My Sobering Secret.

by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

 

I talk about drinking a lot on my blog. I've talked about it a lot in my books. I really like to drink. I like the way wine softens the edges, smoothes out the line between "their time" and "my time," helps me to feel relaxed, helps me tune out. But I drink too much. I drink seven nights a week. Sometimes just a glass of wine but usually two or three or even more. I always seem to have some sort of excuse like, "Today was an exceptionally stressful day so I deserve an extra glass now that it's all done."

 

I drank often when Elby was a baby to help deal with the stress of a new infant. I found myself drinking more than I had before I became a parent and I drank with other moms to bond and unwind (yes, I'm the cocktail play date mom and I stand by it being a healthy thing to do in moderation, in walking distance, if you’re not me). Before I got pregnant with the twins I had pretty much stopped drinking because I felt it was becoming a habit so when I was pregnant, it was extremely easy not to drink. But when the twins were born and I was home and my milk was dried up and postpartum was setting in, the simplest thing to do seemed to be have a glass of wine.

 

It was only too darn easy to fall back into the pattern (especially once the babies started having a regular bedtime) of having my wine every night. For some people I'm sure this is a nice thing, a tribunal thing (a drink at the end of the day with their spouse or friends). For others it might be a once in awhile treat to go out and have a couple of cocktails. For me, it's become a nightly compulsion and I'm outing myself to you; all of you: I have a problem.

 

I quit on Friday, May 22nd.

 

I've wavered before on this issue thinking, "But lots of times I have one glass of wine." Well, unfortunately, especially lately, most times I don't just have one -sometimes I have four. And being compulsive, I can't be trusted to "just cut down" because lord knows I’ve tried it.

sally51
12.06.11

NOTHING WORKS BUT AA. No vitamin or supplement -- that's a dangerous suggestion for any alcoholic

sally51
12.06.11

I relate. The "up to two bottles" of wine a night is beyond scary. I was sober for 12 yrs and slipped. I have gotten 9 months, then a year and then 3 months of sobriety -- now, i drink again. 2 glasses is enough to throw my life overboard. Let's make a pact -- let's go to AA twice this week. Nothing works but AA. We could both go to Betty Ford for 3 months..but, w/out AA coming back to the community we drank in we'd be right back where we started. Alcoholism is a disease and we have it. We are in great company...I too am sick of it driving my life -- getting in the way of having my best and full life. losing weight is impossible -- i want my life back. AA or bust this week.

crrimster
11.14.11

Thank you for posting this very honest account. I have been going through the same thing and the shame spiral just gets out of control sometimes (Although, I also think moderation is okay). I found myself looking at my 3 month old baby saying, you have your Tommee Tippee and mom will get a little Tommee Tipsy. I am working on this. It really does help to read the experiences of other moms.

Mom of Miles

bethywarbucks
09.12.11

Stephanie, I am not a mom but I had to register and applaud you for your bravery after reading your story in the NY Times. My mother was alcoholic for over 15 years, filling my childhood with periods of abuse, fear, and darkness. After a very challenging journey, my mother is sober now and I have the joy of reconnecting with the loving, nurturing woman that scarcely remembered. By facing your alcohol dependency head-on, you're being a hero to your children. They don't have to lose another day without you at your best. And I assure you that you'll be an ever "cooler" mom than you were before. I wish the very best to you and your family.

kdiane
05.13.10

What a relief it is to read that other mom's are going through this. I am the mother of two daughter's (9 and 10). I am the daughter of an alcoholic father and never started drinking until after my first daughter was born in 2000. I drank socially in HS and college but never stored or desired alcohol until after my first daughter was born.
My husband was working very long hours and I was home with a crying baby so I started to have a beer when I was waiting for him. Fourteen months later my second daughter was born. I never drank with either of them (not because I am a strong person but b/c everything made me sick).

Fast-forward twelve years and I am an alcoholic. I drink up-to two bottles of wine a night. I think that I am slick but know that my husband is aware and totally sick of it. I am sick of it. I grew up with an alcoholic parent. I swore that I would never do to my children what my dad did to me...I have tried so hard to stop. This is the only time I have not lied. I lie to my psychiatrist, husband, friends, etc...I feel anonymous here so the truth comes out. I am so ANGRY that I have become what I hate the most. Can anyone relate?

sobrietydiva
01.13.10

I guess my first thought is similar to flowersmomm. Thank you very much for being so honest. Alcohol abuse is such a secretive subject for women because as teenage boys are congratulated for being able to "chug" women are seen as unladylike. We have to be honest with each other in order to overcome this disease.

I would love to hear more of your story and maybe have you guest blog if that's okay.

sobrietydiva@gmail.com

www.womenstreatmentprogram.com

aluyt
08.31.09

I just finished reading Mommy Doesn't Drink Here Anymore and I am amazed after reading this book and your post how many of us have created the same habits. I know that I am an alcoholic. My drinking became a real issue after my last son was born. Dealing with 2 year old twin boys and an infant was too much for me to deal with so I would unwind with a couple of glasses of wine. Now, two years later I drink everyday and it is more like 5-7 glasses. I think about quitting daily but my mind plays games with me. I haven't admitted that I am an alcoholic to anyone, including my husband, although I am sure he is aware. It is a scary place to be and I wish that I was strong and brave enough to admit my problem and get help. You are very brave. Thank you for sharing your story!

Leaheps
08.06.09

I just linked to this post on my blog, http://www.drinkingdiaries.com, where women go to spill their drinking diaries. In my own post, "My First Drink," I say how, as the daughter of an alcoholic, I learned early on to view drinking as all or nothing--if you have that mentality, it's very challenging to just stop at one glass. Thanks for your honesty, and we'd love to have you blog for us some time, if you are so inclined!

Leaheps
08.06.09

I just linked to this post on my blog, http://www.drinkingdiaries.com, where women go to spill their drinking diaries. In my own post, "My First Drink," I say how, as the daughter of an alcoholic, I learned early on to view drinking as all or nothing--if you have that mentality, it's very challenging to just stop at one glass. Thanks for your honesty, and we'd love to have you blog for us some time, if you are so inclined!

sirenna
07.23.09

I could always be counted on to be the defacto designated driver in my group because it wasn't even a sacrifice to not drink. I'd seen my father do it for all of my childhood ( He finally sought help and he's not had a drop for almost twenty years now.)
But slowly it became every other night, then every night. I switched from wine to beer thinking less alcohol concentration (5% instead of 13%) would be better for me but just as you can't be a little bit pregnant, you also can't be a little less alcoholic.

Since cutting it out completely, my stomach doesn't churn when I stand up. I don't snap due to hangover, nor do i feel remorseful the next day, my skin and hair is much much better and yes, i've lost a few saggy pounds.

I can meet the eye of shopkeepers (and, now I stand in judgement of the ones at the liquor stores- they're dealers just selling addicts a different drug.)

Outside help makes it so much easier.

Stephanie, write about it as much or a little as you feel you want.
Best wishes, Sirenna