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Let’s Clean Up Our Act FRIDAY

So here we are. It’s Friday. I invite all of you lushes out there who are trying to make a change to come to my blog for support. It’s only on Friday because seriously, we can’t talk about it every minute right? Well, I can but I’m very OCD and that’s a whole nother issue. And seriously, if you aren’t someone who is needing to, considering or already has quit drinking, I’m not fucking judging you. Drink away! Or don’t drink away!

Listen, contrary to what you may think, I have not changed my stance on believing that booze can equal a good time. In fact, I encourage my husband to drink as much as he wants. But, here’s why: my husband does not have a problem. I have not one time in the history of our relationship ever seen him have a drink and thought, “Uh oh, here we go.” Never. You know why? Because Jon is 100% predictable when he has a few drinks. Even when he drinks every night, he doesn’t need to drink every night. But I bet you there has come a time when Jon has seen me with an open bottle of wine and wondered if I’d be fast asleep by 8:00 p.m. and if he’d once again be responsible for getting up in the middle of the night if the kids needed attention. I’m sure he’s cringed a little bit at a party when I’ve gotten a little (a lot) extra “outgoing.”

Some people, myself included, struggle with calling what they have a drinking problem. Most people especially have a hard time identifying themselves as an alcoholic. I totally get that. Once you use the word alcoholic to describe yourself, it’s pretty hard to change your mind, right? I mean, saying you are an alcoholic is like announcing to the world that you cannot care for your children, you are one step away from drinking Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink next to a dumpster, hoping someone will give you a dollar. That is just not the case.

To me, alcoholic means that I should not be drinking ever because alcohol in my body can lead to unpredictable (or actually fairly predictable) bad behavior or at least behavior that I don’t like. Alcoholic means that I don’t want to drink and yet sometimes (all the time) I do it anyway.

So once you say you’re an alcoholic there’s no turning back right? Well, that’s kind of ridiculous isn’t it? Have you met Robert Downey Jr.? He’s changed his mind about 8000 times.

I think that I am an alcoholic but if I died and went to heaven (because I’m a super awesome person -and that’s where our kind goes right?) and God said, “Oh, that’s so funny that you thought you were an alcoholic! Sorry if I implied that. Actually, you just drank a lot when you were stressed out but you probably could’ve drank a little now and then without horrible consequences. My bad!” would I be really pissed that I missed these years of alcohol? No, I wouldn’t.

There’s no blood test to determine whether or not you OFFICIALLY have a problem. There’s just the voice in your head that is nagging at you that you need to quit.

So, if you want to do this, every Friday, starting today, let’s share a little something about our experience and if we’re struggling or not and then if you want to leave your email, do it. If not, that’s cool too. Let’s encourage each other. We’re not alone.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 18, 2009 6:32 pmDrinking108 comments  

108 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    You're such a great support; and so straight forward! This is my every present question…I definitely CAN say no. I can buy a bottle of wine and dump 1/4 of it out so I don't drink the whole darn thing (but then I wonder, why couldn't i have just saved the rest?) I can go days without. But there seem to be so many women with a problem…so am I one of them? or just think I am?
    Glad you are doing this every Friday! I will keep reading!

    | December 18, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  2. Ellie said,

    This is a great idea – you are an inspiration to so many (myself included) and I admire your honesty and humor. I'm an alcoholic in recovery – but it took me a while to say the "a-word", too. When I went to treatment for 30 days, about halfway through I could admit that I was powerless over alcohol, and it was a good start. Now, like you describe, I associate being an alcoholic with an allergy to alcohol – I no longer carry the negative associations with me. In fact, some of the smartest, funniest and most insightful people I have met are alcoholics in recovery. Yourself included!

    Thank you!

    Ellie

    | December 18, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  3. Angry Julie Monday said,

    i heart u as always…..

    and a good motto to have is, you can't always be perfect!

    | December 18, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

  4. Anonymous said,

    Thank you for saying drinking isn’t evil even though you’re sober! For those of you questioning your drinking habits but you aren’t ready to say “never again” yet, I’m committing to no alcohol for the month of January. I’m not so worried it will be hard but I’ll know that if I’m counting the minutes until it hits midnight on the 31st I need to quit for good. Hoping I can master moderation. Congrats to all of you on the sober train!
    jennywilliams@comcast.net

    | December 18, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

  5. Catherine said,

    Stefanie, thank you for putting yourself out there and letting other people into your story for inspiration and help. I gave a shout out to your Clean Up Friday item on my wee blog to help spread the word. Best wishes.

    | December 18, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

  6. summer said,

    As of today I am 40 days sober. I am in for the Friday discussions. Looking forward to them!!

    | December 18, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

  7. A said,

    I admire and thank you for being so candid and straight forward regarding this. More people need to be, as the stigma needs to be lifted.
    Congratulations on your journey.

    | December 18, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  8. mc said,

    did you ever know that you're my hero???? …so hate that song….not ready to stop, but have been thinking about it since you came out…(needing to stop since the last 2 of 4 children). there's always tomorrow(so many bad songs in the world) or maybe next friday….you're working on christmas???

    | December 18, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

  9. cck said,

    As a partner to an alcoholic, can I say a BIG hallelujah and thank you? Talking about it – and dispelling those drinking-beside-the-dumpster stereotypes is a giant relief. To all you folks coping with this disease and trying live better, thank you. Keep it up! Virtual high five.

    | December 18, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  10. The Reluctant Mommy said,

    Still struggling… so here goes….

    Jeez, Friday as the day of sobriety? That's a tough one, because, of course, the little whispers in my head say "Come onnnn, it's Friday! Tough week, babe, time to relax!" The weird thing is, when I don't drink, it's really not THAT big a deal, and yet, I have these beliefs that it would be SO hard and really suck. I am learning that these are what I refer to as "alcoholic lies", and yet, I am still having a really hard time stopping. I can go for about three days and then think "Oh, you've been so good!" and brainwash myself into thinking I've deserved it…and then I feel like crap the next day when I remember that I've finished a bottle of wine and have a headache…and missed my yoga class yet again.

    | December 18, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

  11. Mrs. Butterworthy said,

    Oh hi, I'm a mom, and I've read all your books, and I drink way too much. I am making a commitment to a major lifestyle change in the new year, and let's be honest… I am totally effing petrified.

    Yes. Fridays. I will be here reading comments and posting my own.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 12:05 am

  12. Stillie said,

    Okay, so, after months and months of total sobriety, I had a glass of wine at dinner the other night. Why? I have no idea. I really don't even like merlot. To prove something? That I could have just one, at $5.50 a glass? Beats me.

    Today, I went to an after work appetizer and happy hour deal. Drank 2 cocktails, knowing full well I shouldn't/didn't need to/was opening Pandora's box. Didn't stop me. I didn't get drunk – I didn't even get buzzed.

    Now I feel guilty. I also felt that old paranoia creeping. "Oh my GOD…they're looking at me like I just said something stupid. Did I just say something stupid? Oh my GOD – I can't even tell…I bet they think I'm drunk…but I'm not! Why is that person leaving? What did I say?" This is no way to live.

    Here's the rub: I desperately need camaraderie with my colleagues, yet they all drink. Happy hours are the only way to get together because we get out so early, we can do that while waiting for our SOs to get home. How do I find my strength?

