On March 9, 2018 my mom died. She woke up and was on her way to the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee. She was only 67 years old.
The shock of her death sent me into a tailspin with alcohol abuse, I had always been a drinker, but after my mom died the drinking became a way to numb the pain of losing her. I have two brothers, who I don’t talk to often and I live in London where I moved in 2018 from Los Angeles. I felt alone, far away, and like I didn’t have a family anymore.
Growing up, my mom and I were so close. Even in during the teen years I didn’t really fight with her. I wanted to hang out with her, and she was a normal fixture among my girlfriends. When I packed up and moved to USC for college, I would come home at weekends a lot- to do laundry and see my mom. I know that a lot of daughters say that they are best friends with their mom, when I say it, I really do mean it.
My mother was married twice, and the first guy was an alcoholic and they divorced, as far as I know, because of his alcoholism. My mom never drank when I was growing up. My dad drank but never to excess. I feel like I grew up with a heathy-ish relationship with alcohol and never imagined it becoming a problem.
My mom began to drink when I was in law school. I am not sure what spurred it on, but the drinking got bad when I moved to study in London. The drinking got bad and it changed her personality, and it changed our relationship. She blamed any erratic behaviour on me leaving the country, abandoning her, and would compare me to her father who left her when she was 18 (a bi-polar narcissist who shot himself in the head), because I had moved and left her behind.
Our relationship completely shifted when she started drinking, and this broke my heart in a million pieces. It didn’t seem to matter how many times I tried to repair our relationship – the booze didn’t allow it.
When she died there were so many emotions to deal with. I was sad, I was angry, I was lonely, and I turned to wine and tequila to not feel the feelings. It started really innocently, drinking with girlfriends at dinners or at home, and then it just spiralled into drinking all the time. Never in the morning or anything- so I thought “hey I’m totally fine.”
But then one morning I could hear my thought. It was like it was written in neon and screaming at me. “I just have to get to lunch, have that first glass of wine” and I know that I will feel better. I was drinking to cure my hangover, day in and day out.
That’s when I knew I needed to stop. I didn’t know if it was going to a 30 day break, or 90 days, I certainly never in a millon years thought it would be forever.
“I don’t want to do this anymore Jesus. I am done.” I prayed that exact prayer. And that’s the moment everything changed. I had prayed a similar prayer many times before, but this time I knew I couldn’t go on anymore.
Quitting drinking allowed me to deal with my grief, work though my pain and start actually living my life again.
I have spent the last year and a half reading about alcohol addiction, reaching out and making connections with women going through recovery, listening to allllll of the podcasts, writing about my own addiction, and at the end of 2020 applied to get my certification to become an alcohol recovery coach with This Naked Mind.
I am studying hard and I am excited to help women who may not see the bright neon sign saying it’s time to take a break, but maybe are feeling a little nagging feeling that they would just feel better, be a better parent, a better wife, a better colleague, a better boss without the evening wine or cocktail.
I am proof that dramatic, life-altering, incredibly wonderful changes can happen when you stop letting alcohol run your life.