical and they aren’t always supportive of the woman who doesn’t look like she has it all together. Maya Angelou has a beautiful quote:
“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
Angelou had the eye of a writer and what I believe she saw in so many people was alcoholism. The lack of emotional maturity that happens to so many women because they started drinking back in high school and never stopped long enough to grow up. People in recovery rooms will often say “Our emotional maturity stops when we pick up the drink,” and I believe it to be true. It certainly explains why I couldn’t get it wholly together until I stopped drinking, but once I got sober, I stopped caring what others thought. I started to forge my own path and it felt so good to be free of those approval stones that I had carried around for far too long.
Why are women willing to buy into the nonsense that we have to do it all—and that we have to do it all well?
What happened to the simple idea of doing the best we can? What happened to the idea that our best is good enough; that we are enough just the way we are?
If I could wrap a present for every woman on this earth it would be the gift that gave her the courage to face the world just as she is and know that nowhere is it written that any of us need to be perfect! If we could all hone our abilities to see ourselves as we are, through clear eyes, I think more women would be astounded at how loving and capable they are and that drinking all that wine adds nothing positive to their lives.
What a gift it is to see ourselves through the eyes of reality instead of the murky photo that we conjure up in our heads that tell us our lives should look like “this,” and when the two pictures don’t match, we assume it’s because we aren’t doing enough, or that maybe—we aren’t enough. When we can’t meet the impossible expectations that we’ve self-imposed on ourselves, the only solution becomes to self-medicate.
All this indiscriminate drinking and mixing wine with play-dates, wine and yoga, wine and painting, is just an effort on those marketing the activity to tap into the deep insecurities of women and make a buck on the backs of the fear that is buried in so many women: I’m not good enough; I can do better; I should be more….
Too often wine becomes the new BFF, and “adult peer pressure,” supports the drinking culture far more than it does the woman who decides she doesn’t need or want to drink just to fit in.
My idea of a superwoman is the woman who decides that her health and her sanity are far more important than what other people may think of her. Now that’s the woman that deserves a cape!