Last night, my husband and I watched the new film “Smashed.” I’ve had it on my Netflix list for months, waiting for its release. There’s not a lot of movies out there about drinking and getting sober (plenty about drinking), so when I first read about this film I was anxious to watch it.
In short, it’s about a young married couple who like to drink – a lot. The wife is young, educated and seemingly “normal,” yet she has a BIG drinking problem. The film follows her as she plunges to her bottom and begins her journey getting sober.
Wow. At times, I could have inserted myself into the film and it could have been my life and story. I found myself feeling anxious as she grabbed for the bottle, knowing what the outcome would be. I laughed at her drunken stupor, knowing and embarrassed that at one point that had been me. I felt her shame and guilt as she admitted to her wrong doings. And, I empathized with her fear and anxiety as she sat in her first recovery meeting.
At one point in the film (perhaps in her first meeting), she says she knew she had a problem when what used to be fun started being scary. Oh, how I related to that statement. But, isn’t that what happens to so many of us? What used to be a fun evening out, becomes a predictable drinking binge. What used to be a couple of drinks with girlfriends, becomes a night of bar hopping and passing out. What used to be a family celebration, becomes an excuse to get hammered. What used to be “just one” becomes many and a guaranteed hangover. The list goes on. Eventually, the alcohol stops working and it stops being fun – for everyone.
There’s a happy ending – kind of. Because, really, there’s never a happy ending, just a new beginning.
I’m grateful for films like “Smashed” that give a realistic portrayal of alcoholism and sobriety. Watch it – you might learn something, or at least relate to it.