Many times I’ve looked at my reflection in the mirror the morning after a few glasses of “mommy juice” and saw a woman whose cheeks were rosy, eyes were drawn back with bags, and hair all disheveled. I’d rely on my coats of concealer and blush to hide the truth that I am a lush. Coffee in hand, I’d stumble down the stairs to go on with my day and put on my happy face.
Whether my kids were screaming for breakfast or arguing about the wrong cup that I delivered during their breakfast service, my head pounded. I knew if I hung on tight to my sanity until 5:00 pm, I could bury the pain of motherhood with a glass. Yes, I said pain of motherhood. No, my kids weren’t accidents. Yes, I love them deeply and would have them over again. Yes, I know it’s all fleeting and I should enjoy every fucking minute of this blissful gift of motherhood. Honestly, though, at times is sucks! I didn’t know what I was getting into…. which brings me to the next fun fact of my life of being a military wife to boot.
People might hate me for saying this, but military wife life sucks too. I’m proud of my soldier and enjoy the safety his career provides, but I hate being left alone so. damn. much. So, I made a very sweet, or rather dry, friend named Merlot. She and I would laugh and bring on the charmed blush of my lushful life as a military wife and now a stay-at-home mom.
This worked great until my liver decided to start crying for help. Burning pain in my chest, flutters of my heart, and pain in my side for years ended up being a diagnosis of “fatty liver disease”. When I assumed for a brief second that maybe my drinking was the cause, I was relieved to learn that it can be caused from poor diet choices. So, yeah, that was it. A bag of doritos and some chocolate was my cause, not the glasses of wine I loved so much. “Healthy” drinking for a woman is no more than one 8-oz glass of a wine a night. That was me. The sophisticated wine drinker. In truth, a box of wine does not disappear every week with one 8-oz glass of wine a night. My glasses were huge and so were my lies, to myself. Until January 2, I kept saying to myself, I am not an alcoholic.
Fast forward to what got me into my very first A.A. meeting two night ago. New Year’s Eve 2018 I decided to drink vodka because it’s so low calorie and wouldn’t give me a hangover. I wasn’t measuring my drinks. I just poured the amount of vodka I thought was tasty into some flavored seltzer water. Soon, my night became a blur until I woke up the next morning to learn that I had passed out in the neighbor’s daughter’s room and thrown up on her floor and the bathroom.
New Year’s Day was the worst hangover that I can remember, which isn’t saying much. I slept all day with only trips to the bathroom and drinking pedialyte that my daughter was gracious enough to serve me. My sweet girls patted my head and begged me to get up, but my head hurt so badly that I couldn’t. They vowed to take good care of me since I had such the cyclical “stomach bug” that seemed to follow me around after a night of drinking. That was it. My kids aren’t supposed to take care of me. Luckily at four and five years old, they didn’t really know the truth. So, I admitted to myself, that Momma is sick. Momma is a lush. Momma is an alcoholic and can continue to put on a happy face and drown my sorrow, or take off the blush and get help. So here I am. Fresh faced, ready to get out of this hellhole of alcoholism that I’ve dug for the past decade….yes, decade.