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婚姻、母亲和工作的压力点燃了我的酒瘾。

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许多妇女将能够与Brenda Wilhelmson的故事。她是妈妈、妻子和雇员,尽力把每件事都做得尽善尽美,但实际上她工作过度,压力大,孤独,觉得自己做得不好。于是,她转向喝酒。
 
一杯酒每晚翻到两到三杯,事情就从那里升级到有一天,她意识到自己是个酒鬼,隔壁房间里有个孩子。经过近10年的“地狱般的存在,“Wilhelmson的旅程是在她的书中被俘,一个酗酒的家庭主妇日记。为了纪念酒精意识的一个月,我们和布伦达进行了交谈,她说,她与酗酒的斗争让她意识到了今天许多妈妈所拥有的完美的不健康的追求。
 
你喝酒是怎么开始的?
我和很多人一样,在高中和大学开始尝试毒品和酒精。我在大学里更喜欢吃火锅,更喜欢吃火锅。但一旦我毕业并进入职场,下班后出去喝鸡尾酒就更为人们接受了。
 
当我结婚并有了第一个孩子的时候,去卖酒的商店买一瓶葡萄酒比冒着被逮捕的风险更能被社会接受,所以我坚持喝酒。刚开始的时候,它几乎被降级到周末。然后,在我有了第一个孩子后,我成了一个自由撰稿人,待在家里。兼顾这两件事,努力成为一个好家长,同时注意我的写作和我的孩子,压力很大。我觉得我没有做任何事情,我一直是孤独的。虽然我和我的孩子在一起,但我缺乏成年人的交谈和成人的接触。在我知道之前,我开始用酒精来犒劳自己。在我丈夫回家之前,我先喝了一杯酒,然后吃了一两杯酒,然后从那里升级。
 
总是酒吗?
我在做饭的时候喝了一杯葡萄酒。我在打扮它,使它成为这个美好夜晚的一部分。但是,我的表弟(也有酗酒的问题)开始来了,我们大约在下午4点或5点开始喝酒,就在我开始准备晚餐的时候。他是一个波旁酒的酒徒,我不喜欢,所以我们妥协了伏特加酒。这开始了整个马蒂尼过程。它感觉非常豪华,成熟和成熟。
 
你每天晚上喝酒时,你的孩子在哪里?
他和我们在一起。我当时住在一个有大家庭间和开放式厨房的房子里。当我在做饭的时候,他正在玩他的玩具,而我的表弟正坐在岛上喝酒。
 
你丈夫晚上回家时你有什么反应?
我丈夫来自一个酒鬼家庭,所以我的行为对他来说是正常的。但他不喜欢我喝醉了。他认为我喝得太多了,不喜欢我的表弟总是过量。当他走进门的时候,有我和我的表弟喝酒,我们俩都很兴奋。他说他不想总是一个喝醉了的妻子回家。关于那一点,我对喝酒也感到很不舒服。我每天晚上都喝得醉醺醺的,每天都觉得很糟糕。太可怕了。
 
当你喝醉的时候,你对孩子做了什么最坏的事?
事实上我的酒处理得很好。我来自一系列非常有功能的酗酒者。我爸爸和我过去总是在下班后喝酒。他或多或少教了我怎样喝酒。当时我并不认为自己做错了什么事,但有几次我开车带着孩子喝醉了。
 
你的第二个孩子来之前你戒酒了吗?
我一直以为我会有一个孩子,但随着时间的推移,我开始认为这将是一个好主意,我的儿子有一个兄弟姐妹。我真的认为怀孕会迫使我停止喝酒,因为我第一次怀孕时就停了下来。我已经试过多次戒酒了,所以我突然意识到如果我怀孕了,我就会戒酒,这是我决定生第二个孩子的一个决定。
 
这样做了吗?
对.但我在护理六个月后又开始了。我基本上是从我离开的地方捡起来的。
 
最后一件事是什么让你停止了?
这是一个积累的东西。我失去控制了。三个月前,我决定寻求帮助,我的岳母和祖母去世了。我和他们两个都很亲近。我岳母是我最喜欢的喝酒伙伴之一。但是看着他们在一个半星期内恶化和死亡,真的让我很难过。随着时间的推移,我突然意识到我也有一天会死,我不喜欢我的生活方式。我感觉自己像个僵尸,感觉像个废物,但假装我没事。我不想让我的丈夫或其他人知道我的真实感受


Many women will be able to relate to Brenda Wilhelmson‘s story. She was mom, wife and employee trying to do everything perfectly, but in reality she was over-worked, stressed-out, lonely and feeling like she wasn’t doing any of it well. So, she turned to drinking.

One glass of wine turned to two or three each night, and things just escalated from there until, one day, she realized she was a full-blown alcoholic—with a child in the next room. After nearly 10 years of this “hellish existence,” Wilhelmson’s journey was captured in her book, Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife. In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, we talked with Brenda, who, among other things, says that her battle with drinking made her realize the unhealthy strive for perfection that so many moms have today.

