For a long while, I've struggled with drinking to have fun and drinking to relieve and escape some of the monotony and fatigue of the day-in, day-out routine of working full time as a database developer while also trying to be "everything" for my three young children.
Sometimes a glass of wine seems like the only way to get through a dinner with a screaming toddler who doesn't want to eat, homework with older kids, dinner, bathtime, storytime, etc. It exhausts me even thinking about it, but I knew the wine was also increasing my exhaustion, my anxiety, my daily internal struggle that I wasn't doing my best either at work or at home because of what I was holding onto: wine.
With my older kids now 9 and 7, they were beginning to see things in me that they hated when I was drinking, and my entire goal of being an amazing mother was falling away from me. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, using wine as an escape from that pressure, and then failing at the very thing I wanted to be perfect at because of it all -- what a crazy cycle.
My sober self I think is great. My drinking self turns awful quickly, and yet, I kept becoming that person, night after night. Heather has been a huge support in my FINALLY turning a corner.
Her support hasn't fixed the tiring and long evenings or toddler tantrums, but I am learning to invest in self care, to be more gentle with myself, to understand that loving and being present for my kids is enough, all else aside; that's all they want from me. The witching hour still exists each evening, but I'm learning how to push through them.
What I'm learning is the madness always subsides, and when we have an hour to play with and bathe our toddler, sober and clear minded, after enduring dinnertime tantrums, etc., things are calm, the family is happy, and we have true togetherness and relaxation.
Everytime we get through this hard part of the evening without wine, the storm passes, I realize that I can push through these hard moments, and I feel stronger and happier. I can then read to and spend meaningful time with the older kids with a peaceful, fulfilled heart and understand how blessed I am, in the midst of the fatigue, to get to do this job.
And now, the rest of the evenings are truly self care instead of cracking open another bottle of wine and doing God knows what with my time.
I relax by playing guitar, which is something that never happens with wine involved, reading a book and remembering it, falling asleep peacefully, not arguing with my husband, or even doing something completely boring like organizing a cabinet.
That's the type of thing that can bring calm and order to my mind, but would never happen if wine were involved. Waking up in the mornings clear-headed and energized fuel this cycle, whereas waking up groggy and hungover fuel the wine cycle.
Heather is so helpful because she has been there; talking about drinking with my husband or a few women I'm close to isn't the same because they don't understand and generally, they brush it off.
My reasons for drinking are justifiable and I seem to have everything together in my life, so their support wasn't getting me where I needed to be.
The one-on-one coaching has made a huge difference. The weekly calls have not only been very helpful, but Heather provides many other resources so that I was suddenly flooded with information on sobriety, self care, and the beauty and fulfilment in living clear-minded each day.
I'm still early in my journey, but for the first time in a long time, I feel truly at peace and joyful again, I feel strong and capable, and I know I have the power to let go of what seemed to anchor me down impossibly.
Heather is responsive, judgment free, and knows the struggle and journey.