    (i don't know, either…)

    | December 19, 2009 @ 12:19 am

  13. Mary Jo said,

    Growing up I never knew my alcoholic father, but my older (10yrs) brother and sister knew him. When I was born my dad had been sober for about 3 years. After he quit drinking my dad would only occasionally indulge in a cold one, after mowing the lawn. He never trusted himself to hit the bars like he used to. That being said 28 years later I find that I watch myself carefully. I may not have know my alcoholic father, but his disease knows his children. At some point all 3 of us have suffered with a problem with alcohol. My sister and myself both as teenagers, and my brother during his late twenties. Can we have a drink? Sure. Can we drink everyday? No. Drinking one drink always led to drinking 2, or 3 or more… and so for the three of us, we choose not to have that evening drink. I know that alcoholism is inside of me, and I will do whatever I have to, to keep it under control.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 12:34 am

  14. Anonymous said,

    Testing to see if I can do this without signing in. :)

    | December 19, 2009 @ 12:38 am

  15. Anonymous said,

    Hi to everyone. I drink wine every night and have for many, many years. It hasn't caused me too many problems although there have been times I have screwed up. When my kids were little I didn't start drinking until I put them to bed. Then they got older and got to stay up longer so I still drank. Then they wanted to go to the movies, skating, etc and would want me to pick them up. But hey, that cut into my drinking time so I'd do my best of arranging to do the "taking" and another mom to do the "picking up". Man, drinking started to become hard work! Now they are college age and come and go at all hours. It's a hit and miss to avoid them at my very tipsy moments late at night. Yet I still drink on, telling myself to "just have one more then get to bed"…sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I experience shame, guilt, etc and wonder "oh what must they think of me". Yet I know that getting sober will cause the guilt, shame, etc. to become that much more HUGE and I will have to relive all of my past failures. So still I drink. Don't really know why I'm posting this but here it is. Honestly, I love to drink. And honestly, now that my kids have moved out it's easier. Until they show up without warning and I've drank too much. Surprise mom! Yea thanks. I like drinking alone…all by myself. Again, don't know why I'm posting…hope I'm not a bore.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 12:55 am

  16. Sober Mommy said,

    Thanks Stefanie for a great idea! Especially around the holidays. I hated the "A" word – you have no idea how much I hated that word. To just have to give up and admit it? And then…..what happens if I changed my mind? Not an easy word to 'undo'.

    Somehow finally coming to terms with saying that I was a recovering alcoholic out loud, in my own voice and at my own time was very liberating.

    All this said by someone who, of course, took a hell of a long time in coming to that time of course.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 1:10 am

  17. Suzy said,

    "Uh oh…here we go." (so funny)

    Been sober since 2004 but need to say I've slipped three times. People get all wrapped up in the slipping as being a horror and then you're ashamed etc. The reality is you slip and then move on. Don't make yourself wrong for it because it will just make you give up altogether.

    I was a social drinker all my life. Then one day I crossed over the line. At rehab they called me a situational alcoholic but once you cross over the magic line, you can't go back.

    After my first year of sobriety I couldn't believe I ever drank. I was so much happier sober. I still am happier sober.

    Do the best you can, kids: that's all you can do.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 1:10 am

  18. Suzy said,

    And for God's sakes, don't count days. The pressure of that is too much. And if I slip I don't start over by moving my sober date. It's self-defeating because it brings shame.

    Giving up any addiction is difficult. Be kind to yourself.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 1:13 am

  19. Mad Woman said,

    I think you're doing an amazing thing. I have an addictive personality. Or so I'm told. There was a time when hubby would come home from work and I'd been through almost two bottles of wine and you couldn't tell I'd been drinking. It just got worse from there. I had to stop drinking altogether, but I still didn't consider myself an alcoholic.

    So a few months later when I was offered drinks at a party, I fell right back into it.

    Now I just don't drink. I make jokes about my previous drinking days, but I just don't do it anymore.

    Keep going, you're doing well!

    | December 19, 2009 @ 2:00 am

  20. Anonymous said,

    Replying to Madwoman…that was me years ago…I could drink and no one would notice. But like they say…it's a progressive thing. Now I drink and it shows. That's a bad sign I'm sure. :(
    I just don't handle it as well…time to think I guess.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 2:40 am

  21. 44andcounting said,

    To all on this first Friday of many…these are all so helpful – and hopeful. Especially the part about feeling happier sober. I love that. Thank Stefanie for creating this space.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 3:01 am

  22. Anonymous said,

    How timely. I haven't been on your blog for a while…until tonight. It just happens to be the day that I decided I HAVE to make some major changes regarding alcohol. I have known this for a while and wanted to openly discuss all my fears and feelings with my husband and a couple of close friends, but doing so would be tantamount to admitting that I (gasp) may have a problem.

    Well, after a few years of stuffing this down and biting my tongue, I finally admitted to my husband today that I knew that my drinking has become a problem. I finally told him I have to quit for a very, very long while and quite possibly forever and that I cannot have alcohol in our home right now and maybe never again.

    I am ready.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 3:30 am

  23. BabyonBored said,

    I love where this is going. It's a first step and it's going to help. I'm having a better day just from hearing from all of you. We can all go check out the sober blogs and be inspired by the cool, normal women who are able to do it all sober. Also? I'm chugging Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper right now. It's not wine but it doesn't suck either.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 3:45 am

  24. Anonymous said,

    thank you to you all. Your honesty is just awesome.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 4:33 am

  25. Alisha said,

    I like reading your posts. I'm sure you don't remember but I've commented before. I want to quit so I can join your Friday discussions too…but my problem is that the only sincere time I want to quit is in the morning…by afternoon I've talked myself into thinking drinking isn't a big deal…by evening it's a good idea…and by now I don't feel much of anything. I don't have a bad life…I have an awesome job, great husband and 3 healthy kids..but I'm busy, I'm always on the go & stressed… and it's nice to feel nothing.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 4:51 am

  26. Katie said,

    Being sober when most people are drinkers can be difficult. I try to remember that drinking doesnt ever make things better for me. Finding positive adreniline rushes and positive ways to relieve stress are key to enjoying sobriety for me.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 4:54 am

  27. Robin said,

    As of today I am 100 days sober. I am in for the Friday discussions. Looking forward to chatting it up with the crazies. 😉

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:42 am

  28. Kristin said,

    I didn't know about Robert Downey Junior, and am glad I know now.

    Also: I'm coming back to stalk this section of your blog, frequently.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:43 am

  29. Anonymous said,

    Stefanie,

    I'm not a regular reader, and I'm not a mom, but I wanted to thank you for writing this and to wish you all the best in your sobriety. I really admire you — you're brave, wonderful and a great mom. I'm the daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece of alcoholics, and I know the hell you've spared your daughters, and everyone else who loves you. God bless you.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:46 am

  30. Laura47 said,

    I was a drunk from the first time I ever drank anything, so I ended up to the point where I was either going to stop or I was going to be dead, soon, by the time I was 22. I've now been sober…uh…(sorry, I've lost count!)… something like 33 years? I don't know, it doesn't really matter as long as I'm okay today. Counting the time isn't what matters to me; what matters is: Have I been the kind of person I want to be today? Since I almost invariably managed to humiliate myself when drunk (which was nearly every day during my brief and non-illustrious drinking career), it's nice not to feel that way today.

    Of course, these days I'm addicted to buying yarn and knitting, knitting, knitting, so clearly I haven't managed to change my fundamental personality. :)

    Seriously, no two people have the same definition for when they have a problem. If it interferes with your family or your job; if you can never say how much you'll drink once you start; and if you never quite know what you're going to end up doing when you do drink, you probably have a problem. Oh, and if you black out a lot. Social drinkers don't have blackouts, I've learned, at least not on a regular basis. And you don't have to drink a lot to have one; I once had a ten-hour blackout after drinking exactly four beers. Most embarrassing night of my life, judging by what everyone told me afterwards!

    To anyone who's struggling: There's always people you can talk to. If you want to try AA, you're probably not going to have the God thing shoved down your throat (in some parts of the country I can't guarantee it, but you can still ignore it and pick the doorknob for your higher power if you want to), and you can find someone who knows how you feel. Or there's lots of other organizations these days that also help people stop, although honestly, none of them have the success rate of AA. But whatever is going on: You're not the only person who ever felt this way. You're not unique. And connecting with other people who understand what you're feeling goes a long way towards helping you change your behavior.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 6:09 am

  31. Lisa Page Rosenberg said,

    Getting sober, I absolutely felt that "never again" was impossible. Dry days, weeks, months stretching ahead were unthinkable. The whole "one day at a time" thing was so bumper sticker-y and didn't make sense to me. Someone old me regarding drinking, don't drink today and then wait another day and see what happens. I've been doing that for a whole lot of days in a row now and life has improved in countless ways.

    It's just a day. A day is do-able.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 6:22 am

  32. Jane said,

    Super cool idea.

    Hey Anon after the testing Anon. My heart breaks for you. I know so many people who tell your story but then have a super happy ending of the freedom that comes when they stop because there's no more worry about all the what if's and what times and how much and so on.

