Hair of the Dog.

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.

prettyplastered78
06.04.11

Wow - you are me... or I am you... either way, this article spoke volumes to me! Kinda scary actually, but comforting to know I am not alone.
Joining this site is my first step towards a life without alcohol, a life I
can not even imagine but desperately have been seeking for years! I am
33 years young and have had issues with alcohol since the age of 14.
From my very first drink (a 40oz of beer - yuck!) as a freshman in HS, I
had a love for the stuff!! Drinking only on weekends at first for years,
then heavily drinking in my early 20's to... well... now.
I am married with two boys and the life I "thought" I always wanted. The drinking stopped during both pregnancies but started up again, more aggressively each time. I was the life of the party when I was younger. Pretty, popular, fun and outgoing. I guess I missed that as I got older and
thought the drinking would "bring me back" or keep me in the moment - it hasn't! I NEED help! Too ashamed to tell my family or friends but I'm
pretty sure most of them already know.
Hoping to find comfort, support & help here.
Thank you for your post!!

beckycal
12.29.10

Just stumbled across this blog as I was searching for "Moms Who Drink" support. As of today, I have officially admitted to myself that I am an alcoholic. I start therapy with an addiction specialist next week. This site has brought me absolute comfort in a time when I am scared out of my gourd. There are so many other Moms who share in my struggle--knowing that has been like a little ray of light. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. :-)

Singleworkingmama
06.13.09

The older I get, the more I realize that people who attack you for doing something good or being true to yourself are not only jealous and shallow, but in the scheme of things, irrelevant.

Keep up the good work, Stefanie!

Heidi
http://www.singleworkingmama.com

mommadarling24
06.11.09

I admire your courage. I am a social drinker, but even so, sometimes, you just want to let go. Your previous article about always being 100% available for your children, really touched my heart. I won't not be drinking, but, I have a different perspective now. I have attended several social functions since reading the article and I can say I have not drank at most and at worst I have had a drink. It feels so uplifting! Thanks for sharing!

sthielen
06.11.09

Great list! Gosh, I'm glad that I can answer yes to only a couple of them. Whew! i have times when I wonder, but nothing quite like you've been going through. I'm extremely interested in the wine industry, and am looking towards a career there eventually, so I hope I can keep my percpective. Hats off to you for decision! All the best. I'm hoping that things do work out. I have a good friend that I lost to alcoholism years ago, and stories like these make me wonder what I could have done. But the change needs to come from within.
Bravo!

RachaelBrownell
06.11.09

Great questions, Stefanie. I think having you figure this stuff out in public is incredibly helpful to many many people. And I'm glad you're on my team...
Rachael

db
06.10.09

You are very brave for not only quitting, but doing it in a very public way that will help others (i.e. ME!) And I think you found the topic for your next book ... I'll buy it!

lengeft1
06.10.09

When I stopped drinking, all those many years ago, folks were not exactly supportive. My mom, who was at that time a full-blown, extremely sloppy and very nasty alcoholic, just couldn't believe it. "Why did you stop?", "Well, I guess you're so perfect now.", "One won't kill you". Etc. But I had to do it. People are bizarre creatures who really hate change, especially if they believe that it reflects badly on them. I didn't listen to any of the bad press. And I still don't drink, 25 years later. I did not use AA (12 stepping does not work for me at all) or intervention. I just quit. I am not saying don't get or use help, because I actually think it's the better way. But me, I have a weird brain and I am, in some ways that I would be glad to talk about more privately (nothing mystical or woo-woo, I assure you, or psychic [agh] or psycho) the ultimate survivor. It worked. There were cravings, but there were also visions of my mother, and those were not pretty. Also my alcohol poisoned self in the mirror on the morning after. Not nice. You will make it, and kids, and spouse, and true friends will be delighted and love you all the more for it. You go, girl!

Shwanda
06.10.09

Congrats on being off the sauce for two weeks. I commend you not only for that, but for being so public about it. I also think it is great that Good Morning America called you. Maybe we now we can stop talking about Jon and Kate.
Carol Shwanda
www.shwanda.com

vlarson
06.10.09

I, like many people, had a very skewed idea of what a drunk looks like. I thought a drunk drank until he/she passed out, acted drunk, etc., etc. I knew my ex had a "drinking problem," but I wouldn't have thought he was an alcoholic. It wasn't until we were in couples therapy and the therapist kept saying, "OK, now let's talk about the drinking," that it sunk in.

I applaud your honesty and self-awareness. You've given yourself, and your family, a gift.