My Farewell to Alcohol



A woman leaning against her hands.I remember the first drink that I had.

I held off a lot longer than the majority of my friends did. It was my sophomore year in high school, and I was at a party with a bunch of seniors. I felt the need to fit in. It was a Zima with a Jolly Rancher (GROSS!).

I distinctly remember how it allowed me to let my guard down. I felt more personable, “cooler,” and like I fit in better. After that, it was an every weekend thing: high school parties, friend get-togethers; we never had a problem getting liquor.

I distinctly remember a time in my senior year of high school when my best friend and I had fake IDs and went to a club in the city. She drove (and had NO business driving), and on the way home, I proceeded to vomit out the window the entire way home. When we were approaching her apartment complex where she lived with her mother, we were pulled over by the town police.

The flashers from the police car were visible from her mother’s bedroom. Her mother came outside in her nightgown and talked to the police, and somehow, my friend (nor I) were arrested or cited for anything. At the time, I thought this was a normal right of passage since we were young and dumb.

At the first college I attended, there was a different bar to be at every night. You only had to be 19 to get in, and in a rural small college town, everyone was drinking, 21 or not. I didn’t last there very long.

I returned home to community college but lived in an apartment without my parents. I remember going to bars every weekend, forgetting what I did (and said) at times, waking up so hungover I could not function the next day, and probably making many mistakes that I don’t even want to think about right now.

A few years later, I moved to the city to continue my college education at an art school. At the same time, I started working at a restaurant in the city. I LOVED living in the city. I felt like I had it made. I was finishing my college degree, working in a restaurant that gave me a booming social life and feeling on top of the world.

Unfortunately, the first consequence of my drinking finally caught up to me.

After having many post-work cocktails, I drove back to the suburbs one evening after work, and I was pulled over. I received my first DUI. My blood alcohol level was very low and not very far over the legal limit, so I made excuses for it. I said I wasn’t drunk driving, which, looking back, wasn’t true. I went through the programs that the court-mandated for me, and that was that.

In my late 20s, my drinking started to progress. I was still working in the hospitality industry, and my life revolved around work and going out after work. I did so many dangerous things at that time that could have ended in a completely different outcome.

Even though I was in my late 20s, I still didn’t see it. I thought this was normal. I wasn’t married, I had no children, and I was out living my best life.

Once I got married in my early 30s, the excessive drinking did not stop. I had this way of masking when I was drunk around everyone I knew. I didn’t have a limit, or at least at that time, I didn’t realize I should have one.

Drinking became an everyday thing in my early 30s to calm down after a stressful day. It was my coping mechanism. At the same time, I was also very focused on starting a family.

Once I became pregnant with my first child, I never had an issue with not drinking during my pregnancy. I never even dabbled in having one because I knew deep down I couldn’t have just one. I recall feeling my healthiest when I was pregnant. Even though I was pregnant, which came with challenges of its own, I felt great during both pregnancies.

Once my oldest was born, there was a slow progression back to drinking. Looking back, that is typically how it always started for me. I would allow myself to go back to drinking socially when I would be out with friends. Then, it would bring the liquor back into the house, etc. I had no issue parenting my oldest when I was drinking. In fact, at the time, I felt like I was a better mother when I was drinking. I felt calmer, could deal with the anxiety better, and could handle the challenges of motherhood better when I had had a few drinks.

Fast forward to my second pregnancy. Again, I had no issue with stopping drinking while I was pregnant. And once again, I felt like I was my best self when pregnant. Yet, still, I was not realizing that this was because I was NOT drinking. Then, the world shut down. COVID happened, and life, as we all knew it, changed.

I had a tough time dealing with my kids. I was home on maternity leave, my husband was still working, and I was overwhelmed. I didn’t want to admit that I felt this way.

I drank to mask how I felt. I internalized my feelings from my family, husband, and friends. I felt very isolated and alone.

Things normalized once I returned to work, and I felt better. The drinking continued, yet not at an unmanageable level (or so I thought). I switched careers at one point, and I had given up drinking willingly, and I felt like my life was starting to get better.

I was working on myself both inside and outside. I joined a workout group, started therapy, and felt less anxious than I had ever felt. Unfortunately, at this time, my marriage started to decline. I went eight months without drinking, and then I went out of town for a weekend, and with one swoop, there I was, ordering a glass of wine, and I was right back in it.

2023 was a VERY tough year for me. I masked the emotional anxiety and worthlessness I was feeling by drinking socially. I would go out with friends to blow off some steam, have a few drinks, go home, and feel like I didn’t have to “feel” what I felt inside. However, I continued to put on the facade that I was managing everything. Friends would ask, “How are you doing all of this? How are you feeling?” I would shrug and say I was fine and getting through it. But I was dying inside.

This past month, I finally hit my rock bottom. I will spare the details because they are painful, and I have not yet had enough time to process everything. However, I can say that I realized I had a problem. I looked in the mirror and thought, “Who is this person? I don’t know her. It’s time to get help.” I had to say farewell to alcohol.

So here I am, finally realizing that I need help. I could not have gotten through this last month without the support of my family, friends, and the many new women that I have met in my AA program and support group. They have all been my rocks.

This time around, the consequences of my actions were steep and irreversible. It’s hard for me to say that. I have a long way to go, a lot of therapy, amends to make, and a lot of healing to do.

I finally am being honest with myself, and although I feel very ashamed of many of my actions, I am going to pat myself on the back for realizing I need help and that I cannot do it alone.

Recovery requires a village, and I am happy to say that I have found my village. I am on my road to recovery. I am hopeful, and most importantly, I look forward to the beautiful sober life I will be living as I continue on my journey.

Have you ever felt like you have a problem with alcohol? If so, there IS so much help out there. Do not internalize it. Speak up. There is always a friend willing to lend a helping hand.


  1. As a mom who struggled with alcohol myself, your vulnerability and honesty is very appreciated. I am over 15 months sober and even though it was hard it was the absolute right decision for me and my family. I hope you continue to know your decision was the right one and can heal.


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