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.

Velvet2021
06.03.09

Stefanie- Your honesty is sobering in itself. Change can be difficult, especially one this challenging. I would really like to encourage you to go to AA meetings. I know lame, right? Hear me out before skipping to the next comment: I understand the disease from your children's point of view. My father was an alcoholic who admitted it from time to time and would use those moments of clarity to "quit." He always back slid, until he started AA a year or so ago shortly after he hit my mother for the first time. AA will surround you with people just like you who are afraid, unsure and hurt from past experiences. You'll find ears and shoulders and understanding there as well. I wish you good luck on your new "awake" journey in life.

AManfred
06.03.09

No! Come on, I quote your books, I've told all my friends to read it. It is totally fine to have a few drinks a night, as long as you are not hurting your children or driving while drunk. You only go around once, if you are more comfortable drinking at social situations, you should.

jenmason7
06.03.09

Wow. What you've done is brave. It's scary being a sober mom - yes, the worries never go away. But you will be a better mom and that's what counts in the end. Do you have a support system you can rely on? Your husband sounds like he's behind you. You'll need friends also, and AA. And, of course, your loyal readers!

lisahazen
06.03.09

Stefanie, I'm inspired by how honest and open you are. I was *just* having a conversation with some friends about how many of our social outings involve alcohol, and how it sometimes can be too much. I'm going to send this around.

AmyBow
06.03.09

I think you will find that being an awake mom is worth more than a crate of chardonnay. No, I don't enjoy hearing every cough or sniffle at some uncalled for hour, but I do enjoy knowing that my kids will get the same me no matter time - day or night - that they need me.

Good luck on your journey.

awfrey
06.03.09

Hey there Stefanie - It does get easier. I realized after 9/11 that I had a problem with 'just one drink' (meaning the whole bottle?) and gave it up after passing out during Thanksgiving dinner (that I was hosting of course!) My friends are drinkers, and they thought of my sobriety as a betrayal at first. I, too, was the edgy party girl that always made others look good b/c I was always that much more wasted, that much more 'honest', that much more crazy. They got over it, realized that I'm the same insane woman (now with three kids) that I was before. Parties are almost more fun for me now; fucking with drunk people is waaay more entertaining (and you get to remember it in the morning!) I commend you on your honesty, and I commiserate with you on the fear of sobriety, the longing for the cocktail, and the crutch that alcohol provided. But know that there are many more out there that are in the same place, and are working on this daily. BTW - great sex, yoga and working out are a few other wonderful ways to relieve stress and get over the drink. Best of luck; love your books (as do my friends!). Take care. -- Allison

stresso
06.03.09

Thanks for sharing. It really is just 1 day at a time.

johnska
06.02.09

Thanks for being so honest. Don't worry about what anyone thinks. You are doing what you think is best for you and your family! Hang in there!

premiemama
06.01.09

Your honesty is incredibly inspiring. Good luck on such a brave and wise path.

JackieMacD
05.31.09

I know several women who not only relate to this, but would probably break down crying if they had to admit that what they're doing is a real problem. I think many of us have had behaviors that scare us -- whether it be drinking or otherwise.

Thanks for your honesty. If anyone judges you for trying to be a better wife, mom and woman -- screw 'em.