This is a post that has been weighing on my mind for a while now. It is something that I have written and deleted several times. I have spent far too much time weighing the pros and cons of letting the world know that I quit drinking.
I tend to fall into the school of thought that if an idea keeps hanging around that maybe it is worth writing about.
This one just wouldn’t quit.
So here I am airing one of my deepest, darkest secrets.
Somewhere along the way, I fell into the abyss that is high-functioning alcoholism.
It began innocently enough with a nightly glass of wine to help me relax at night. No big deal, right?
Drinking to “relax” is a very slippery slope.
Eventually one drink led to two, then three…
Before I knew it, I was guzzling an incredible amount of booze every night and I just couldn’t give it up.
To be honest, for a good 5 years I didn’t want to give it up.
I loved drinking every night. It was something I looked forward to everyday. It was something that made me happy, even if it was just for the moment.
Earlier this year I began having a change of heart about my drinking habits. Deep down I knew how unhealthy it was to drink 2-3 liters of vodka a week.
My habit had taken over my life. I felt like crap all the time and wasn’t sleeping well. My moods were all over the place. The rational side of me knew all of this was caused by my drinking habit so I decided to quit drinking.
I wish I could sit here and tell you it was that easy.
That all I had to do was make the decision to quit drinking and all was right in my little world again.
But it wasn’t easy then and it still isn’t easy today. Sobriety is a decision that I have to make every day.
Also, I am not doing this totally on my own. There are doctors and psychologists guiding me through this.
For the last 7 months I have chosen to stay the course. I am in a much better place mentally and physically.
When I have weak moments I look back through my journal and remind myself how far I have come. I don’t want to go back there.
Why am I telling you this?
There is a problem within modern mother culture that needs to be brought to the surface. The idea that being a “mom drunk” is cool or funny has been perpetuated on the internet and in TV shows for a while now.
It has reached an unhealthy level, in my not-so-professional opinion.
Every time I log in to my personal Facebook account I see countless references to wine, day drinking and drinking as way to cope with the strains of motherhood.
Our “nothing is sacred” society these days has given way to the glorification of what used to be considered the “ills of society.”
If someone had a drinking problem they didn’t go waving a flag around bragging about it.
Or worse, try to make it seem normal. Groupthink is dangerous and it applies to alcoholism within mother culture
Here is the real reason mothers are drinking so much
Modern moms aren’t happy.
We shouldn’t need a to dive into a bottle of booze to deal with life.
For me personally, my heavy drinking stemmed from many things, but was most exacerbated by my home life at the time. I felt alone, unappreciated, overworked and unfulfilled.
Once I recognized that I was drinking to stuff down my emotions and cope with pretty severe depression I was able to get the help I desperately needed.
When is drinking a problem?
My very unscientific response to this question is simple: when it beings interfering with your life.
Several years had passed before my drinking reached what I considered to be problematic.
A few things that I noticed when I reached this point:
I began hiding how much I drank from people.
My days were scheduled around my drinking habits.
I imposed weird rules around my drinking.
There is a whole list of things I did at this point that made me realize that my drinking was interfering with my life.
Don’t wait until you reach the point where you are losing everything to make a change. Recognizing a drinking problem in its earlier stages is much easier to rebound from.
My hope here is that by sharing my experience with alcoholism I can make a change in the lives of mothers that may need it.
Consider this my inaugural post on sobriety.
Each week I will post on a topic that ties in to sobriety. Because it is such a complex issue the topics will be varied and many (social gatherings, habit changing, family just to name a few).
If you find that these are not “for you” please share them with someone who is struggling.
And because I have to…
Y’all, I am not a doctor nor do I play on one the internet. If you think you have a problem or suffer from depression go see a medical professional. Nothing on Expedition Motherhood is to be construed as or a replacement for professional medical advice.