Archive for January, 2010

I’ve Moved

Hi everyone, the talented, friendly and lovely Karen Bodkin, redesigned my site which is now www.stefaniewildertaylor.com. My blog is still Baby On Bored but I’ve added lots of cool stuff (I think). Please add me to your feedburner like this http://feeds.feedburner.com/BabyOnBoredStef and I think that’s all for now. I have a kickass post coming your way for Don’t Get Drunk Fridays and I will probably post something new today or tomorrow besides this. If you play your cards right.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 12, 2010 9:29 pmUncategorized11 comments  

Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: Jennifer’s Story

My name is Jennifer and I am an alcoholic. And a drug addict. I have been in recovery for 15 years, since I was 20 years old. On January 29’th I will have 2 years sober.

Based on the above figures, it is obvious that my sobriety path has had some forks in the road. I was sober for ten solid years, during which time I got two master’s degrees, began a career as the clinical director of drug and alcohol treatment center, and got married. In my career, I helped create a nationally based drug and alcohol prevention program for Jewish teens. My entire identity was based on being sober. I had never even taken a legal drink, and my husband had no personal knowledge of my alcoholism. No matter how many stories I told him about the out of control girl running around New York City drunk and high as a kite, he had a hard time matching that image with the accomplished and seemingly well-balanced woman he had chosen to marry.

I spent my days working as a psychotherapist to low bottom alcoholics and drug addicts. People alternatively sentenced to treatment from prisons and jails. Young men and women who had lost everything and been forced by their families into rehab. Moms whose addiction had caused them to lose their children.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I were elated, and I felt deeply rooted in my sobriety, career and life.

At 8 months pregnant, my husband’s mom died suddenly, and it took much of his time and energy to process his shock and grief over this loss. After I had my son, my mom’s cancer (which had been in remission for several years) returned full force and she was given 2 years to live. I was flattened by postpartum depression and anxiety, which despite my clinical background, totally pulled the rug out from under me.

My return to alcoholism and addiction began slowly and insidiously. My anxiety was so severe that I found myself unable to eat or sleep for several days in a row. My OB prescribes a low dose of Ativan to help me. It worked beautifully.

I began to question whether I was ever really an alcoholic. After all, doesn’t every one party when they are in college? Granted, not everyone goes to Harlem in the middle of the night to score drugs off the street. Nor do normal college kids have take a medical leave from school because their drinking and drugging is so out of control. But I was convinced that as an adult and a mother, I could now handle drinking responsibly. I cleverly found a therapist to tell me that she didn’t think I was an alcoholic, and she even encouraged me to try drinking again. I hadn’t had a drink in so many years, I didn’t even know what to order. “What do you like to drink?” I asked her.

“White wine,” she replied, with a small smile, “I love to have a glass of cold white wine at the end of the day.” My husband and I went to Vegas and I ordered my first glass of white wine in over ten years.

I wish I could say my story ended here- that I had somehow grown out of my alcoholism and could enjoy that ubiquitous glass of wine at the end of the day without consequence. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for me. I spent the next few years battling alcoholism and addiction. I stayed sober during my second pregnancy and controlled my drinking while nursing. At 7 months pregnant my mom’s cancer took a major turn for the worse. She died exactly two weeks before my daughter was born. After I brought my baby girl home from the hospital, the grief, pain, sadness and anxiety I felt was indescribable.

I had all the rationalizations. I believed I was a better mom when I was under the influence of pills and alcohol. I was more relaxed, more able to deal with the stress of raising young children, more present, more in the moment, generally happier and able to function. I prided myself on the fact that I was never abusive. I never screamed at my children or put my hands on them in anger. I took them to the park and made them organic, homemade baby food. I had the perfect image of peaceful “earth mama” down pat. I somehow believed that this persona mitigated my alcoholism and addiction, which was now spiraling out of control.

I knew I needed to get sober again. When I wasn’t under the influence, my anxiety was off the charts. I literally felt like I was jumping out of my skin. I kept breaking my own rules: no drinking until they were asleep was quickly replaced by holding out until 6pm, then 5pm, then 4pm. I needed more and more of those little pills to simply get me through the day. My husband was terrified, but didn’t quite know what to do because he had never dealt with an addict before and I was such a brilliant liar and rationalizer (as all alcoholics and addicts must be to justify their using.)

Things got really bad. Without going in to all the gratuitous details, my husband came home on a Friday afternoon and told me the jig was up. Unless I could immediately get sober, he was sending me to a detox treatment center for 28 days the following Monday Of course, I couldn’t stop drinking and using. I was in the middle of a run and my body was completely physically addicted. On Monday morning, he dropped me off kicking and screaming at a treatment facility. In that moment, I was a desperate, broken mother who had come within millimeters of losing my children because of my addiction. I knew that I had to get sober or I would lose everything.

I never thought my alcoholism would progress enough to warrant me having to go into treatment. Being separated from my children during that time was the most painful experience of my life. I was dripping in shame. I felt like the worst mother in the world. It took me a long time to realize that my addiction didn’t care about my children. It didn’t care about my family, my accomplishments, my master’s degrees, or my career. It only cared about getting me drunk and high, isolated and alone. That is the very essence of the malady.

The guilt and shame that alcoholic and drug-addicted moms feel is overwhelming. We really believe that we are worthless as mothers if we can’t even stay sober for our children. What I learned in recovery the first time (and had to relearn the second time around) is that it is not my fault that I am an alcoholic, but I am responsible for treating it. Sobriety is the foundation of my life now. I truly understand that without my sobriety, I cannot function as a wife, a mother, a friend, a therapist and a writer.

