Getting drunk after the kids’ basketball games and waking up at 3 a.m. every night was getting old for this week’s guest! Join Annie Grace and Liz – a fellow podcaster, mother, and ‘retired’ drinker, as they get real about what life was like before giving up alcohol and the journey to achieving an alcohol-free lifestyle.
Alcohol Explained by William Porter
Loving What Is: Four Questions that can Change Your Life by Byron Katie
Drunk Mom, Sober Mom
I guess I wasn’t much of a high school drinker or anything like that. College is probably when it really started. Although I’m not a fan of labels, I hate labels, I would call myself a binge drinker, definitely. I was one of those that were in it to win it. When I was going out, I was going out full force, planning the whole whatever around it knowing the days I was going out. That just rolled through college and then into early marriage and then definitely when the kids were little. I have four children, so I guess technically one’s still little. She’s seven. They span from 15, 13, 10 and 7.
Nothing Good Happens
We’ve always been busy with the kids. They’re very, very active and have lots going on, which is a great thing. The drinking just kept rolling with everything that I did. I worked in the bars early on, which that’s just a miserable lifestyle. I always say that it’s something, I feel like everybody should work in the service industry because it builds great customer service skills and everything, but you work it and you’ve got to get out of it because nothing good happens after 2:00 AM I always say. There’s no good. I keep bumping that up. Nothing good after midnight, nothing good happens after 11:00. Now I’m like 9:00. 9:00 is my cutoff.
No More Drunk Mom
Yeah, it’s done at 9:00. Then it just kept just rolling as usual. I woke up, just a few … I guess it’s not a few short months ago now, but almost nine short months ago on January 1st, and I was like, “I’m not doing this anymore.” I just reevaluated and knew the bad was outweighing the good, and I just didn’t want to wake up feeling that way anymore. It kind of worked out where I had planned it, I had blogged about it, I had talked about it in my mind. Never shared it with anyone, about wanting to not drink, but oh my gosh, that was terrifying, just all that came with it. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of labels, so I didn’t want it to be like, “Oh you’re an alcoholic, that’s why you’re not drinking.”
I knew on that morning after having all those thoughts that that was the end of it. It wasn’t like there was a big event, nothing. The bottom didn’t fall out. I don’t have a good rock bottom story or anything like that; I just knew that morning. The night before I had gone out and there had been drunk mom, drinking events and drinking situations that had negative effects on me and on my family and on my kids. The typical, the mom shame, all that. I laughed, because when I first started reading the book “The 3AM Wake-up”, oh my gosh, I had earbuds in listening to it. I was like, “Oh my god, is she here talking to me right now? Is she in my bedroom with me?” It was just everything blaring at me.
There was just events that I didn’t like the way they happened. Like I said, the bad outweighed the good. I blog about one where my girls play club volleyball, and I had gotten just not planning on it, just a full day of volleyball so no eating all day, and then went out with the team for dinner and I had just gotten absolutely wasted. Like three martinis and blown away to where I was a happy drunk and I’m running through the hotel and going up the escalator backwards, but I’m with my at the time 13 and 9 year old daughters that are like, “What is going on?”
What Is Going On?
I remember the next morning in that hotel just waking up and having to go back to day two of the tournament just thinking, “What the F? What are you doing?” Just so many of those moments that had me stopping to thinking. I remember just sitting in a hallway at that tournament thinking, “Why can’t you stop doing this? What is it that’s not letting you stop doing this?” That January 1st was just another one of those mornings. It was just a “Why can’t you stop doing this?” I had gone out just expecting to be out for a couple hours, which turned into, I was still home before midnight and passed out, but then I missed out on so much with the kids, again.
One of my biggest regrets that I can’t go back and change today, those years when they’re such babies and those years that I was pushing them away. I was planning how I was going to … Me and my husband could go out, anybody could go out. I was planning where they were going to go after a basketball game. My kids play basketball too. I’d be thinking in the beginning of the week who can watch them after the game so we can go out after the game? I’m just wishing that time away with them.
I think that was another big factor that just still guts me that those were my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, you need your time away from your kids. I totally, firmly believe that.
I woke up on January 1st, I have a good friend, Kathleen, that had stopped drinking. I had just woke, and funny enough, she was one of my go-to go out girls. If I knew I needed a good night, you know how you have your go-to people you know are going to be in it with you? She’s one still. She had quit drinking too. It was good timing, which is good I guess, and then we started podcasting together, her and I. We were just talking about what we’re going through, how all the things that you talk about in the book, all of us that stopped that are moms talk about. It’s just all that thing, all that stuff.
I remember January … So she told me about your book. Of course, Audible, on it, downloading it. Had the earbuds in. That’s really what got me through those first couple months. Every podcast, every audio book. I literally have walked around with headphones in my ears. That’s what kept me focused and going. I remember listening to your book like January 2nd or 3rd and I was laying in bed going to sleep, trying to go to sleep because that’s a whole other bed of junk. I wrote it down and I’m looking at my notes, because I took pages of notes of the book. Even in the intro, I never even got through the intro where you’re saying in the beginning how maybe you just want to cut back to once a week or maybe you just want to slow down in your drinking. Maybe this book is for you.
You can also find out if This Naked Mind is the book for you. Start reading a free sample today!
Justifying The Drunk Mom
It was almost like I was justifying because that was always my thing. Like, “Oh I’ll cut back. Oh I’ll slow down.” When I heard you say that in the book, I was like, “I can’t listen to this right now because that’s just making it okay for me to cut back and I don’t want to cut back, I want to be done.” I came back to the book then a couple months later when I felt more secure about just being done and then took it all in in minutes, in a couple days read it all and loved it. Like I said, I just got through the intro. I hadn’t even gotten to chapter one and I was already mind blown with everything in there which was just amazing. Thank you for that.
Talking About It
Then we just kept podcasting about how we were feeling. I think I had some crazy images in my mind of how not drinking was going to be so amazing. My sleep was going to be so fabulous and I was going to feel so good and all that. Since I work out regularly and run and do Crossfit, I was like, “My workouts are going to be just awesome” and blah, blah, blah, none of it was happening. I was like, “Why did I do this? What is wrong? Why am I not sleeping? Why is the anxiety? What is going on?”
Drunk Mom, Sober Mom
We just talked about that through the podcast, all those things you’re going through when you have to go out with people and they’re like, “Why are you not drinking?” Like I said, I quit in January which is the peak of basketball season, which is a very stressful time in our home, and we’d go out with the parents after every game. We’d go to the same restaurant bar, and like you say in the book, I did keep doing everything the same as I was doing. I didn’t cut friends out or anything like that. The first time we went out after a game, and I knew what I was going to order, it was going to look like a drink. I wasn’t going to have to explain it because it was going to have a lime in it.
It was going to look like the Prosecco with cranberry that I love. I ordered water, and when it came to my turn to order, it was like the whole place got quiet. I was like, “What? It’s usually so loud in here and there’s nothing?” There’s a million people talking at once, and now the one time that I’m going to order water with soda and cranberry, the place is going to shut up? Everyone turned and looked at me right when I said water. I ordered it and they were like, “What? What are you doing? Oh you’re doing a cleanse. Oh you’re going to run tomorrow.” I was like, “I think I’m just, I’m done.”
Tune in to the complete podcast to hear more from Annie and Liz on going from Drunk Mom to Sober Mom!
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License