    I agree with Laura47. Try the Double A as I like to call it. I bet it's different that you imagine….(or that was my experience)

    | December 19, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  33. Rockzee said,

    I just got tired of saying this line to myself over and over: "I should quit drinking." Finally, one of my friends got sober and showed me how easy it is. And after so many hours spent going back and forth in my brain saying "should I quit drinking?" over and over, she said the one thing that finally made me surrender to the idea of quitting forever. She said, (and she is a Mom, too) "I think about all that time I wasted lying on the couch hungover." That's the moment that I decided it was worth it. In my reluctance to quit, I always thought I'd really miss drinking, and I didn't want to let the idea of having wine with dinner go. But when she said that, I realized that missing drinking was NOTHING, was so insignificant compared to everything I'd miss if I didn't quit drinking. And my body just couldn't handle the hangover anymore. I didn't have to drink that much to blackout and I didn't have to drink that much to feel hungover the next day, and being hungover makes me a bad mother which is the last thing I want to be. I quit after trying to moderate my drinking, because I told myself if I didn't moderate I'd end up in AA. Like it was the worst place in the world. But now that I go to meetings, I'm amazed at how much I enjoy it. It's the best, cheapest therapy. And in the 68 days I've been sober, I've met so many wonderful people. My life is not more boring than it was, it's quite the opposite. I get out more than ever. You can't imagine what it feels like to be sober until you are. If you are wondering if you should quit drinking or not then you probably should. Nonalcoholics don't sit around wondering if they're alcoholics or not. And once you meet a bunch of people you like who struggle with alcohol like you do, calling yourself one of them doesn't feel so bad. I've literally never been happier. It sounds corny, but it's true.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  34. Rockzee said,

    p.s. Robert Downey Jr. is an alcoholic and look at him now. He's a super bad ass.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  35. Elizabeth said,

    Today I am 21 days sober. Three weeks ago, after I dropped my daughter off with her dad for an overnight visit, I went to the beach to collect some rocks. Back in the car, all I could do was think about grabbing a giant two liter of chardonnay and heading home to pull down the shades, put on the TV and drink myself into oblivion. I knew I could do it AGAIN. But then I looked at the clock in my car and saw it was 1pm. I still thought I could do it. I could drink that wine, be in bed by 7pm and wake up with a massive hangover that, or course, I could nurse myself through in time to pick up my daughter in the afternoon. But the voice inside my head that had been questioning for a long while now whether I had a problem with my wine told me it was time to make a call, and so I did, right there at the beach. I called AA, found a meeting and went that night. I have been to about 9 meetings in three weeks, and I have learned something at each and every one – and I have never been in such a supportive, non-judgemental enviroment in my life. I am like many of you hung up on the "A" word … so I choose not to dwell on it right now. The labels will work themselves out. I am even hung up on whether my life had become "unmanageable". Not sure if that is true, either. So I choose not to dwell on that, either. Cuz what I do know is that I have no control over alcohol – that I was drinking too often and too much – and that despite my best efforts or promises to myself, one glass of wine was NEVER one glass of wine. And what I also know is that waking up clear headed and without guilt or shame is amazing. And it is amazing how much of my time is freed up. Let's face it, being obssessed and anxious with getting your child to sleep so you can plow into that wine is exhausting. If my daughter I and were reading, I was skipping pages. If we were playing a game, I wasn't focused on my child or the game, I was waiting for it to end so I could get her to bed and drink. If I was out at a movie with friends, I couldn't wait for that moment I was home drinking alone. Alcohol not only gave me hangovers, guilt and shame, it also took me away from my life, my child, my family and friends. Maybe no one noticed but me. I mean, I have never lost anything visible because alcohol, not friends, not jobs, not my child. What I did lose, though, was feeling present in every moment of my life. And I feel like I am living in this whole new world now – that is real and authentic – and is not filled with guilt and shame. I also have a lot of junk drawers that are no longer junk drawers. I will also say that I get angry a fair amount these days – and the anger is biting and intense and scary. I also have had panic attacks. And I am seeing so clearly how before, I would drown out those uncomfortable feelings with my nice cold, and much deserved wine. So the "feelings" are new, and not very comfortable, but I am noticing that they don't stay for long. They actually pass – and often, pretty quickly. I just notice I am feeling something. I might even note that I don't want to be feeling the anger, or loneliness, but I am always surprised at how quickly, the uncomfortable feelings pass. I have told my sister and my closest girlfriends. All were surprised. Why? Because many of us drunks are really good at creating deception – a facade that we have our lives completely together. A lot of us drunks are witty, smart, pretty, good moms, accomplished professionsals who happen to live with a shameful little secret- that we drink too often and we drink too much. And I don't want to do that anymore. I like being sober so much more. xo

    | December 19, 2009 @ 11:30 am

  36. Shannon said,

    Do what I do Steph. Put your diet Cherry Pepsi in a wine glass. It gives it a classy effect. I feel like I'm drinking without the alcohol. I am not an alcoholic, but LOVE Xanax…Let's start a NO Xanax Saturday…I really need to start laying off of them. I have become SOOOO reliant on them it scares the hell out me! How do you know when too much is enough? When you delibriatly get yourself worked up so you can pop one? HELP!

    | December 19, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  37. Anonymous said,

    I think you are an inspiration to moms because you DO talk about it incessantly…. My inner voice talks about quitting constantly, and then… I DON'T. Or I do for about 5 days, and then start again, because as another commenter said.. I have been "so good".

    Ugh. I know that it is causing all kinds of problems in my relationship, which is extremely rocky to begin with, but I will be conscious and kind all day, and then when I have had a couple of drinks, start sending some texts or emails that I know will make my boyfriend crazy. Or I will start making some insane demands, or believing that everything is horrible and never going to get better.. all the while, contributing to it getting worse. Does that make sense?

    Anyway… I think I should quit.

    The thing that helps me to think that I should quit, is that people's experiences are so similar to my own.. pouring out 1/4 of a bottle of wine, so you won't drink too much. Thinking that you can drink in moderation, but knowing that you can't.

    I think it's great that you are bringing all these voices out of the closet!

    | December 19, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  38. Jacqui said,

    I found out I was pregnant April 12th, which was a monumental day for me (also an alcoholic) because it was also the last day I had a drink. I got up. It was a Sunday morning, and I had a friend's home-brewed lemon wine. I am actually in early labor right now and have spent all these pregnant months going over and over the fact that, for my daughter's sake, I cannot drink again. My husband is also an alcoholic and hasn't had a drink since August. It's easy for me right now because I'm pregnant, but I'm afraid once she comes out and things settle down, I'll wonder about that Sunday morning glass of wine. I mean, that's a pretty good indicator, right? Sunday morning? Anyway, it's easy to be that strength for my husband right now, too. We just keep reminding each other how much happier we are sober. We have accomplished so much during these sober months and our relationship has gone from okay to amazing. Nothing can replace that fuzzy wine feeling, but we have found that a good workout at a good gym is cheaper, leads to a predictable (healthy) outcome, and releases some of those same endorphins.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  39. Anonymous said,

    I missed yesterday b/c we have a foot of snow here in Asheville! Just wanted to chime in and say thanks to you Stefanie today marks day 76 for me! Woohoo! This is a great idea and I hope it gives me the strength to continue down this path by checking in once a week!

    I told my husband last night that I have become a huge sparkling water snob these days. I can down a bottle of S.Pellegrino like nobodies business. Add a twist of lime and it's on! We named it Pelligrigio since my drink of choice was Pinot Grigio. I do notice that I become a little anxious when the last sip is gone…. But I wake up in the morning clear eyed and sans headache and it is so worth it. Water is cheaper too.

    Your strength gives me strength Stefanie.

    Mary

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

  40. Anonymous said,

    P.S. Elizabeth- you go girl.
    Mary

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

  41. 44andcounting said,

    to Elizabeth – as I read your story, I thought, "that's me" – thanks for reminding me how connected we all are in our various struggles. You're an inspiration…I'll think of you – and all the rest of you on this, day two…xo

    | December 19, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  42. mylene said,

    I'm about to go to my 2nd AA mtg. I wish we all could have an AA group. So far, they're aren't any moms that can relate to. I mean, like this blog. But I still like going & appreciate the ladies there. KEEP ON TRUCKING, BIATCHES!

    | December 19, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  43. Anonymous said,

    NO one else is talking about this, but my problem is compounded by the fact that when I drink (All. The. Time.), I also eat. I am huge and getting huger. Something is obviously very wrong with me and no one is saying, "hey, hon, what the hell?" Why isn't anyone saying that? My wife is aware, but she'll buy me wine…and food. I know, I know. Co-dependent.

