You may remember my niece L., the one in her mid-thirties with pancreatitis due to chronic alcoholism. Yeah, that one.
I haven't seen her recently, so at Thanksgiving I asked her dad how she was doing.
"Oh, well, she's still drinking", he said. "But just beer now. No more of that vodka. It's the hard stuff that caused the pancreatitis. Beer's okay."
Well. All you have to do is google "pancreatitis diet" to know that beer is not "okay" when you have pancreatitis.
Evidently my niece has convinced her family, and possibly herself, that she can drink oceans of beer, and as long as she stays away from the "hard stuff", it's "okay".
I guess denial is a powerful thing. And so is addiction. This niece's boyfriend claims he "has" to keep drinking, because when he stops, he has seizures. And if he keeps having seizures, he'll lose his job, so, he says, drinking is actually job security.
I used to know a barfly who had to have a couple of beers first thing in the morning in order to get her hands steady enough to put on her eyeliner.
And oh, man, I knew a guy who woke up one morning after a historic bender and couldn't remember his name.
I think I know too many drunks.