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Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: A Mom’s Story

Note from Stef: When I first stopped drinking, I found myself inundated by supportive emails from virtual strangers who wanted to encourage me. It was very cool and it did help enormously. One letter in particular hit me in the gut. It wasn’t so much her email as what she attached which was a letter to her then young daughter to read when she’s much much older. She wrote the letter as a way of apology for herself and for her child. I asked her if I could share it with you guys and she said, “absolutely.” I changed the names.

Dear Katy,

One day we were sitting at the table in our old house on Lakeshore Drive and you said to me, “Mommy, why do you drink so much wine all the time?” And I thought to myself…That is it. I have to quit drinking because if I don’t, I will lose the most important things in my life, like this precious little brown eyed girl staring into my eyes. You had just turned 5. I was drinking every day. The time on the clock was 11:30AM and I was drinking it out of a juice glass. But you knew it was wine.

Things were getting out of hand. I was hiding empty bottles. There were occasions when I had put you and Jack in the car and driven drunk to buy more wine. I had to be buzzed to take you to the park, to take you on play-dates with friends, to make dinner, to give you a bath. I was slowly getting to where alcohol meant more to me then you and Jack. I am sorry I was like that.

Alcohol was my escape from relationships and that was not fair to you. When you needed me, I was emotionally distant. When you wanted to go outside and play or when you wanted to do art or read, I just let you watch TV, because it was easier.

When I was happy I drank. When I was stressed, I drank. When I was lonely, I drank. When I was angry, I drank. I never yelled at you or Jack when I was drinking…I drank so I wouldn’t yell. I drank to mellow out. I drank to escape…but in doing that I missed so many precious, sweet times with you and that I regret.

We partied a lot in front of you. Before we went out, I drank. After we got home, I drank some more. I always had a glass of wine in my hand at home. And when people came over we always offered wine or drinks.

And one day I decided I didn’t want to drink anymore. But I couldn’t stop. I knew I needed help.

I got the help I needed and I have lived a sober life so far. I started on this life-long journey because you, my beautiful girl, asked me that one poignant question…”Mommy why do you drink so much wine all the time?” I knew I had a problem and I knew I needed help and that day you inspired me to ask for help. You helped me find courage and resolve.

I have so much to live for! I see so many more moments now with so much more clarity. It is not always easy, but it is a much fuller life. I am so thankful for you and your inspiration. Please forgive me for the ways I was not there for you in the early years, and promise me that you will come to me if you ever struggle with alcohol…believe me I will understand and support you. I can’t protect you from yourself, but I have done my part…I have protected you from me! I love you.

Mommy

If you are looking for likeminded women trying to stay sober, join us here

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 27, 2010 1:24 amDon't Get Drunk Friday16 comments  

16 Comments

  1. Alisha said,

    I love it!

    | March 27, 2010 @ 1:44 am

  2. elizabeth sober said,

    So beautiful and so heartbreaking….and so strong and wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 2:47 am

  3. Adoption of Jane said,

    That was beautiful. How lucky is that little girl to have such an honest, compassionate, and heartwarming, selfless Mother!
    .-= Adoption of Jane´s last blog ..Weekend Warriors Meme #2 =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:03 am

  4. robin said,

    What a great idea to write a letter *to* them, since mine were my inspiration as well. Thanks for sharing. :)
    .-= robin´s last blog ..you capture: a moment =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:05 am

  5. Ellie said,

    This brought tears to my eyes – so beautiful and honest. My daughter was 5 when I finally got sober, too – and I needed to go away to a treatment center for a while. It was heartbreaking. But she said to me, one time when she visited me, she said “Thank you for getting yourself better, Momma, because I miss you.” That simple sentence got me through the whole first year, I swear.

    You are so strong and brave – thanks for your honesty and helping others who may be doing the same thing know they aren’t alone, and that a better life is possible.

    -Ellie
    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..Back In The Day =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:07 am

  6. Jae said,

    Absolutely moving; a wonderful letter. It’s a tear jerker. Thank you for sharing it.
    .-= Jae´s last blog ..Extraneous Subjects =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:13 am

  7. Mommy on the Spot said,

    Wow! That was beautiful. Thank you for posting.
    .-= Mommy on the Spot´s last blog ..*Blink* And there goes another week . . . =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:28 am

  8. seekingclarav said,

    Thank you for allowing Stef to share this with us. It seems I need a little reinforcement lately and that just helped me, a lot.

    You are brave and wonderful.

    Thanks again.
    .-= seekingclarav´s last blog ..90 on Friday =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:55 am

  9. Brooke said,

    Raise your hand if you had trouble reading the end of the letter because your eyes were filling up with tears. What an amazing letter. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    .-= Brooke´s last blog ..rubies and love songs =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 4:47 am

  10. Betsy said,

    Children are such gifts to us. Sometimes we don’t even know it. I am so glad that your gift was able to inspire you to get sober. Wonderful.
    .-= Betsy´s last blog ..I’ve backed myself into a corner =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  11. Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said,

    Wow. That is such a powerful letter and Katy is a very lucky little girl to have a mom who loves her so much. I was particularly moved by the last paragraph where she offered to help and support her daughter if she ever struggles with alcohol.
    .-= Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist´s last blog ..Telling the truth in writing =-.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  12. Gretchen said,

    Thank you for the letter, could have written the SAME one to my kids. (my oldest was also five when I got sober). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It’s NICE to know I didn’t invent this problem, and that I’m not the only mom dealing with it. I do feel alone in my struggle in ‘real’ time and finally went to a meeting. My 1 year is next Thursday!
    Thanks, again. Beautiful mama love.

    | March 27, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  13. edenland said,

    Oh my goodness, crying here. For the little girl that I was, watching my mother drink like that but NEVER would I ask such a bold question because I knew I would be physically assaulted. And crying for the alcoholic that I ended up being ….. I now have my beautiful children in my life who have never seen their mother drink. And I never want them to.

    Thank you so much, to the author of this post. Thank you Stefanie, for doing this on you blog. You are reaching so many people.
    .-= edenland´s last blog ..Fringe Dweller =-.

    | March 28, 2010 @ 2:03 am

  14. Kir said,

    Oh my, what a beautiful letter to a beautiful daughter. What a great reason to stay sober. BRAVO!

    | March 29, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  15. Fiona said,

    This is so beautiful. Yet another piece written by a mother who struggles that I can keep in my pocket to help myself and family. Thanks so much!

    | March 29, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  16. WarsawMommy said,

    It sounds like your daughter saved your life… and may have saved her own, as well. Driving drunk with the kids in the car, giving the kids a bath whilst drunk – that is horrifying, that is the side of alcoholism that scares the crap out of me and keeps me away from the wine bottle. Thank God you pulled it together. Bravo to your courage and resolve!
    .-= WarsawMommy´s last blog ..Wordy Wednesday (One Day Late) – The Scarf =-.

    | April 2, 2010 @ 7:19 am

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