We sober sisters are also mamas. We have 3 teens between us, aged 14, 15 and 16. Our kids have seen us drunk. They have seen us sloppy. We wish we could erase those memories they have. We wish we had been more present for them. Our babies are the most important people in our lives and we love them so much. Still. That didn’t stop us from drinking too much around them.
The truth is, we lost control over our drinking years ago. We’d make promises to cut down, to moderate it, to drink when they weren’t around.
Then we’d drink anyway. We’d drink a lot. It’s not easy, being single working moms. There aren’t enough hours in the day. There were days we felt like we were failing at life. So we’d drink to try to calm down the anxiety and to just take a break. That’s what we told ourselves anyway. We deserved it. We needed it.
We got by, but it got harder. It was awful to work while hungover. Parenting while feeling sick was miserable. The cycle just kept on going, as we kept disappointing our kids and ourselves. The worse it got, the more the shame built up. So we’d drink to block that out too.
All of our kids showed us they were really worried about us.. We finally just couldn’t hurt our kids or ourselves for one more minute. So we stopped trying to manage drinking and decided to do whatever it took to stop drinking and STAY stopped.
We can’t erase the past. We can’t get those years back. What we can do is show our kids that they can trust us and count on us. We can be honest with them. We can also show them how we manage life without alcohol (or drugs).
We hope they never see us take another drink.
Quitting drinking didn’t take our problems away, but throwing alcohol on our problems was like tossing jet fuel on a fire. It never, never made things better.
We both found sober support groups. We work on our recovery every single day. We freed up lots of time by not having to sleep off hangovers. We sleep better, we eat better, we exercise, we show up for other people.
Our kids are proud of us. Alcoholism goes back generations in our family. We’re breaking the cycle and we will never take it for granted.