More Than Just a Glass of Wine
You come home after a long stressful day and you are mentally exhausted. But life doesn’t care about how you feel, so you keep going. You fix dinner. You help with homework. You make sure everyone gets clean. And you basically handle whatever else needs to get handled before you can sit down and catch a minute for yourself.
And once you’re able to do that, you pull out a bottle of wine.
After all, wine is a great way to unwind after a long stressful day, right? Listen, I’m not judging. I drink wine a few times a week myself. I enjoy it. I like the taste and it honestly does help me unwind.
But when I don’t have any wine at home, it’s all good. Instead, I go for a cup of tea or maybe just some ice cold water. I keep it moving and I head to bed.
But for some women, the love for wine takes on a life of its own. First, you are drinking a glass a few times a week and then it’s daily. Not bad, right? But what happens when daily becomes several glasses daily and each glass is way more than the recommended five-ounce serving size?
What happens when the realization that you ran out of wine actually pisses you off and you find yourself wondering how you let that happen and whether or not you have a stash you just aren’t remembering.
Well, when those things start to happen, it may be time to take a long pause and turn to someone you trust for support.
Being a woman is hard. Juggling family and kids and personal needs is a daily struggle. It gets stressful and overwhelming. Life causes anxiety and stress. Sometimes we end up lonely or depressed and it’s not easy to manage.
And drinking too much sometimes becomes a comfort for some women. An unintended comfort. You drink to wash the day away. You drink to find a calm place. You drink because you just can’t deal.
But when drinking begins to control your mood and your behaviors, it’s a dangerous place to be.
And although the idea of admitting that you have a drinking problem may feel overwhelming, please know that you are not alone. There are countless women--many of them moms--struggling with excessive drinking and alcoholism. They need help and they want to figure out how to ask for it.
They fear the judgment or the disappointment they may have to face if they admit to a loved one that things have gotten a bit out of hand. They worry about how they will find the tools to cope with life if the alcohol is taken away. They wonder if they have the time or patience needed to truly recover from a disease they stumbled into. A disease they never thought would disrupt their lives.
But there is help. There is hope.
You don’t have to face this alone. You don’t have to fear being judged. The people who serve up the harshest judgments are probably dealing with their own struggles. And the people who love you most won’t judge you.
The truth is, we all fall. And everyone’s fall looks different. What you need to do is focus on your life and your health. You need to realize that alcoholism is not who you are. It never has been. It’s just a condition you need help managing.
If you are reading this and still feel uncertain about whether or not your drinking is normal or if you need help, here are a few signs that you should seek help:
Drinking in secrecy
Feeling annoyed or angry if you can’t get a drink
Continuing to drink even if you know it’s disrupting your life
Making drinking a priority
Drinking at all times of the day (including first thing in the morning)
Being unable to have fun without drinking excessively
An inability to stop even when you’ve tried
Having to drink more and more to get the affect you want
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it is possible that you have a problem with drinking.
So what do you do now?
You show yourself some grace, remember that people love you and want to see you win, and you get some help.
If you have a loved one that you trust, try sharing about your struggle. That person may be able to offer support as you begin to seek professional help. Trying to go through recovery alone is not a good idea. You’ll need some help. First, you should contact your primary care physician. They can offer useful insight and refer you to resources that will help you get on the path to recovery.
In addition, here are a few resources to help you out:
Battling any addiction is incredibly challenging. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. I get that. But I know that this is not where you want to be. It’s not the vision you had for your life or your health.
I also know that even in the midst of your struggle, you want a better life. And you can have one as long as you don’t attempt to do it all alone.
Help is available. You simply have to take the first step.