The Realities of A Parent With A Drinking Problem
The taboo topic, the silent secret.
And ironically the one that is affecting millions of parents in this country alone and needs to be discussed openly and LOUDLY.
This is the every day challenge for so many Mums and Dads who are navigating their way through COVID 19, the lockdowns, the loss of income, the uncertainty of the future and the pressure of working from home.
But the pandemic has only exacerbated what was already at epidemic levels and the truth behind so many families closed front doors.
It’s mostly always covered up with a ‘wine o’clock’ meme or throwaway line about how alcohol is what is keeping the family together. It’s become the quintessential coping mechanism for dealing with life and the most frightening thing is it has become normalized.
Take note. A bottle shop is deemed as an essential service.
Dealing with a drinking problem is complex enough if your responsibilities are only for yourself. But the pressure of looking after a family adds further duress that can become completely overwhelming and inevitably unmanageable.
Some of the realities of a parent with a drinking problem are:
- You are never truly present. Always fighting off the distraction of a hangover, anxiety or inevitably another drink.
- Forever trying your damned hardest to be everything you can in between the wines.
- Preparing the meals, washing, medications and what you consider the 'hard stuff' in your sober moments so the kids will never go without.
- The school pick-ups and other driving duties are meticulously co-ordinated around you being below .05
- Weekends are dreaded because you know that will require you being more on your game when you really just want to sleep and top up the next day.
- Opting to watch movies with your babies because you can consume your poison whilst knowing they are safe at home.
- Dreading the kids birthday parties where you have to show up and be the parent that all of the others still think you are.
- Waking through the night wondering if you have forgotten a school event, crazy hair day or cupcakes for a special occasion.
- Crying over their sleeping angel-like faces at night because you love them more than you love yourself.
Personally, I remember this like it was yesterday.
Everything I did during this completely out of control period of time was solely based around trying to still be a good Mum.
Keeping up the facade was more exhausting than the eventual surrender.
Thank god I got help.
Thank god I decided enough was enough.
Thank god I didn't die.
Thank god that I didn't hurt them.
And thank god that I found my way out, reinvented myself and gave my children the Mum that they always deserved.
It is NEVER too late.
Author bio: Founder of Justine Whitchurch Enterprises, Justine Whitchurch is an inspiring author, coach, model and motivational speaker. Having experienced a near death alcohol addiction, she now lives her life with health and fitness as the core foundation. Her story has been featured in many media publications as a symbol of what can be achieved when you stop numbing and start living.
You can connect with Justine on Instagram and learn more about her at https://justinewhitchurch.com.au/.