I was a woman who could do it all, until I couldn’t.
I am a 40 something Mom, married to a wonderful, dependable guy.
I have the privilege of raising smart, kind, talented, and athletic teenage girls.
I am a doer, a go-getter, a highly motivated seeker.
At times, I can be highly competitive.
I have an impressive resume with consistent promotions to bigger and better jobs with more responsibility, and fancier titles.
I own a nice home, surrounded by wonderful neighbors.
I decorate appropriately for each holiday.
I have a circle of smart and sassy friends.
My Mom is my best friend and top supporter in everything I do.
I had both a happy childhood, and childhood trauma, as most of us do.
I was always supported and loved.
I knew I was loved 100% by many, many people since the day I was born.
This doesn’t paint a picture of what I am about to tell you.
I found myself with a growing dependence on alcohol.
I started drinking at a young age.
It was a right of passage for many growing up in Wisconsin.
As I grew into new roles as a wife and a mother at home, and a boss at work, wine started fueling my ability to do all the things.
I was consistently being rewarded for my “do it all” abilities.
Since my kids were babies, I have been working at home, and working at work.
Hopefully, doing all this while keeping my pre-baby body in check.
I loved making it all look good and easy on the outside.
I don’t blame the outside world for this.
I wanted it.
I want a reputation for being perfect.
I loved being someone who has it all together.
This mattered so much to me.
I care what people think.
I care what I think.
I think I wanted to be perfect, and for everyone to know it.
So my Perfect Self lived in a state of high alert at all times.
My mind was all tabs open, always thinking five steps ahead to keep our life organized and trucking along.
I was highly efficient.
I was highly productive.
I was highly praised.
In a lot of ways this worked for my family too.
They could take the easy route because I was following behind and taking care of anything and everything.
I would pick up after them.
I would serve them.
I would never ask for help.
I thought a good Mom did all the things for her kids and kept them happy.
I wanted to be a good Mom, above all else.
I would be on the edge of a breakdown, at times, trying to do it all.
I would get incredibly grouchy but still, I never asked for help or put others out.
I never allowed myself to rest.
My bad attitude and resentment could be easily tuned out by everyone, including me.
I would get over it.
So I would do all the things, and completely overfunction for my family, which left me resentful and angry.
I didn’t want to feel this way toward my precious angel babies or my dear and loyal husband, so I would find time alone on the couch after the family went upstairs to tuck in.
And I would drink.
With each sip of wine, I moved farther and farther from the resentment.
After my first glass I would feel genuinely light and happy again.
I loved feeling that relief from myself!
I chased that feeling of ease and contentment for the rest of the evening.
I’d wake up foggy, with a headache, and more resentment.
This time not towards my family, but to me for overdoing it with the wine again.
It felt better to be mad at myself than mad at my family, for things that were not their fault.
I did this drinking cycle for years.
It didn’t look like a problem because it didn’t seem to be hurting anyone but me.
The laundry still got done.
The lunches were made.
Dinner was on the table.
I was promoted at work.
My kids were cared for.
My house was tidy.
Over time, my half a bottle of wine turned into a full bottle, then more.
Eventually, it became an everyday reward for making it through the day.
Finally, it became a necessity for making it through the day.
I would find myself making a promise to not drink today, only to be stopping to buy a bottle of wine a few hours later.
My drama over quitting drinking when I was obviously not an alcoholic became almost laughable.
However, I was getting more and more anxious, feeling on edge all the time.
I was alway hot and sweaty, trying to hide my secret and my shame.
I had an internal war happening within.
I want to quit drinking so much, but I also want to stop and get a bottle of wine.
I needed to drink.
I couldn’t feel good without it.
Wine was the only thing that made me happy.
I needed that little buzzy uptick to balance my angry resentful days doing everything for everyone and receiving no appreciation for the unpaid and unnoticed work that needs to be done.
This is what society does to women and then we do this to ourselves.
We say we have to do all the things.
We have to do them all well.
We can’t ask for help.
It’s our job to do everything.
We must do it with a smile.
We need relief from these impossible expectations and alcohol gives us exactly that.
We need to stop the loud inner critic and alcohol did just that for me.
We need to loosen up, let go of rigidity, not be responsible for everything and everyone all the time.
Alcohol helps, until it doesn’t.
We need to tune out, numb out, dumb down, and escape our incessant demanding minds and alcohol was my best friend in those moments.
It’s no wonder, women are an easy and effective target for Rosé All Day.
What does it matter if we are completely destroying ourselves trying to make everyone around us happy?
As long as there are no obvious consequences and the things are still getting done everyone is happy.
It’s a perfect elixir and a perfect solution.
It’s when you start to slip.
You start to slur.
You start to stumble.
Now there’s a problem.
This is embarrassing.
Mom must get it together.
You lose the last bit of respect you had.
And still you are the caretaker, the holder, the doormat, The Giving Tree.
This is how it felt for me, so no doubt I was angry.
Alcohol took away my power.
Alcohol made me weak.
Alcohol took away my ability to cope with my own discomfort.
Sobriety gave it all back.
Through sobriety I learned to love myself.
This gave me and my family an opportunity to grow our love.
I stopped doing everything for everyone and taught them how to do things for themself.
Turns out, they can adapt.
I stopped marching around mad or drunk or both and started making my inner peace a top priority.
Turns out, I can manage my emotions and sit still.
I have learned to silence the inner critic.
I have learned it is my #1 responsibility to take care of myself.
My daughters get to learn this valuable lesson too, and they are capable.
My husband has been able to grow and support me too.
None of them ever needed a perfectly clean house, only I did.
All my goals are still met, but the process of getting there is so much sweeter.
Sobriety teaches you to live in flow, stop fighting against everything, and take care of yourself along the way.
Drinking got you thinking? Evaluate your relationship with alcohol with my free download, 12 Sober Secrets and bonus Get Free, Stay Free mantra.