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.

Sassygirl
06.10.09

I loved your questions and have had similar experiences with motherhood. Mine are older but working all day and then coming home to moody children, homework, dinner and the nightly bedtime routine..........challenging and easier with some hooch. I have my ups and downs but must say that when I'm off the hooch things do seem much brighter. I just need to remember that when things seem really bad and I reach for that wine or wine cooler. My best to you........we know you will succeed and if you fall off...it doesn't mean you failed, it means you are human. Just get back on the wagon! Hugs, E

Peninah
06.10.09

Oh yeah, I hear this. I grew up surrounded by a family of alcoholics. They definitely do the NyQuil and Listerine - sometimes even straight up rubbing alcohol - chugging when out of their alcoholic beverage of choice.

I have literally scared myself a few times when I realized I could be headed down those tracks too. It can be soooo easy for a single mom like me (or anyone really) who is feeling unfulfilled and unhappy to go from a just-social-drink to a need-to-drink.

I tell you, my son really is my saving grace.

Corrine
06.10.09

The world of sobriety is so full of blessings and gifts! You are in for a wild and wonderful ride. AND how important for you to model living a full life for your family. Best wishes.

stresso
06.10.09

This was hard for you. Thanks for your courage -- atta girl!! And to also be funny about it -- wow. Good luck sister.

j
06.10.09

Don't worry about the people taking stabs at you--most likely they have a drinking problem and they're terrified they have to quit, too. I've heard people in AA describe it as "the monkey on your back" and that monkey will do anything to keep getting his drinks! You are brave and wonderful and a terrific example for so many of us. Yes, your readership might change--those for whom you were affirming an addiction will leave, and those of us who know you're right will find you and stay. Keep up the good work!