I don’t know where to start on my journey to not drinking. I’m sad and depressed and feeling hopeless. It is a horrible feeling and my children are becoming more aware of my problem. What do I do? Signed, Unsure
The good news, Sweet Sister, is that you’ve already started! Reaching out and asking for support is, quite literally, the scariest part. Admitting that drinking is problematic and not working for your life anymore is a huge, brave step. I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling sad, depressed and hopeless. Those are all really tough feelings to walk through. I wish I could show you from where I stand how you are the beautiful, shining opposite of hopeless right now though.
It sounds like you’re starting to think about a new life and making changes to better to take care of yourself and, if you can stick with the hard feelings, there is so much hope there. My anxious brain gets overwhelmed pretty quickly and says, “Nope….that’s too much. I can’t do that.” So, it’s important for me to take baby steps. Step one might be simply I won’t drink today. I will take care of myself and treat myself gently; the way I would one of my children or friends.
Self-care may mean showing up to a 12-step meeting, calling a doctor to assist with physical steps necessary to detox safely or admitting mental health struggles.
For me, it meant picking up the phone to call a treatment center for inpatient care and reaching out to someone to help with childcare. Anything beyond “I will dial the phone” felt like too much. Looking back, I can see that each of those baby steps helped me get closer to the person I want to be.
Each day I choose to not drink or use, I’m modeling change for my kids. It means saying, “I’m not proud of this choice, but it’s not irreparable.” I want them to understand there’s always hope and a chance to improve. The beautiful part is that while you have noticed your children are becoming aware of the problem, they also get to be aware of the possibility for change.
Baby steps count. Think about one thing you can do today to make your life better—a call, a meeting, talking with a loved one about your drinking, or quite simply just not reaching for something to numb a hard feeling.
There’s no step that is too small and we are here to help support you every step of the way.
Sending you lots of love and support,