    Oh god, how can I stop? Party across the street tonight. I don't want to go because I look so awful…and I kow I will drink…then eat…

    -mistri

    | December 19, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  44. Rebecca said,

    You are amazing Stefanie! Congratulations on staying sober.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  45. BabyonBored said,

    This is so inspiring to me. I am amazed at how elequently and honestly you are all sharing. Elizabeth, I too share the others' thoughts that you are doing such a great thing for your life! Rockzee, everytime you comment I hear my own voice. I think you really get it. To the others who are struggling, we'll be here every Friday (and inbetween) and you are always free to email me anonymously and I will answer.

    | December 19, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  46. Anonymous said,

    Hi everyone! First of all I want to say thanks to Stephanie for this blog. I found it about a month ago when I was looking for information on how to quit drinking. I had made up my mind to do it but got talked into waiting until after my big 4-0 birthday. That was exactly one month ago and i've been drinking 4-5 times a week ever since. Last night i went to a child-friendly party at our new neighbors a few doors down and got wasted. Then proceeded to walk home with my 4 year old daughter (which i have no recollection of 'cause i blacked out) So today i return to this blog with my tail between my (hungover) legs to admit I have a problem and I need to quit. I am scared of failing again but I feel with the support of others on this blog and reading all of your very similar stories, I can find the strength….Again kudos to you Stephanie I think what you are doing is really going to change a lot of lives. Hopefully mine included. I am posting as anonymous but my name is Anne for anyone that may have some advice or thoughts.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  47. Anonymous said,

    Stefani, sorry I spelled your name wrong in my last post…..doesn't change the fact that what you are doing is Amazing!

    Anne

    | December 20, 2009 @ 12:45 am

  48. Anonymous said,

    I've been wanting (and half-heartedly trying) to quit for several months now. I found your blog, and I love it (thank you!). Your humor is awesome, and best – I can relate. I'm not a total f-ing freak afterall, hmm. I've been to a few AA mtgs, but there's this huge culture there that's a little off-putting. As a mom (2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats) and wife to (thankfully only) 1 husband, life is sometimes really crappy. I'm beginning to realize it's even worse when I drink. Love the clean up Friday idea. More power to ya!

    | December 20, 2009 @ 2:30 am

  49. 44andcounting said,

    all-OK, I know it's Saturday, but…I wanted you all to know that you've inspired me (thank you Stefanie and everyone who have shared their stories)…I went to my first AA meeting this afternoon…and I shared. I was shaking. Scared to death to publically reveal my little ugly secret. Scared to death I'd actually know someone at the meeting. Scared to death that now that I came out of the white wine closet, I won't be able to do this sobriety thing. I explained that this was the year I noticed that one bottle of wine isn't really that much (and that scared the hell outta me), and that there were too many mornings I woke up and tried to find clues from the night before by retracing my steps (the kitchen trash often revealing the most insight to the chardonnay-induced trail of my night before), and that my kids had started to say "we already talked about that mommy" or "you already asked me about my test, mom" so much so that I became reluctant to ask too many questions for fear of repeating myself…

    It was a women only meeting, and people were unbelievably support, compassionate, and thankfully, FUNNY! It was very cool.

    I look forward to these Friday discussions…xo

    | December 20, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  50. BabyonBored said,

    Dear 44andCounting, I am sooo proud of you! That is amazing, inspirational and I am verklempt! This is going to be a beautiful thing here every Friday. We are going to help a lot of people and it's women like you who are going to lead the way! Thank you for letting us share in your first meeting!!!

    | December 20, 2009 @ 5:26 am

  51. jami62 said,

    so I am reading this, wishing u were all here with me so that I didn't feel so alone…why is it that even when I want to share with my close friends that I am in a bad place or that I have a "drinking problem" that I feel even more isolated than I did before and when I read all of these comments, I feel more affirmed and confident than I do in real life?! Ahh!! but I so appreciate everything that you all are sharing…I've got new twins and feel like I am losing my mind most of the time. Which is why you all can be sooo encouraging… to hear all of your success stories and everyday triumphs and know that more is possible. Some days it seems like it's all that gets me through. So thank u and please pray for me. Something in my life has got to change.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 6:49 am

  52. BabyonBored said,

    Dear Jami,

    You know I have twins. It's fuck-all hard. Don't let anyone tell you different. I don't know if I'd be in this mess (or at least not yet) if I hadn't had twins. If the double duty doesn't get you the ppd will so know that the hardest part will pass. It will. It does get better. But the drinking will probably still be there unless you get help. There is help and it will change your life.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 7:05 am

  53. Anonymous said,

    I never thought I would be able to quit and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring much less New Year's Eve. What I do know is that little by little it does get a bit easier and each morning I wake up not hungover is a huge triumph for me. Sometimes it is one minute at a time and then one hour and then one day. What I do know is that once I finally decided to talk openly about it, a huge weight lifted and things began to change.

    I woke up with an Albert Einstein quote in my head this morning which I love,

    "Whether you think you can or you can't, either way you are right."

    Thanks Stefanie for opening up a safe place for us to talk.

    Mary

    | December 20, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  54. Anonymous said,

    I just want to say that I keep checking in a few times each day to see what everyone is sharing. It is so helpful. thank you. I have twins (they're almost 4 now) and it does get WAY easier. But I did start drinking way more after having them. it almost gave a break from day to nite and mixed up the monontony. But the drinking just got more and more up until really ~6 months ago, when I realized I didn't need it anymore. Surprisingly my fitness and wanting to train for more intense races has become my new incentive for not having the vino. Vino is still in my life, but I'm still struggling with how much I want it to be.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  55. BabyonBored said,

    Mary, look at you! You came out of the closet and now you are a recovery rockstar! You should be incredibly proud of yourself. Doesn't it feel good to be helping others instead of being a slave to the nightly wine? And I agree with you so much that it's the secret that makes it so hard to quit.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  56. Fiona of Cork said,

    I can't believe I'm this late to the "party".

    I too am struggling to stay sober.

    The secrets, the shame, the guilt, the constant obsessive thoughts about wine (and vodka) and how to get through the night without drinking…..this has been my life for the last month or two.

    Prior to that…the last year of my life was drinking every night. As much as I could before falling into bed.

    I have the "special" circumstance of being two years post-op from gastric bypass surgery. Which gives me the added bonus of having alcohol hit me like a brick within two minutes of the first drink, and then feeling as if the buzz is gone within a half hour of of the last drink (just the feeling, believe me…the content in my blood is still there).

    Anyway…I'm about three weeks into counseling. Have managed a total of six consecutive sober days out of those three weeks. But also a few three and four day stretches.

    I'll be here. So glad to find sisters in the desire for sobriety.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  57. jami62 said,

    I was rocking my daughter the other night before bed and it was the most perfect moment…only I had had a few glasses of wine already. I was so mad at myself for watering down the intensity of that beautiful moment. As I was sitting there, I remembered your post about reading to your daughters and how that has become what you look forward to instead of your wine at the end of the day…suddenly that made a lot more sense to me. As hard as it is, I don't want to wish this time away or miss any of it. My twins are 3 months old now and it's so fucking hard but they and are the best thing ever and they deserve a momma who can be sober and present. So thank you for sharing your experiences and encouragement, what a great place to come and be reminded that we're not alone and it's not as hard and hopeless as it can seem.

    | December 20, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

  58. Anonymous said,

    THANK YOU for this, and for being honest til it hurts. I have 8 months of sobriety, coming into the holidays is a little scary, but I'm confident, with support, we can ALL do this! Just keep on keepin' on!

    | December 20, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

  59. Ann said,

    i'm at 93 days. my most difficult time is 4 – 8. i struggle with staying calm when my girls are being mean to each other. reality sometimes is overwhelming. it was easy to check out with 'my wine'. now i can't go back. one day at a time…wait for the micacle…it will get better…this to shall pass…go to more meetings. how do you surrender it all?