If you are reading this and finding yourself relating to parts of my story, please know that there is a way out of this destructive cycle. You are not alone.

stef’s note: Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing your story. Lives are being saved by not keeping this “in the closet” anymore! Jennifer’s website is http://www.jenniferginsberg.com/ (from there you can get to her fabulous blog and other site as well) Jennifer also offers groups and individual therapy if you live in the LA area.

For anyone who is struggling, please come share on our Yahoo group (which is already HUGE) or look in the front of the phone book. There is help.

For anyone who would like to turn this into a Lifetime movie, uh yeah!

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 8, 2010 7:19 amDon't Get Drunk Friday,Drinking32 comments  

Stood Up

I got stood up today. I was going to lunch at 12:30 at a restaurant near my house that has a kickass ahi salad.It was a business lunch and anyone with small children and no real “outside of the house” work to speak of would understand the excitment I felt at needing to be somewhere at a certain time to meet a person who would more than likely be paying for my meal.

In my anticipation of being out in public, I slapped on some whore paint and left the sweats on the bedroom floor opting for a pair of minimally dirty black pants instead. I had something to do from 10:30 to 11:30 which involved talking about not drinking with a group of other people who love to talk about not drinking and then I headed straight over. I had an insanely bad migraine though so I stopped by my house where my husband met me in the driveway with some Imitrex and a glass of water (as if I were running a marathon and was there to cheer me along my route) and still I still made it through the front doors of the Coral Tree Cafe (did I mention they have an insanely delightful ahi salad?) with two minutes to spare.

My date was not there yet. No big deal I thought. I’ll just sidle up to the counter area and pretend to read a magazine for a few minutes. I flipped though an entire LA Weeky, glancing up every twenty seconds for my date until I finally got to the ads for sex phone lines on the back page. I looked at my watch; seven minutes had passed.

I was already starting to miss my sweatpants and I’d only been out of the house an hour and a half. I knew I was going to have to work up more endurance for social situations. I want to be the Tiger Woods of lunching. Wait…

I burned off another ten minutes fidgeting with my Blackberry and then another five studying the menu from a seat at a table even though I already knew I’d be getting that damn salad (It’s ahi. Seared. Ginger garlic dressing.)

If a person is over fifteen minutes late and another person is really hungry it seems acceptable for the hungry, not late person to go ahead and order right? So I ordered my salad and diet Coke and then sat back down and attempted to look normal and non-stood up while trying to avoid the pitying glances I was positive I was getting. (Yes I know that no one gave a shit what I was doing but I still felt self conscious)

At this point it was pretty clear that I was getting stood up and I didn’t have my date’s phone number or email address on me. I decided to call my husband because a) it helped me look busy and b) he’s great in a crisis. “If someone is driving from the Pacific Palisades to Encino how much leeway do I need to give them before I get the hell out of here?” I asked him. “Oh, and factor in my headache please.”

“Thirty-five minutes.” he answered immediately. I know. He’s really smart. He should work for some sort of crisis hot line. Or do underwear ads. Either way.

This left me with ten minutes to wait. I spent five more minutes idly sipping my soda, mentally shoe shopping based on what other people were wearing and comparing my twins’ temperament to the badly behaved toddlers running around (full disclosure: my twins have never been to a restaurant). Finally I went to the counter and asked if they could change my order to go and went home, stripped and watched a 20/20 about a guy who poisoned his wife with antifreeze hidden in Gatorade until my headache went away.

So, turns out that my lunch date got confused on the time and showed up at noon waiting 28 min and left. We rescheduled for Monday the 18th. I’ve already chosen an outfit.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 7, 2010 12:17 amUncategorized27 comments  

New Year’s Suggestions are Easier to Keep

My New Year’s eve was a bit underwhelming this year which was probably to be expected. Instead of making any resolutions which have always been my downfall, I decided to give myself a break and just try to offer myself some suggestions. Think of them as goals that are more easily attainable than say “do more for charity.” It’s a lot easier to meet your expectations of yourself if you take a little time and lower them. One year my goal for myself was to eat more candy. That year I totally kicked ass! It was downright empowering. Another year I decided to eat less cheese. That didn’t go quite as well but it showed me that it’s a learning process!

So here are my “suggestions” to myself for 2010. I think they are reasonable.

  • Make sure I watch every episode of the Bachelor: Wings of Love -no fast forwarding through the pre-rose ceremony “contemplating the wall of photographs” boring part.
  • Stop talking crap about John Mayer unless I plan to put my money where my mouth is and stop listening to his music.
  • Refrain from buying a pair of cowboy boots no matter how fond my memories are of the pair I had in the 80’s.
  • Knock “give husband blowjob” off my to do list.
  • Fantasize about buying a Wii.
  • Eat more canned soup.
  • When Facebook alerts me that it’s someone I barely know’s birthday, take a moment to internally wish them a happy birthday.
  • Really try to take my complaining to the next level.
  • Try not to laugh outloud at people with bad fake n’ bake tans.
  • Make more meals at home from scratch. And by scratch I mean frozen in a bag from Trader Joe’s.
  • When in the mall, take the time to stop and smell the fresh baked cookies at Mrs. Field’s.
  • Keep in mind that bathing suit season is only six months away. Start working out five months and two weeks from now.
  • Attempt to be more of a sellout!

So what are your New Year’s suggestions?

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 4, 2010 7:59 pmUncategorized34 comments  

The Yahoo Link

I promise I will be going back to my regularly scheduled hilarity (except on Fridays when I will be talking all about drinking – and really any other time I choose since last I checked it was my blog) but until then, some of you drinkers are having trouble finding the link to the Yahoo group that’s been created for us to lend support to each other.

So join us and let’s talk and talk and talk and talk about not drinking which we will find endlessly helpful and people who don’t drink too much will find awfully navel gazing.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 2, 2010 4:51 pmDrinking14 comments  


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