“Sobriety was the greatest gift I ever gave myself.” ~Rob Lowe
I tried and failed to have a fabulous relationship with alcohol for many years.
When my children were tiny I drank far more than was good for me, thinking I was relaxing, unwinding, socializing, and having fun. I’d seen my life shrink down from a world with lots of freedom and vibrancy to a socially restricted void, and I wanted to feel normal. I wanted to join in with everyone else.
All my birthday cards had bottles of gin or glasses of fizz on them, all the Friday afternoon memes on social media were about “wine o’clock,” and I wanted to be part of that world.
The opening of a bottle in the evening had me thinking I was changing gear, moving from to relaxed and treating myself to some self-care. Nothing could have been further from the truth; the alcohol made me wake during the night and gave me low-level anxiety and an almost permanent brain fog.
I’m not proud of the drinking I did when the kids were small. I now feel a deep sense of shame about that time. I’d created such a happy life for myself—lovely husband and kids, nice house in a great town, wonderful friends. What was I drinking to escape from?
On the outside I looked like I had it all, but I didn’t—I had overwhelm.
I was a wife and family member, a mum to two small children, an employee and a freelancer … I had all the roles I’d longed for, and yet it was all too much.
I didn’t know how to let go of some of my responsibilities, and I didn’t know how to cope with everything that was going on in my life. Alcohol felt like the treat I deserved. It took me a while to figure out that alcohol was the common theme in my rubbish decision-making, tiredness, and grumpiness.
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