How to be 18 months free from mommy wine culture
This week Evan and I celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary. It also happened to coincide with my 18 months of sobriety. We spent the evening shopping for appliances for our new kitchen and stopped in for a bite at one of my favorite restaurants in Wellesley. It was sort of the perfect evening of productiveness and relaxation. I thought for a brief moment about how young I was fourteen years ago. There was so much I didn't understand or know. I was so naive and excited for the life ahead of me, and all I wanted was to become a mother. Little did I know that fulfilling that role would eventually set me on a path of destruction.
I had no idea the twists and turns my life would take. Sitting at dinner with Evan, I thought for a moment. There was so much that was unknown to us, and I wish I had the ability to see into the future. I wondered briefly, maybe I could have made some different choices regarding alcohol. Maybe I could have warned myself that the patterns I was exhibiting were red flags. I also wonder how my life would have been different if someone had said something to me about my drinking back then. Blacking out from drinking in my 20s should have been a sign. Drinking to get drunk throughout college should have made me wonder. Being angry that Colby banned hard alcohol as soon as I graduated, because I was mad that the college students would be deprived of the experiences I had - that was a red flag.
I wonder if my husband sat me down that early on, would things be different now? Or if he started the concerned conversations way back then, would it had driven a wedge between us? Would I have resented him for trying to make me stop? I certainly didn't know anyone that was sober back then. I would have never entertained the idea. But he also never would have said anything - because alcohol was woven into the fabric of our relationship. Neither of us saw anything wrong with what I was doing.
I know that I would not have stopped drinking simply because Evan told me I had to, especially, when I was so much younger, more immature and selfish. I had such a romantic image of how I viewed alcohol back then, and the occasional glass of wine was not an issue. I wasn't drinking every single day, so in my mind, I didn't have a problem. I was only drinking once or twice a week, sometimes going a little overboard but not always. I felt like my relationship with alcohol was manageable and it was never bad enough for me to just quit.
The way my friends and I viewed alcohol 14 years ago - people didn't just stop because it was unhealthy. You only quit if you were an alcoholic. I wish the culture was different back then.
Mommy wine culture sucked me in, once I had my first baby in the South End of Boston. I found comfort in the wine playdates with other moms and moving to the suburbs only exacerbated that need.
I believe that I needed to get to this place of freedom on my own. The winding path brought me here for a reason, and I am grateful for all that I learned along the way. I don't think I would be who I am today if I didn't experience all that I did in the last fourteen years, and I am beyond grateful for the man who has stood by my side throughout it all.