    | December 21, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  60. Anonymous said,

    Stefani~ YOU are the rock star!! Look at what you've started!?! My 90 days is Jan. 2nd. Uggh, I hope, hope, HOPE I can do this….
    xoxo,M

    | December 21, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  61. Anonymous said,

    Better late than never to this discussion. I still can't believe I'm writing this. Saw the article in the NYTimes in March about Stephanie and it started me thinking. Not enough to do anything, but still, the seed was planted. For the past 7 or 8 years, I've been drinking a lot,like 2-3 glasses each night, sometimes more. I've also had several embarassing spells of literally drinking myself sick – not cool. It's epecially not cool if your 16 year old twin boys (what is it with twins and drinking??) see you in such a condition. I'm open and honest with them about making these mistakes and they are so understanding and non-judgemental, but that doesn't seem to be enough for me to quit, or at least cut down. That is what I am trying to do now. I have written up a contract with myself to not drink at home in the evening, except on weekends, and to not drink more than 2 drinks on any given day. I also wrote into the contract that I will run 3 times a week and do yoga 5 times a week. Thought I would counteract the negative with a positive.
    I truly want to be more healthy. That is my main goal. I want to wake up clear headed. but like one of you said, as the day goes on, you talk yourself into thinking that there's really nothing wrong with a little drink….
    I hope this site can help me to stay focused. Moderation may not work, I may have to quit altogether. Cross that bridge later..

    Thank you for this site! – Sue

    | December 21, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

  62. Anonymous said,

    I am also very thankful to find all this support online. I am quitting today. I have been trying to drink in moderation for a couple of months now. I promised my husband I would not drink during the week. However, I am still drinking way to much on the weekend and have made mistakes on two weeknights the last two weeks. The largest problem is that I have a lot of guilt in the morning after I drink. I feel tired and I don't give my son 100% and that makes me feel awful. I also find that I am thinking about when/how I can fit in a drink all the time and I know that is a true sign of having a problem. Although it has not messed up my life, drinking has put a strain on my relationship with my husband. He does not like it when I drink and he also gets to hear the guilt afterward. I fear that if I don't quit today that I will ruin our relationship. Although I am quitting today I am scared to death and I have no idea what to do. And I have quit before and it has never worked. As someone else said, the problem is that I rationalize and end up drinking again. I won't have problems today or tomorrow but the rest of the time will be rough. I just need advice on what to tell my self after tomorrow when I want the drink. I also want to post this so I can look back at it. Thanks for listening and I will be checking back soon!

    | December 21, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

  63. Anonymous said,

    How can I admit I am an alcoholic when I have spent years building up a false perception of strength to most people? Do I have to admit it or is it possible to quit and only tell my husband? If I tell people and fail I truly fear that my whole world will come crashing in.

    | December 21, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

  64. Elizabeth said,

    One of the first things I heard at my very first meeting was that it is necessary to put as much as possible in between you and that first drink. My hard time is at night from 5-9, so I make lists of as many little things as possible. Email a friend. Go fill my car with gas. Clean a junk drawer. Paint rocks. Make my daughter's lunch at night, not in the morning. Pack my briefcase at night, not in the morning. Make a grocery list. Make chili. Go to a bookstore. Take my daughter on a drive drinking hot chocolate and listening to christmas music while we look at lights. Lists. Lists. Lists. Oh, and I go to bed shortly after my daughter, so I am not alone and bored wondering if the wine store down the street is still open and if I ca get there and back without waking my daughter. The second hardest time for me is after I drop my daughter off with her Dad … that is actually even harder because I started drinking pretty shortly after I'd get home, even if that was in the aftrnoon. So I either make sure I go to a meeting, visit my Dad, or make date with a friend to go see a movie, anything to get me OUT of the house. I think it helps to fill your TRIGGER time. I don't know if this helps everyone, but so far it is helping me.

    As far as the labels, and people knowing, the fear of being labeled by myself or others as an alcoholic (especially since I have an alcoholic ex-husband and I admit that I took a lot of pleasure in labeling him that)- well, I think that "A" word kept me from confronting my own drinking for a long time. I choose right now not to dwell on the labels. I believe the labels will get sorted out in time for me. For now, I tell my closest friends that I was drinking too often and too much … and that my drinking was getting in the way. I also explain when I choose to, that I am going to aa meetings because I love them and they are helping to keep me sober. I like my life (and me) a lot better without alcohol in my life. For me, explaining my issue with alcohol this way feels comfortable and less "ugly" if that makes sense.

    Hope this helps.
    xo

    | December 21, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  65. Anonymous said,

    This is amazing…I'm captivated. I wish all of you the best. Support like this could make all the difference!!

    I've not been drinking for a while now and the two things I'd like to share is that this disease/condition/whatever you like to call it…is progressive. It is cruel that way. One of the reasons I quit was because of the thought that if I didn't stop now it would be harder to do later.

    The other thing that I'd like to say is that being sober was not what I thought it would be. I had so many reasons why it would be horrible to never drink again. You know what I'm talking about. And I didn't want to be one of "those people." Yeah, I trusted the judgement of a drunk! Funny how we do that.

    Just being rid of the shame is so wonderful. Wonderful beyond words. Also, knowing that it is hereditary…I am comforted by the fact that what I'm doing now is the absolute best thing I can to prevent my children from struggling the way I did…and still do on occasion.

    Thanks Stefanie and all of you…
    Another Katie

    | December 21, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  66. Ann said,

    they say at the meetings 'we don't shot our wounded'. it is true. the 'double a' meetings are quite welcoming. it took me two weeks to get over my withdrawl symptoms. scary…but i did it on my own. the people at the tables kept saying 'keep coming back'…so i did. no doubt, i am still struggling with it all after three months, but i continue to go, read the literature and listen at the tables. when we listen we learn…when we share we will heal. it took me thirty years to get here…to finally realize i couldn't quit on my own. i now have people i can talk to that really understand. i met some mom's in the same boat. what a relief after feeling so alone for so long.

    my girls are home for two weeks. this will be a challenge and i will attempt to use the tools of the program and call my support mom's to help me through. i won't be able to get to meetings as i did daily for three months. steph…you are a life savior. your blog will help me until i can get to a meeting. thank you.

    everything is so different…it has to be. i focus on the fact that my amazing little girls deserve a sober mom…what a gift! and we in recovery deserve to live a sober life with all the promises of feeling happy, joyous and free. i will keep all those who are struggling or have a desire to stop drinking in my daily prayers. getting sober is hard…staying sober is possible.

    it takes a lot of courage to not pick up. we can do this. stay into today…be present in this moment. don't give up five minutes before the miracle.

    | December 21, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

  67. jami62 said,

    Don't give up 5 minutes before the miracle…I love that! That will be my new mantra, so thank you.

    | December 21, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

  68. Ann said,

    get jazzed about being sober. we can learn to manage our lives sober. if we drink again, our lives could be mamaged by the system and/or the state.

    be grateful for the special moments you are 'present' with your babies, what a blessing…some of us cannot remember those magic moments.

    | December 21, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  69. Mrs. Butterworthy said,

    I talked to my husband last night and used "the a word." I answered the twelve questions again and didn't lie to myself and said "yes" seven times. My husband said he will support me in my effort to get sober, said he's been worried about me for a while because he's watched me drink more and more over the years, watched me NEED to drink more and more…

    This is so scary. I might talk a bit about my own struggles on my personal blog… but I do want to echo the thank you to Stefanie… I originally posted the 11th comment here, and now there are almost 70. Clearly we need this.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 12:23 am

  70. Jenny said,

    Awesome! I'm on board. You actually were one of the reasons that I stopped drinking last month and have been sober every since. I saw you–smart, pretty, put-together and you were admitting that you had a problem…the same problem that I have (one who's not as smart, pretty and put-together). It inspired me.

    I'm a stay at home mom and, on a lot of days, feel as though my life-blood has been sucked from me, by 5pm. I quickly found that drinking a bottle of wine was a quicker and easier way to escape. Quicker and easier than, say, finding a new hobby or interest. My mother is alcoholic and I've spent my whole life trying NOT to be her but I suddenly began to be JUST like her. That was another strong push.

