In the early years of my drinking as an adult, it was fun! I had a lot of great, carefree times with friends. However, I always felt a little bit different. Once I had that first drink I never knew what was going to happen. Whenever I went out, I never knew if I was going to just have a glass of wine or an entire bottle.
The thing was, on the outside I looked like I had it together.
I wasn’t a bum underneath a bridge who lost everything and couldn’t quit drinking. I had a good job, I was married, we were trying to have a baby and so on. But on the inside, I was dying. The debilitating depression that followed after a night of drinking was overwhelming. Every day felt heavier and heavier.
With the help of a 12-step program, I got sober in November of 2013 right before finding out I was pregnant with our first child. All of a sudden it wasn’t about me anymore and I was going to be responsible for raising a baby that I had prayed so long for. There was no way I could continue down the path I was on and raise a child. I also learned that it wasn’t just about this precious life I was given but for myself, and I didn’t want to live like that anymore.
I wanted to love my life again and with the help of other women and the 12-steps I had that opportunity.
Now, I could choose what kind of life I was going to create for this sweet, baby boy, and it has not always been easy. There were/are times when I go out with friends to a Mudhens game or walk around downtown and the carefree times come back to mind. But I have to play that tape all the way through and I then remember the feeling I felt after a binge and I never want to feel that way again. The good news is that I don’t ever HAVE to feel that way again.
Thankfully, I have remained sober and recently celebrated 6 years of sobriety. None of my 3 children have ever seen me drunk or have had to deal with the effects that my drinking causes. Being a mom is hard enough. The last thing I need is to compound the craziness of motherhood with a drink.
In a time where “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and “Mama needs wine time,” it’s constantly pushed in our faces as a way to relax and unwind, and in all honesty, I have thought about it; more than once. In today’s world, we should be encouraging moms to look for relaxation and release in other ways. So many of us moms deal with PPD (myself included), our hormones are all out of whack and we are sleep deprived. The last thing we need is alcohol to compound the issue even more.
I want anyone out there struggling to know it’s ok, we will survive, and there is more to relaxing and unwinding than drinking.
Is life still hard? Yes. Do I still want to check out and escape? Yes. But just for today, I choose to find other things to find that release. It took time but I no longer feel pressure to drink when I go out with the girls. You can have a good time without alcohol! I still go out with friends and do anything I want. I just choose to enjoy the moments and I LOVE a good mocktail. You can get coffee, read a book, get a pedicure, a massage, or call me and we can vent to each other for a few hours after the kids go to bed. 🙂 The good thing is you won’t wake up with a hangover.
If you are interested in checking out some local resources:
Family Resource Center- Findlay, OH 419-422-8616
Northwest Ohio Committee for Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous- Toledo, OH 740-521-9722