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Did Drinking Make You Feel This Way?

"It made the thing that I love the most hard - which was being a mom." - Taylor Cole

Kezia and I had a thoughtful conversation with Taylor on our podcast this past week. I was completely blown away by how similar Taylor's story was to mine. Even though she is younger, is from the west coast and we have never met - I feel like our souls are aligned.

She met her husband in college, has three kids under 4 and used alcohol to find comfort and get outside herself for way too many years. She grew up in Orange County, in a community where drinking was a part of the culture from a young age. She recently celebrated 3 months of sobriety and said, "I just feel so free without having alcohol in my life." There is no better way to describe the feeling of not being trapped by alcohol anymore, than by being free.

I remember watching Taylor on Laguna Beach, years ago. This was in the early days of reality TV, back when we still watched MTV, before Evan and I even had kids. We were all just children back then. I was probably just as lost when it came to alcohol, searching for answers at the bottom of a bottle.

Talking to Taylor the other day, I felt like I had known her for a very long time. She is personable, and she is just a lovely, kind and thoughtful woman. I feel so lucky everyday to be able to make these types of connections on a regular basis in the sober community. And her children are incredibly lucky that she has made this sober revelation so early on in their lives.

"It made the thing that I love the most hard - which was being a mom." This was an incredibly simple statement, yet so truly profound. I couldn't have said it better myself, Taylor. I totally agree. Drinking did exactly this. It made everything hard, but most of all, it made being a mom the hardest of all. It made me resent my children. It made me resent the life I had created for them. It made me resent the mother I had become. It made me question my worth and worry more about what people thought of me than the wellbeing of myself or my family.

For years and years, I continued to drink because it seemed easier to do that instead of facing the problem in front of me. I ignored the voice in the back of my mind, until eventually, as Taylor said - it was screaming at me. For so long though, I ignored that quiet whisper because I didn't want to let others down. I didn't want to disappoint my friends, family or community. I couldn't be thought of as a failure - someone who had a problem with drinking. I wanted to maintain the perfect image.

I wanted to have it all - and I was convinced alcohol was the glue that held it together for me. But ultimately, drinking was creating tiny, fragmented cracks in the foundation of my perfect, little life.

I knew the truth for too long, and I was so deeply ashamed of myself. I was embarrassed of what I was becoming, so I stayed hidden, in the crippling cycle of abuse for years. Drowning myself in darkness for years. I was scared for so long to attempt to open myself up or to try something I knew would be difficult. I couldn't wrap my mind around making such a drastic change in my life that was so vastly different from what my friends and I knew. Becoming sober was a bold move and challenged everything I envisioned to be "normal" or acceptable.

I did it though. I found the courage to stand on me own.

I finally found the strength to not care anymore what people thought of me.

881 days later, I am still working to rediscover those days of motherhood I lost to my drinking self. I am getting to know the woman I am meant to grow into. Alcohol robbed me of so many years of truly knowing myself, as I numbed and drowned my feelings. Everyday, I continue to learn more and more about who I am becoming. And who I am meant to be.

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