    I can't wait to check in every Friday. I need all of the support that I can get.

    Jenny
    veggiejj@gmail.com

    | December 22, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  71. Anonymous said,

    Where are we supposed to leave our email address? I'm kinda dumb at this stuff.
    I haven't even had a chance to read all the posts yet but I have to say…I did it again yesterday. Drank more than I realized or wanted to and have been SICK all day. Feel awful. Yes I know it's called a hangover.
    I definitely want to get on this Friday bandwagon. When I first read "Baby on Bored" I started myself on a no-alcohol program that lasted a week or two, followed by moderate drinking. But the damn stuff sneaks up on me. I have to start a new program and get some support. I want this to be the place I find and give support.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 2:04 am

  72. momsrus said,

    Why didja have to pick Friday??!! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, maybe Thursday, MAYBE even Saturday, but Friday…! I may be in…or out…not sure yet. By the way, I was so excited to see you on Dr. Oz, I worshipped your book and bought it for the title…then when you came out I was so disappointed…it's so much more fun to keep drinking the wine than acknowledge you might actually have a problem…bravo to you…

    | December 22, 2009 @ 2:58 am

  73. Lola said,

    I appreciate you and your writing so much. I am 4 months and something sober and it is a struggle. Some days I just want to give it all up and go on a huge binge, and others I realize that I can never go back.

    I just blogged myself empty about another symptom of my crazyness (not only am I a drunk, I have other issues too. Gasp, what a surprise!) but I am looking forward to continuing to read and comment on these Friday posts.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 3:37 am

  74. Anonymous said,

    This is a great place to have – thanks, Stephanie.

    Anonymous: It's hard to stop on your own. If someone is addicted your mind will convince you that one drink won't hurt, you can handle it, etc (the drunk lies)

    The easiest way is to go to a double A meeting.

    I've read all the posts on this forum and let me say you ladies KICK ASS!

    See you next Friday!!

    | December 22, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  75. Anonymous said,

    So I've known I'm an alcoholic for a few years now. I had a couple bad instances of driving while drunk in my twenties and somehow didn't kill anyone or myself. I still think about those nights and it really scares me. Maddie is two and I do all the typical things, try to wait until five, can easily put down a bottle a night – someitmes have two bottles going so my husband won't notice I've actually had five glasses in one night. Am five months pregnant with the second kid and CANNOT wait to get him out so I can have a drink. Think about it almost every day. Clearly I can choose to not drink as I did with Maddie and this pregnancy, but when not pregnant just can't resist it. I found an empty bottle I had hidden when I was three months pregnant. Meaning, some night before I got pregnant, I drank so much I needed to hide a bottle to take out to the recycling the next morning, but drank so much that I forgot until three months later when I was digging out a serving platter. That was an eye opener. Basically, I know I should quit. I know AA – My sister did the whole drug rehab thing. Basically, I just HATE the idea of giving it up forever. Wish I could control it on my own. Worry that I'll never get it together and my own kids will have to do an intervention someday. Don't know if anyone out there will write back to me. Can't tell anyone I actually know because then I'll be accountable and have to quit.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

  76. Anonymous said,

    Anonymous(6:44 am)person who wrote to me (Anonymous 6:04 pm) about getting help by going to an AA meeting. After reading some more here this morning I think you are right. Getting up a little courage.
    Thanks.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  77. Caroline said,

    I really admire the fact that you are willing to talk about this. It shouldn't be stigmatized. It is what it is. I'm totally in, and looking forward to sharing your sobriety milestones with you.

    Caroline
    Alcoholic
    9/2/07

    | December 22, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  78. Anonymous said,

    Anonymous 6:04pm (LOL)

    Hey, I've been where you are and the first AA meeting was what got me through day 1.

    I couldn't go even ONE day without the stuff – not even one lousy day

    I sat through that first meeting with my eyes closed – it helps.

    (I'm only on day 12 so I'm not one to talk)

    love and strength flowing your way 😀

    | December 22, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  79. 44andCounting said,

    great job on TODAY, Stefanie! And thanks for clarifying that to address drinking takes more than just making healthy eating choices! If it were only that easy. I just read the post from Anonymous who is pregnant and has a two-year old, Maddie…I hope you will find this blog – and the shared experiences here– of support and comfort as I have. My heart really goes out to you; I can really relate to your story. I started going to AA this past Saturday after years of strategizing how to drink "successfully": I decided I would only drink white wine, only drink on the weekends, never drink and drive. I rationalized my drinking because of my very real stress: 2 pre-teens, single mom, big stressful job, loss of father this year, etc. But I became acutely aware of how much I was thinking about alcohol, when I'd drink next, whether I could be the pick up mom from the school dance so I managed to be the "drop off" mom, and on and on. All this energy around managing the alcohol became exhausting and I have gained weight and have dark circles under my eyes…and I decided last Friday, when I awoke with a "headache" (hangover) that enough was enough (in big part motivated by Clean up our Act Friday!). I am really scared about the progressive nature of the disease so I needed to stop now. Not at the beginning of the year, not tomorrow, but now. So I did what I NEVER thought I would do for fear of admitting I had a problem and being accountable and being found out and being seen in this way by others in public…I actually told two family members AND went to a women only AA meeting. I sat in the parking lot watching women enter the meeting room telling myself, "I'm not like them, but I'll check it out." The woman were all tremendously welcoming, but still I had a running internal mantra "I'm not as bad as them. I'm not like them." As they handed me phone lists, and smiled at me, I started to settle in and listen to their stories. And while I don't want to say I am comfortable with this AT ALL yet, or that some miracle occurred, it was clear to me that really, none of us are all that different on the inside. We all seem to have various stressors, tough life stories, deep dark secrets we're afraid to share. Mine is that I drink too much and forget things and don't want to give up alcohol FOREVER, but intellectually, I know I should. But, forever's a long time, so I'll say no today. And what is really nice is that I now have this network of people I could call and they would listen to me if I needed to talk. (I haven't called anyone yet..) People at the meeting were sincerely hoping I would call – it was touching and a wonderful feeling to not feel so alone in my secret. And so I am on day five…and finding myself enjoying waking up WITHOUT a headache, and so happy I am not spending every spare moment wondering how, when and where I will drink tonight. Don't get me wrong, when I was home alone last night wrapping Christmas gifts, I wanted nothing more than a big, cold glass of Chardonnay…but I didn't have one, and I was able to be present and aware of what my craving for alcohol was about.
    One thing I have been inspired by -and several people have said this to me- is that they thought they drank because they were unhappy…and, in fact, when they stopped drinking they discovered that the opposite was true…that they were keeping themselves from happiness by drinking (I thought that was crazy and could not understand it until I stopped). I'm still stressed, sad, lonely, angry…but not having the alcohol equips me to deal with my feelings rather than numb them…and that really seems a happier place for me right now. (And I do find myself wishing I could drink like a normal person…I do miss it). I am thinking about you and everyone struggling with their drinking and sobriety. You are not alone – I am not alone – all of your stories are a daily inspiration to me. xo

    | December 22, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

  80. Anonymous said,

    anonymous 8:50am

    You said "you HATE the idea of giving it up forever" that's because you're addicted. This is not something we can rationally determine by ourselves. Addiction is controlling our thoughts and actions.

    Don't think of 'forever' – that's way too much pressure. One day (or hour or five minutes…)

    After the baby is born, this problem will escalate. You can't do this by yourself, dear.

