Being the perfect mom is hard. Being any kind of mom is hard. When your drink after a long and chaotic day stops being a reward and starts to be something worse, something darker and something that worries your loved ones, it’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself. Social media has cast alcohol as a medicinal cure-all. Something deserved and something expected. Funny memes about moms and wine permeate the internet, casting this image that drinking is okay. In most cases, it is, but then there’s too much. Too much, a drinking problem, alcoholism – there are many different names. It’s not fair to your kids to attribute your drinking habits to them, nor is it fair to drink so much you remove yourself from their lives.
Here’s how to get your life back on track as a recovering alcoholic. As a mom, as a woman, or as anyone:
1. Have a support system.
Having a strong support system does wonders for getting one through the tribulations of life. You might already be part of a mom group, where you share your troubles of others who know what you’re going through. Recovering as an alcoholic is no different. AA Meetings are where you can share your experiences without the mantle’s of “mom.” The 12 Step Recovery Program is a great option for you to explore as a recovering alcoholic. It’s so popular that you are guaranteed to find a group near you.
2. Predict Triggering Situations
As much as you can, avoid situations that trigger your drinking habits. This could mean something as simple as reducing or eliminating the amount of alcohol in your home. Don’t, however, withdrawal from parts of life just because they are stressful and tempt you to drink. When that happens, be aware of how you will react. If you don’t yet trust yourself, have someone watch you.
3. Reward your successes, don’t punish your failures.
If the everyday craziness of your life is triggering enough, that’s okay. Use positive reinforcement for whenever you get through the day without drinking. Opt for rewards for good behavior over punishing yourself for bad ones. It works for your kids – it will work for you too.
4. Start a new project/hobby/learn a new skill
Learning something new is a fantastic way to get your life back on track. Not only does it give your brain a challenge, but it also gives you a project and an end goal that you can focus and work towards.
Exercise offers so many benefits to your health. Endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are all released when you exercise. These feel-good chemicals all combat depression and stress, making you feel better overall. You will also find you’ll sleep better, have more energy, and will notice an overall mood boost.
Your drinking problem doesn’t have to ruin your life or your relationship with your family. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family, be happier, and live better.