From the outside you may not know it, you may not see it, but anxiety haunts my every move and thought. It sucks.
About three years ago was when I had my first awakening that I may have a slight issue with booze. Kylie was not quite 2 years old, and Sammy was around 8 months. Drinking a few glasses of wine at nighttime became my regular sanity saver (Mommy’s Wine O’clock, right?), and drinking entire bottles on the weekend was just a given.
However, I distinctly remember one Sunday morning, waking still drunk from just a simple Saturday night at home with the family. I panicked because I knew my hubby had to go to work for a few hours that morning, and I would be left alone to care for the kiddos. I knew there was no way I could do that once the hangover set it, so I decided to catch the drunk wave with a couple of beers. Ya know, to even myself out.
The morning went great! The kiddos and I had a blast, and the time flew by. All was well, or so I thought…
When my husband arrived home, he took one look at me, and said, “You’re drunk.” I tried to cover it up, but then admitted I had a few (a lot). We argued, and then I crumbled to the reality. I wasn’t 24 and single anymore. I was married and a mom. And I was drunk on a Sunday morning.
Once I rested and recovered, my husband and I agreed that I should take a break from booze and see a counselor. (Yes, counselors need counselors). Gratefully the counselor I found was a perfect fit from the first session. She let me speak freely about my poor choices, didn’t judge those poor choices, and even validated that I was most likely drinking (excessively) because I…
- Work full-time while co-raising two very young kids
- Act as a single-mom while my husband travels up to half the month
- Have no family within a 1700-mile radius
- Have a weak network of friends because my socializing is limited
- Suffer from anxiety
Anxiety? Me? What? I had given that term no thought in regards to myself, my actions. Sure I saw it in others, but never, ever myself! But the second she said the word, it made so much sense.
Motherhood, becoming a professional while cranking out kids, living on the other side of the country from friends/family, and having limited time for myself made (makes) me incredibly anxious! Like, I could really benefit from deodorant for my palms, 1000 boxes of tissues, the supreme sleeping pill, a round-the-clock masseuse, and body armor to keep my heart securely in my chest.
So what was I supposed to do with this revelation?
The counselor suggested I start with giving up booze. I obliged and gave it up for what felt like an eternal 100 days. I was forced to face myself and my anxiety head-on. I took note of my triggers (which will be a post of its own), and I played around with new ways to cope rather than sinking into the suds and sauvignons.
After those 100 days, I thought I had a better understanding of when not to drink (i.e. when I was super anxious or alone) or to at least limit myself. Life seemed more manageable, and I felt like I had both the wine and the worriment under control. So much so that my husband and I decided to have a third and final baby.
As I’m sure you know- or you can guess- my life, my anxiety, and my drinking took a huge turn for the worst of the worst after our sweet Aaron came into the world.
But here is the good news… that counselor, those 100 days plus other sober periods, and all the drunken dramatics were stepping stones leading me to where I am now… living wholeheartedly sober, facing fears (like putting my story out on the internet…;), and simply taking on LIFE one day, one hour, one minute, and most often, one second at a time.