    Can you talk to your family doctor in confidence about this?

    | December 22, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  81. Anonymous said,

    I wonder sometimes if I'm an alcoholic. I don't drink every day, but when I do drink, it's not a glass of wine, it's a bottle. It's not one beer, it's four. I'm a happy drunk, and I rarely have hangovers. I rationalize my drinking by saying, "I'm going to have kids some time in the future, hopefully the next year, so I might as well get it out of my system now!" So having a little support like Clean Up Our Act Fridays is awesome! Thanks for the support!

    | December 22, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  82. MereCat said,

    Me too. Everything you guys have said. Me too. I used to smoke and quit when I got pregnant. I quit drinking, too, but picked it right back up after my twins were born. And I wish, like smoking, I had never picked it back up. It would have been so much easier. But I thought I had kind of "reset" myself, and that this time I wouldn't let it go too far. And I so have let it go too far. This is the perfect example of being powerless against alcohol. So, me too, guys. I'm in this mess with you.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

  83. Anonymous said,

    Hello,
    I am about 50 days sober and a the mother of a gorgeous almost 6 year old. I am succesful. I work. My husband and I own 2 homes, a car, a motorcycle etc. We look like we have it all. and I am an ALCOHOLIC! It only took me about 5 years to admit that… I have had a long history and love affair with alcohol. My bottom came the night the cops brought me home because I could not pay my bill after having 3 martinis… and I ate lunch – i should have been fine… that had never happened before… i have always been a blackout drunk, not an everyday drinker… I thought I could control my drinking by not drinking wine… or by not drinking vodka… or by eating a big lunch… I could not..as I got older (I turned 40 in september)it got worse… I have fallen down the stairs 2x… hurt my ankle/foot to the point of having to go the dr the next day… lied to work.. no one really knew how bad i was… I would wake up after going out with the girls at 3am and then have to find my purse to make sure i still had my keys and my phone etc. and make sure the doors were locked. I was endangering the life of my daughter because when my husband was traveling – i was drinking – not one bottle – 2! I knew I had issues… but i didn't want to give it up… I didn't want to admit it.. i was successful – I had a career! well, i did… and I feel 100% better now, than i did then. I am no longer waking up with the dread and guilt and shame and wondering what the fuck i did last night. I am no longer short changing my daughter – i am present in her life. I am still short with her, i still get frustrated, but I am not hungover. i am more peaceful and less stressed about who I am and what I did…. Sobriety is okay… i and I take it one day at a time… AA meetings are a huge help to me … because just like here, i heard stories that rang true with me in some way… thanks for letting me tell my story… and be present! live life.

    | December 22, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

  84. Anonymous said,

    Want to hear one (of many) dumb things I've tried to do while drunk:
    The Pidgeon. It'sa yoga move where you crouch down and balance on your hands with your knees on your elbows. Well I fell forward (duh)and landed on my nose – nothing broke but I got a little cut on the bridge of my nose. Try explaining that to people. :/

    I love this blog! It's become a weekly regular. First it was because of the honesty around alcohol but now I'm loving how cute your girls are and how sweet your family is. (Especially liked 'My Daughter's Imaginary Friend is an Asshole'

    | December 22, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  85. Anonymous said,

    It's gonna sound so cliche but I havent stopped crying since I started reading this…I saw stefanie by CHANCE on the Today show this AM (I never watch that show) and I came back to the website to see more. She hooked me with her comment about how men dont wanna see (alcoholism) in a woman unless she's a falling down drunk. As well as when she said "its gonna take more than eating right…" to abort the addiction! Spoken frm someone who gets it!

    | December 22, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  86. mc said,

    It's only tuesday and I couldn't make it 'til friday. How "anonymous" is AA? I live in a small town, I'm the night nursing supervisor at the local hospital and the PTA president. I'm not ready to come out of the closet, but something needs to change. I have 4 wonderful children under age 10 and the last 5 years have been a blur. The romance is over, the justification stone cold. They can all read, go to the bathroom alone and navigate PBS kids on the computer. Why do I still feel the need to escape like I did when life was all diapers, crying, and Caillou(the antichrist)? I know I'm not alone, but I am overwhelmed by the prospect of failure….and sobriety….Wisdom accepted here…

    | December 22, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

  87. Ann said,

    mc…i can totally relate to what you said about your kids. i have three girls 7-10. a.a. is anonymous. the city i live in has a.a. meetings around the clock…everywhere. at all kinds of churches and hospitals too. the first meeting i went to i almost passed out when to my horror, in walked my next door neighbor. since then, not only do i meet mom's and dad's from my kids elementary school that know me through the p.t.a. and chairing many events, i see people from the meetings at the store, gas station and many at my church. i just accepted a part time position as a wedding coordinator and guess what…my new boss is the music director and my kids are in the choir. i see him at three different meetings i go to. what i have come to believe is that they are there for the same reason…they have a desire to quit drinking. it's extraordinary…you meet all kinds of people from various walks of life. we come together for a common purpose. to help each other. there is no judgement. it's okay. your kids deserve a sober mom. you deserve a whole life being free from alcohol. you will not fail if you truly want what a sober life can offer you. you can do this. we are here to help you.

    | December 23, 2009 @ 1:01 am

  88. jami62 said,

    I googled AA meetings in my town tonight thanks to you all! It's not that big of a deal but it's a step for me and I am excited. I had always been curious and secretly wanted to go but was too afraid…what will my husband think, will I have to talk, what if I see someone I know, etc…still don't really know what my husband will think but everyone on here seems so encouraged by them, I have to try it. Now if I can just get myself there…wish me luck!

    | December 23, 2009 @ 2:59 am

  89. Ann said,

    jami62…you rock. good luck. i promise…when you get to a meeting you will be okay…you will be welcomed…you won't feel so alone anymore. also, i have gone to plenty of meetings where the mom or dad brought the kids. the miracle is already happening.

    | December 23, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  90. Anonymous said,

    This is Anonymous 6:04 pm calling: I did go to an AA meeting last evening and I met half a dozen women like ourselves there so I have some phone numbers and am off to a good start.
    Jami62 I just saw your post this morning. I also thought "see someone I know, what to tell my husband, would I have to talk". I could tell they wanted me to talk, but what I did was speak with people right after and exchange phone numbers. Everyone was welcoming and encouraging. All of them told me to go to more meetings right away, so I am going to one this evening.

    | December 23, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  91. Anonymous said,

    Hello, this is Anonymous 12:25pm… what I like most about AA is the openness and honesty and the laughter… sober people are funny about what they did when they were drunk… if you can't laugh about – then we would all be crying! Last night putting my daughter to bed… she was really pushing my buttons… and boy was she pushing them… needless to say I got the bad mommy award of the year… I screamed at her to stop, go to sleep, I was tired and cranky…she asked why i was cranky – I said I wished I knew… getting and staying sober is hard, but being sober is great…
    The first AA meeting I went to was the toughest… Sunday morning 10am… i was shaking out front.. tears in my eyes… some women came up to me and asked if I was going in and if this was my first and I said yes, she gave me hug and told me it would be okay… it helped… I spoke and told them about my night with the cops etc.. I cried… but i kept coming back…
    I haven't told my family (extended) about getting sober yet. My husband and 3 friends know… that is it.. other people think I stopped drinking because of migraines which i have and still get with regularity, but I feel that being an Alcoholic is my business right now. I don't need to announce to the world.
    On aa's website their is a test that I used to take and lie on.. whether or not you are alcoholic, i kept taking it and lieing… I knew, i just didn't want to admit. I knew when i would wake up and not remember how i got home, how i paid for the cab etc… the end of the night, what i said, who i saw… it was the most horrible feeling…
    Stefanie – thanks!

    | December 23, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  92. Anonymous said,

    Anon 6:04 pm again. Note to self: figure out the online name thing soon, this is getting confusing.
    One of the reasons I am giddy right now is that being sober is playing right into my hands. I am losing weight and feeling great. I will wear a really cute dress to church on Christmas Eve and I will endure Christmas Day with the toxic relatives with joy and tolerance and I will drink sparkling water and read inspirational materials instead of consuming alcohol and too much food. And I will go to meetings and read this blog and talk to people because when the giddiness wears off I will need support. I am making my plans one or two days at a time because Christmas is coming and I have to have a plan.

    | December 23, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

  93. Anonymous said,

    Jeeezz…Im sitting in my bathrobe contemplating last minute shopping for big turkey dinner and last minute gifts…with a hangover after hosting a dinner party last night. Im wondering how to get through the next few hours of exhaustion until I can have a glass (likely 4-5) of wine a 5ish. The exhaustion is likely the result of Mom-chores, too much "holiday merriment" , peri-menopause shit, etc.
    Anyway, I just saw the TODAY show. Afterwards, I went directly to Stefanie's website and read all of the comments. What a great holiday gift! I have wondered for the last few years about how to get off of the wine drinking merry-go-round. Moderation and rules (e.g., only on weekends, not at home) have not worked. I have decided on a new plan.
    Plan Z – (1) Attend a women's AA meeting (dread the reaction of my family…they don't really know), and (2) Mark this blog as a Favorite and check back for Friday comments. I hope the AA meetings are as welcoming as the blog comments indicate, else I'll turn and run.
    Thank you to all who have shared your stories.
    Cynthia

    | December 23, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  94. Anonymous said,

    To Anon 6:04:

    It's a great thing to hear you went to your first meeting. It makes it easier to know you are not doing this alone.
    😀

    All the best to you and your family and to everyone reading and posting holiday season. And Stephani – you ROCK, chick!

    | December 23, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  95. Anonymous said,

    I'm in for this journey as well… I had 41 sober days under my belt before giving in a little bit a couple of days ago. I had a couple of glasses of wine two nights in a row, while celebrating the holidays with family. That said, after those 2 days had passed, I got right back on the sober path as I KNOW from previous experience that moderation does not work for me. I'd like to post with some kind of "name" here other than Anonymous (as there are so many of those it gets confusing), but I have no idea how to do that without fully revealing my true identity, which I'm not willing to do. Suggestions anyone?

