by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
I’ve been off the sauce  for more than two weeks and today, I feel much better. What’s really funny to me is that although the comments I received on my personal blog and this Mommy Track’d column have been overwhelmingly positive, understanding and supportive, a few (mainly at another site that linked to this site) have taken some stabs at me; questioning my motives for being so public and wondering if I’m really an alcoholic or if I made it up for publicity. I might have been offended if it wasn’t just so ludicrous and really pretty funny. Who in their right mind would insist that they have a drinking problem when they don’t? I certainly don’t want to have a drinking problem. What I want to do is drink… moderately. Up until the last couple of years, I honestly felt that drinking enhanced my life; it certainly didn’t detract from it. But as it slowly started to escalate into daily drinking, and as I continued the internal mind games to control it, slow it down, moderate or stop, I came to the realization that only problem drinkers spend so much energy trying not to be problem drinkers. So trust me, I’m just glad to be addressing now if admitting I have a problem garners me fame and fortune that would be awesome! So far, no one’s handed me a huge sack of gold coins in exchange for admitting I’m a booze hound but fingers crossed!
To answer a very common question posed to me in the comments of this blog: Yes, I am getting the support of a tried and true program. I’m not “doing it on my own.” Also, a lot of people have emailed me privately wondering if they might have a problem too and I can’t answer that. Only you know if you are drinking because you choose to or drinking because you need to and only you can know if your drinking habits are an issue in your life. I’m not going to become one of those people who ditches the hooch (see how many different ways I can say alcohol? This is just one of the ways we can make alcoholism fun!) and then assumes that everyone with a glass of wine in their hand is only one drink away from losing their job, family, house, and ending up living on the street drinking mouthwash to get a buzz. I’m way more likely eyeballing your wine and wishing I could sneak a sip.
If you go online to alcohol abuse websites you will find all sorts of questionnaires that can help you determine if you are a problem drinker but I, personally haven’t found them to be extremely helpful because I don’t think they take in the whole motherhood situation. Like one of their questions is “Do you drink alone?” I know plenty of women who have a glass of wine at the end of the day before their husbands come home from work and they certainly don’t have a problem. They just don’t have a social life. Or how about “Does your job suffer due to your drinking?” Well, I know a lot of people who do have a problem but it never affects their job or family. Since those questions aren’t as on the mark as they could be, I made up a quiz of my own to help myself determine whether I needed to hop on the wagon.
1. Do I drink every day?
2. Do I drink even when I have a cold telling myself, “alcohol will help kill the germs!”?
3. Do I continue to take Nyquil when my last sniffle was over a month ago?
4. Do I love my doctor mainly because he is really loose with the prescription pad?
5. Do I crave a drink at a specific time of day?
6. Does that “specific” time get moved earlier as the weeks go on?
7. Have I ever tried to stop drinking only to start again?
8. Have I ever tried to cut down or control my drinking by saying “only beer” or “only two drinks per night” and failed?
9. Have I ever been belligerent with my husband and not remembered what the hell I was so mad about the next day?
10. Have I ever drunk way more than I meant to on more than one occasion?
11. Has anyone ever suggested to me that I may have a drinking problem?
12. Have I ever felt defensive of my drinking or been irritated that someone told me I’ve had enough?
In case you’re wondering, the answer to all of those questions was yes.
I know what you’re thinking; someone from a rehab ought to hire me to revamp their quiz! Hey if you have any connections, I’m always looking for freelance work!
Read Lisa Belkin's A Mother Gives Up the Wine Bottle 
Stefanie on Drinking:
My Sobering Secret 
A Shot Glass of Truth 
Thank You Rachael Brownell