The first alcoolic woman I saw in my life was the mother of a girlfriend. I didn't know why she had so strange eyes and didn't walk right. I thought she was sick and that finally was the truth.
Everybody whispered behind her back because every day she went to the little shop around the corner where every women in the area did their shopping to buy a bottle of wine. Sometimes she had no money and she asked one of them to borrow her some. But after a while women found an excuse, as she never gave the money back. So she asked the shop owner, who pittied her and gave her the wine. (husband had to pay later)
My mother too backbit her and told me all these stories. I didn't understand anything, the only thing I felt was pity with her, because my friend also treated her very badly. Then, one day I didn't see her any more and I suppose she went to a specialized hospital.
The next one was a secretary which whom I used to work. I was 24 or something, so she was an old woman for me, as she was in her forties. I noticed that she drank, because one day I took a file out of the filing cabinet and behind all the files were 2 full and 3 empty whisky bottles.
First I thought that she had created a bar for the guests, but then the empty bottles didn't fit. Afterwards I noticed that she changed mood all the time or she was in 7 heaven or she sat deeply in the cellar. She also received men in the office and closed the door with a sign hanging on it telling us "In conference do not disturb" I found that funny because one day I opened the door because I had something important to say and found her with her lover on the desk. Not very comfortable. One day she also disappeared from my life and that was it.
Years later when I was in my 50th I noticed that a lot of women in my surroundings really more than appreciated a good cocktail, one or more glasses of wine, or champagne. Especially those who didn't work. When I joined this not working group it became the same for me. We went out for lunch had a couple of drinks, got together for another couple and so on.
Some of them got really specialists in hiding bottles. It's amazing what a creative mind and phantasy women develop to hide their drinks. Parfum bottles when they were invited (so that they could take it with them and officially not drink much) small plastic water bottles filled with Wodka or Gin, medication bottles etc. Everything was good. At home there also were enough places in the dryer (until nobody was there any more) between oil and vinegar bottles, behind clothes in the wardrobe behind books on shelves, in the garbadge etc etc. Even in their cars. I knew one who used to hide her bottle amongst a pile of empty water bottles. The kitchen also was considered as a nice hiding place as usually husbands don't check very often the content of the cupboards.
A girl friend of mine worked as a nurse in a psyciatric hospital and told me horrendous stories. A little 75 year old lady looking like Miss Marpel was taken to the emergency service as she had emptied all available parfum bottles while the others were eating. Another one who was allowed to go out for the first time after 3 weeks of abstinence, came back like a drunken sailor. My friend told me that she could write a book about that.
It happens mostly to women when the children are gone, or if they loose their work or start retirement. Suddenly their life changes completely and they have to face the problem of having too much time. And then they get bored.
It's a big problem and cannot be solved so easily. Alcoholism is a sad desease although we are laughing about them when they speak so funny or are dancing on a table.