BlogHer is an incredible community that holds an annual conference for female bloggers. It is a wonderful event that serves to connect and enable women to grow both their audience and confidence in their brand. I love BlogHer, and look forward to attending the conference each year to meet some of my idols and fellow bloggers.
This year, I attended the conference with a new perspective. Since the 2013 conference in Chicago, I have made some changes in my life.
I have admitted that I am powerless over alcohol.
When I drink, I become a different person. It has been more than simply admitting I have a problem with abusing alcohol. It has also be confronting the realization that I cannot drink. Not at all. Not one drop.
Last year when I attended the conference, I was still very much in denial about my alcoholism. I was convinced that I could handle drinking and have “just one or two.” #BlogHer13 was a total blast! It was a celebration of all things blogging, and every version of alcoholic beverages was available in abundance. I managed to control myself, for the most part, but it was a lot like Lalapalooza. Booz-Fest. Shots and liquor at the vendor booths. Not kidding. And plenty of hungover attendees the next mornings.
Somehow, I was able to pretend I was just celebrating and having fun like everyone else. The truth was, I had a very high tolerance for alcohol at that point, and forced myself to eat enough to slow the absorption down enough to fake it.
This year, I arrived in San Jose viewing everything through a new lens.
Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram photos were dominated by images that made it look as if BlogHer was just one giant fraternity party. I overheard many complaining that “the booze wasn’t free like last year,” and that there wasn’t as much liquor around.
I have a close friend who also struggles with alcoholism. She has been in and out of the hospital with related medical complications. She loathes the blog titles, images, and general perception portrayed by many “Mommy Bloggers” that motherhood equals drinking.
“It’s a real knee-slapper to read about wine-swilling and carpooling moms when I’ve just had my stomach pumped from alcohol poisoning.”
She finds it a complete turn off to read a blog that celebrates drinking the minute the clock strikes five, and sells the idea that it’s what mothers do.
The truth is, this image does not reflect our community of parent bloggers in a positive light. It is degrading and embarrassing. As someone who has struggled so much with alcoholism, the last thing I wanted to do was spend $1000 to attend a conference that paints “Mommy bloggers” in this light.
Alcoholism is NOT funny. It is NOT a joke. It is not something that I feel should go hand in hand with parenthood and/or blogging. Alcoholism has reached epidemic proportions among women and mothers. Normalizing it is both irresponsible and dangerous. I am not interested in celebrating a culture that encourages and condones joking about vodka in water bottles and moving happy hour to noon.
It may be harmless for most, but not for me.
This post was submitted by Anonymous.