We sober sisters are also mamas.
We have three teens between us, aged 14, 15, and 16. Our kids have seen us drunk. They have also 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. And then we’d drink anyway.
We’d drink a lot. It’s not easy being single, working moms. It always felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day; we felt like we were failing at life. So we’d drink to try to calm down the anxiety and to 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 is always miserable. And the cycle just kept 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” our drinking; we decided to do whatever it took to stop drinking and stay that way.
We can’t erase the past; we can’t get those years back. But 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.
Getting sober didn’t take our problems away, but throwing alcohol on our problems was like tossing jet fuel on a fire. It 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. Now, we sleep better, eat better, exercise, and show up for other people. And I think our kids are proud of us.
Alcoholism goes back generations in our family. We’re breaking the cycle, and we will never take a single second for granted again.