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I’m a Stay at Home Mom Who May be an Alcoholic? Could I Really Be One?

by Jane

I’m a stay at home mom with 2 young children. I like to think I’m a good mother who does a good job of keeping the house in order and making sure everything is in good shape for when my husband gets home.

The thing is though, come four o’clock, I’m so ready for that first glass of wine. In fact, by lunch time I’m usually already thinking about it and looking forward to it. I don’t necessarily get drunk every night, but have a ‘few’ glasses practically every day and so would probably describe myself as getting to a state of tipsy most days.

I am starting to worry though whether this is normal? Could I actually be an alcoholic – or at least on the road to becoming one? I should also add that we have a long history of alcoholism in our family.


Hi Jane

The fact that you’re worried about it and have taken the time to ask the question is actually quite a telling sign, especially the fact that you have a history of alcoholism in your family. It doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic yet (it’s difficult to say by the information you give – take this alcoholism test for a better idea), but you need to know that alcoholism is progressive and so even if you aren’t suffering from what could be formally defined as full blown alcoholism yet, you may be well on your way to doing so.

But for me, whether in fact you meet so called definitions of alcoholism or not is not the major issue. If alcohol is causing you a problem, whether it be mental, emotional, relationship related, to do with work, anything really, you know it’s serious enough to do something about. I like this simple definition that gets used often, ’if drinking alcohol causes you problems, then you have a problem with alcohol.’

‘Normal’ drinkers don’t usually dream about that first drink they’ll be having later that day. ‘Normal’ drinkers can stop after a glass, without it having to become a ‘few.’ Us alcoholics simply obsess and think about alcohol in ways that a ‘normal’ drinker doesn’t. We can’t help it ... that’s why we’re alcoholics.

But what you can help – is what you do about it. Ask for help, get treatment, go to AA – basically do whatever you need to so that you don’t become another statistic in your family.

Good Luck and All the Best

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UPDATE ON ME: "I was you & now I am in AA" NEW
by: Anonymous

It is now 3 years after my post up there ("I was you & now I am in AA"). I mentioned that I started taking karate as part of my recovery. I tested for my black belt in November, 2013 & passed! It was a grueling 4 1/2 test. And to make my test even better, my son tested for his 2nd degree black belt. After the test I heard "MOM!" I turned around and he leaped into my arms shouting, "We did it!" I am still going strong. I know that everyone's recovery is different, but for me karate has been so important. We meditate at the end of every class for a minute or two and our sensei reminds us to tell ourselves EVERYDAY "I believe in myself. I have confidence in myself. I can overcome any obstacle if I work hard. And nothing is impossible to a willing mind." I am healthy mentally and physically. I am in excellent shape. My kids can't catch me on the ski slope! I have myself back and my family has their mom/wife back. I am still in the program and still see a therapist. It has been A LOT of work, but I have worked very hard during these past few years and I continue to work hard. It feels so good. Do you have an update you would like to share?

I was you & now I am in AA
by: Anonymous

Jane, you described me very accurately before I got help.

I didn't become you until I was around 33. Right before I got pregnant with our 3rd child. I started to drink too much and too often. We always wanted 3 kids. I thought that having our 3rd would get me back on the track I had lived my life up until then. Not drinking during my pregnancy was no problem...not drinking while nursing was no problem. But eventually I slipped right back into where I left off before becoming pregnant with our 3rd. But this time it got progressively worse until I was a daily drinker. I would have a glass of wine or two while making dinner. Then I knew my husband was coming home so I would stop. After the kid's activities later on at night I would pick up again. I was/am a stay-at-home-mom so drinking during the day wasn't an option for me. I guess I could have made it an option, but I never did. So I guess I lived the life of a functional alcoholic. I did this everyday for 2 years. I had periods of time when I would stop drinking myself for weeks, but I always went back to picking up until I became so miserable that I reached out for help. I told my husband and called my parents. I went to see my primary care doctor the next day, and checked myself into de-tox 2 days later (they couldn't take me right away). I was there for 4 days. The day after I left de-tox I checked myself into an intensive outpatient program for 28 days. That's when I learned and figured out that I had to stop trying to do it MY way. I started listening. I started doing what I was told by people who knew what they were talking about even if I didn't realize why. I began going to AA meetings. I joined a home group. I average 4 meetings a week. I have 3 young active kids so I am very busy with them. I am grateful that my hands are full instead of empty. As part of my recovery, I also started taking karate 2 nights/week...for ME. I began my journey on 5/19/10. I have been sober for 6 1/2 months now. It's not just the quantity of my sobriety, but it's the quality of my sobriety. I have tools to aid me in my sobriety. I use them everyday. It feels wonderful. I also go on commitments with my home group once a week and speak to other alcoholics like myself. I have freely taken so much from the AA fellowship that it's my turn to start giving back. I do it because it helps myself and I know that it helps others. I feel like the old me again. I thought that struggling with alcoholism for 2 years was difficult. So many people struggle with it for MANY more years before they help themselves. After 2 years of my struggle, I wanted off of this elevator ride. I have had enough. I owe it to myself, my children, & my husband. I want to be the best that I can be and I can't do that with alcohol as a part of my life. Only you can know/decide if you need help or not, but if you're asking if you need help, then that might be a signal for you to reach out. Good luck.

Alcoholic Mom
by: Anonymous

I'm in the same boat. I'm a "functioning alcoholic". I'm still at the age that at parties it's ok to be a drunk from time to time. I drink about every other night. Used to be every night before therapy.

At this point I have so many expectations for my future that I just can't get to. This in turn makes me upset and want to drink. I spend so much time drinking. It's just that as a mother of 2 I don't start until 9pm after that they are in bed. Then I just continue drinking. I so wish I could drink socially and not drink at home. If I didn't drink I would assume that our house would be in much better order just like the rest of the world thinks it should be.

Thank You
by: Anonymous

My wife is now an almost empty nester who has had parents with health problem and ultimately their passing. She then became obsesses with their illnesses and turned to alcohol. The children could not have night time activities because they interfered with "happy hour". A mixed drink and a bottle of wine has become the norm.

I applaud you for your recognition of the problem alcohol can cause to the family. I hope one day she comes around and begins to live life to the fullest.

It's called being a functional alcoholic

Right now you could be termed as being a functional alcoholic, as many people are. Still lead a pretty normal life by all accounts. But because alcoholism is progressive, things can very quickly spiral out of control. So now is the right time to do something about your drinking before the normal life you're still able to lead becomes anything but. Best of luck.

You're right
by: Jane

Who am I kidding? You're right, your average drinker doesn't start obsessing about having their first drink for the day at lunch time already, lol. It's quite scary though having to admit I may actually be an alcoholic. I still lead a pretty normal life and do my duties as a mother and wife pretty well I think. Thanks for the advice though. It's nice just to get an outside perspective on things.

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