    I also want to say that I am in absolute awe of everyone who has posted before me. What an amazing group of women. Stefanie, you have created something wonderful here. Thank you for leading the way. From your friend at the airport, aka "Rider".

    | December 24, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  96. Anonymous said,

    rI relapsed this week after almost three years of sobriety. And I did it in a big way. Ugly. My daughter now knows what mommie looks like drunk. I can give myself credit for one thing and that was not getting behind the wheel of a car. I called my sponsor and fessed up. When asked why I hadn't called her, I told her that this started way before I took that first drink. Too busy for meetings, meditation, and all the things that keep me on track. Phsyically I'm beat — couldn't sleep at all last night feeling like I wanted to climb out of my skin. And emotionally I'm devastated, especially for my daughter. It's great to be able to share here.

    | December 24, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  97. Ann said,

    anon 1:43. i am so sorry. i found a meeting…went to it today and i still miss "my best friend". i'm just so sad. it is hard to walk through the pain in life without picking up…we are the strong ones. when we accept our weakness we gain strength. there are rewards in working with the challenges in life. when we deny the pain, we deny the pleasure of overcoming the problem. instead of singing "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" let's all sing…"let it go, let it go, let it go". be gentle with yourself. you are in my daily prayers.

    | December 24, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

  98. Anonymous said,

    To Ann at 3:28 Thanks for your prayers. I can't believe I didn't see this coming. Everything I do to take care of myself started falling by the wayside, exercize, regular contact with my sponser, healthy eating regular meetings. My spiritual connection had drifted. With three years, thought I was "cured" — doesn't work that way. And I have no idea how much drunk dialing I did. The fall-out for this could be really bad. And I live in a small community. Not sure if the dread is worse I the hangover….still hungover and its been about 40 hours since my last drink. Trying hard to be merry.

    | December 25, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  99. Ann said,

    "could be really bad"…dread? clear your mind. maybe consider revisiting the third step. be 'merry' with your daughter and try to find moments of joy just for today. look into her eyes…she is your treasure. what a gift.

    being dragged down by regrets or held back by them would be to no one's benefit. keep your hand on the life preserver. you will be okay. looking forward to stefanie's blog today…i'm sure you will find inspiration and hope in all the comments that will continue to be shared. better days are coming…just stay into today.

    | December 25, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  100. gemma said,

    One year and 4 months sober. And loving it.

    to anonymous at 9:47 am, if you think quitting drinking is a show of failure or weakness, I can promise you you're wrong. Quitting drinking is taking charge of your life, deciding you want to live a happier, better, fuller, and YES, more fun life. It is a tremendous show of strength.

    to another katie, i hear you all the way!

    And God, it's great NOT to know how much wine is in the bottle in the fridge,,,if you know what i mean. nd it's great to look at my son while putting him to sleep and NOT feel anxious or resentful that a glass is waiting for me in the living room, but just be with him. Great not to hold my dirty little secret anymore. And it's not like everyone has to know if you dont want. JUST SET YOURSELF FREE! THat's enough. Let 'THEM" think whatever – who's THEM anyway??! And it's great to feel calmer, MUCH happier and much more engaged in life. When I want a drink, I just know that a drink CANT GIVE ME THE PEACE OF MIND, the real relax, or any help at all. Everytime I dont take a drink, I quite simply like myself a whole hell of alot better. ANd trust me, when you like and respect yourself more, LIFE IS BETTER – for EVERYONE around you,t oo. Keep going everyone. Dont take the detour to the blur.
    PS Blackouts blow.

    | December 27, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  101. gemma said,

    To 50 day sober anonymous woman, that was my life exactly! And now that joy is mine too! Cheers!

    To mother of 2yr old Maddie, i totally understand the idea of giving up the booze is daunting, but being sober is soooo liberating. Take all that angst you hold, living in fear of quitting, fear of being discovered, fear of life without this "thing"we think is soo great (BS!), and trade that in for the freedom from it, the sense of self worth, self love and self esteem. That's just for starters. I understand ALL OF YOUR FEARS!! Mine were the same. The fears are flipped on their back when you TAKE CHARGE of your life. It makes so much sense when you make the decision and go for it. I couldnt recommend ANYTHING BETTER FOR ANYONE who ever suspects they are controlled by alcohol at all. sending support!

    | December 27, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

  102. Anonymous said,

    I am so glad to have found your blog. Since the birth of our second child I have found myself getting into the night time routine of drinking after the kids go to bed. It's becoming a pattern that I just don't like. I've been contemplating trying to moderate it or stopping all together. Will keep reading your blog for support! Thanks

    | December 27, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  103. Anonymous said,

    You've come into my life at a great time. I have been wondering the same thing about myself. I drink almost every day. It starts off with one, and I can't stop until I've had 3, 4 or more. I don't sleep well and feel like crap in the morning.
    I have a great husband, family, job, house. What is wrong with me? Thank you for your honesty and timely Friday blogs. Right now I'm too ashamed to talk to anyone I know. You're right; they do deserve better!

    | December 28, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  104. Anonymous said,

    Its Friday – New Years Eve Friday – i didnt pick up. I even checked that Yahoo 'blog.' Where is everyone – i had the worst day. Lucky for me I dont have a damn thing in the house or I'd be cracking it open…

    | January 2, 2010 @ 1:52 am

  105. Anonymous said,

    Do some of these entries get erased? I was looking for the Yahoo URL and its gone now…

    Seriously – like Anon 5:52 said yesterday…where is everybody??? This will be a good example to ppl who think just depending on an online blog for support is not going to replace meetings, 'coming out,' and enlisting live (familial, friend, etc) support.

    Hang on Anon 5:52…

    | January 2, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  106. BabyonBored said,

    Here is the Yahoo link

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Booze_free_brigade/

    Join it now!

    | January 2, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  107. Anonymous said,

    Ahhhh! Found you guys – PHEW! It's Anon 5:52 (AKA Marie) – over on the Yahoo blog. Stef, I am so sorry that you had a down NYE but truly, that's life huh? Not every day party holiday is gonna be the shit. YOU inspired me, when I read that, to stay sober. As someone else said, I looked forward to the morning (when I would feel good, sans shame guilt, a pounding head, sick stomach and shaking hands.) I hope you are able to read through these and find the 'fun' you missed the other night!
    Off to Yahoo I go!!!!

    | January 3, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

  108. Mom on the Go said,

    I love your blog and you devotion to the Bachelor ;)I am struggling with posible alcohol addiction. I keep telling myself I am not that bad. I only drink wine, always after 9pm and rarely finish an entire bottle. However I find that I do look forward to my nightly wine, which scares me. I have decided to cut back on my wine consumption for the month of January to limit it weekends only. Sounds good right but then I have to ask myself why don't I commit to no drinking at all in January? I know if I do I will break it, so this makes me think I have a problem. Also something you said before hit home for me. You said on the days that you told yourself you weren't going to drink wine that evening you ended up drinking. That is me. Somethig bad happens or stressful with one of my teenagers and I tell myself that I just won't drink tommorow instead. Even a good Tv show is a reason to enjoy a glass of wine. Have to have wine to go with the Bachelor or how will I enjoy it? It is the dependence on it that scares me.

    | January 5, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

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