How did the drinking for you start?
I, like a lot of people, started experimenting with drugs and alcohol in high school and college. I actually preferred pot more in college and was more of a pot head. But once I graduated and was in the working world, it became much more acceptable to go out for cocktails after work.

When I got married and had my first child, it was way more socially acceptable to go to the liquor store and get a bottle of wine versus risking getting arrested from having pot, so I stuck to drinking. It was pretty much relegated to the weekends at first. Then, after I had my first child, I was a freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom. Juggling those two things and trying to be a good parent while paying attention to my writing and my child, was very stressful. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything well, and I was alone all the time. Even though I was with my child, I was lacking in adult conversation and adult contact. Before I knew it, at the end of the day, I started rewarding myself with alcohol. It started out with a glass of wine before my husband came home, then a glass or two with dinner and escalated from there.

Was it always just wine?
I was treating myself with a glass of wine while I was cooking dinner. I was dressing it up and making it part of this nice evening. But then, my cousin (who also has a drinking problem) started coming over, and we started drinking together around 4 or 5 p.m., right around the time that I was starting to prepare dinner. He was a bourbon drinker, which I didn’t like, so we compromised on vodka. That started the whole martini process. It felt very posh, sophisticated and grown-up.

Where was your child while you were drinking each night?
He was with us. I was living in a house at the time that had a big family room and open kitchen. He would be playing with his toys, while I was cooking dinner and my cousin was sitting at the island drinking.

How did your husband react when he got home at night?
My husband came from a family of alcoholics, so my behavior was normal for him. But he didn’t like how drunk I was. He thought I drank too much and didn’t like that my cousin was always over. When he’d walk in the door, there was me drinking with my cousin, and we were both loaded. He said that he didn’t want to come home to a drunk wife all the time. About that point, I had become very uncomfortable with my drinking too. I was going to bed drunk every night and feeling lousy every day. It was terrible.

What was the worst thing you did with your child when you were drunk?
I actually handled my liquor pretty well. I come from a line of very high-functioning alcoholics. My dad and I used to drink all the time, after work. He more or less taught me how to drink. At the time I didn’t think I was doing anything terribly wrong, but there were times that I drove drunk with my child in the car.

Did you stop drinking before your second child came?
I always thought I was going to have just one child, but as years went on, I started thinking that it would be a good idea for my son to have a sibling. I actually thought getting pregnant would force me to stop drinking since I stopped the first time I was pregnant. I had already tried a number of times to stop drinking and failed, so it occurred to me that if I got pregnant, then I would stop drinking and that was a piece of my decision to have a second child.

And did that work?
Yes. But I started up again after nursing for six months. I essentially picked up where I left off.

What was the one thing that finally got you to stop?
It was an accumulation of things. I was out of control. Three months before I decided to get help, my mother-in-law and grandmother died. I was very close to both of them. My mother-in-law was one of my favorite drinking buddies. But just watching them deteriorate and die within a week and a half of each other really hit me hard. Along with that, it occurred to me that I was going to die some day too, and I didn’t like the way I was spending my life. I was feeling like a zombie and feeling like crap, but pretending that I was OK. I didn’t want my husband or others to know how I really felt, so the mask went on, and I went on with my my day. It was a hellish existence. But once I came to the realization that this was not the way I wanted to live my life, I decided to get help. After two nights of back-to-back heavy drinking, I had enough, I got the phone book out and called a hotline for a recovery group. That was nine years ago.

Have you been sober ever since?
After one initial relapse at the beginning, yes.

Did the drinking affect the type of mom you were?
Definitely. Absolutely. I’m present today where I wasn’t present before. When I was drinking, I was just going through the motions. As my first child was getting older, he started getting anti-drug and anti-drinking messages at school, and he began asking questions about my drinking. It made me very uncomfortable that he was watching me drink, and I was somehow justifying it. Then one night, my husband and I came home from a night out with friends and we saw that our kids had been drinking soda out of champagne flutes, wine glasses and brandy sniffers. They were 8 or 9 years old and mimicking our behavior.

What message do you have for other moms out there who drink?
I think that’s a personal decision. If you’re drinking alcoholically, that’s not good. If you’re going out for dinner and having a glass of wine, I think that’s fine. I know I was personally setting a bad example, and I had a problem. It depends on who you are and how you’re drinking. We all just need to be very honest with ourselves. If you’re uncomfortable with your drinking and you think you have a problem, you probably do.

What is your life like today?
Do I get tempted? Yeah. But I still go to recovery meetings and I remind myself that I’m an alcoholic. Once you’re an alcoholic, you’re always an alcoholic. I need to remind myself why I stopped drinking. It doesn’t go away. And I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want that kind of life again.

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