Being a mom to my 4 people is my greatest accomplishment. I am winging it and working at it every.single.day. We are not perfect, we are perfect together. I am constantly working to keep up with my active little family (I guess we're not too little, there are 6 of us + the dog, Chewy.) I work full time for a company I love and balance in there workouts and amazing friends. I am perfecting #momPTO. I'm a work in progress and I'm good with that. I am Grateful.
I don’t have a rock bottom per say. There wasn’t an ‘incident’ or significant event that brought me on this journey. My children are crazy active and over the past 16 years a large part of my drinking was centered around just that, their activities. After a game, before a game, during a game, a fundraiser, a night out with the mom’s, or just friends going out.
I drank…the ‘usual’ social events, stress, fun, craziness, no reason was needed. I was really good at drinking, I could drink all day and all night and generally was a fun drunk. I loved the beginning buzz of the edge coming off right down to the wasted jumping on top of the bar singing and dancing at the end. It is the couple hours after I passed out when the anxiety, guilt, shame, ‘what did I do?’ came pouring in that led me to my retirement from drinking. I didn’t generally get hung over, I was able to bounce back the next day and jump right back to my active lifestyle.
I was good at it, so I knew it couldn’t be something I ‘managed’ because clearly I could not manage it successfully. I was a ‘in it to win it’ type of drinker, once I started, I was all in. Yes, there were the random times I would be able to have a drink or two, be a ‘standard’ drinker, but those time were far and few between the good bingers. I was drinking away the time, the small precious window of time, which I have with my kids while they are young and actually want to be around me. Like I said, we live a crazy busy active life. Between work, school, activities and life I was down to just a handful of hours a day with these humans I was shaping to be good citizens. And those hours, I was robbing myself of those hours with them so I could be out drinking. I would plan my time/drinking around it; Who was going to take them home? (so I could get to the bar quicker.) I am happy to drop off, but never pick up. (because I would have started drinking.) Are they having a sleep over tonight? (so I can stay out drinking.) What time is the activity they want to do? (they have a day event and an evening event too, how/where am I going to drink between events?) What do we have the next morning? (how late can I drink and still get 6 hours of sleep?) The questions and lists could go on and on. The long and the short was I was drinking my time, my precious time with my people away. Was it fun? Yes! Doesn’t everyone need time away from the kids? Yes! I was pushing it, crossed the line, it was past a healthy fix. I opened my eyes on January 1st after I missed a New Year’s Eve celebration of board games and dancing with my kids, because I had passed out on the couch right before midnight after what was supposed to be a few afternoon beers, that turned into 7 hours of beers and shots and me flashing my sports bra to my pals at the table. It was fun, it was always fun, but not worth me missing that dance party with my four favorite people, in the kitchen.
I am not a fan of labels, so when making the best decision to cut drinking out of my life, after contemplating it hundreds of times, I wasn’t comfortable with any of the standard answers on this new path of my journey. Over time I have become confident and secure in my response: ‘The bad of drinking was outweighing the good, so like anyone at the top of their game, I retired from drinking. ‘ Being able to articulate a response to the question of why I stopped drinking, or any of the questions that come my way on this journey, has been a game changer for my success at staying retired and bringing me to all of the amazingness that being retired from drinking has brought me. My advice to a newly sober mom, be secure in your response. You will get asked, questioned and most importantly question yourself as many times as you thought about quitting drinking, on why you no longer drink. When you are confident and can articulate your response, you will feel it!