WHEN ONE GLASS OF WINE BECAME MORE —
AND I COULDN’T STOP
By Ashley Davis*
probably looked just like everybody else you know who likes to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Maybe at parties you noticed I overdid it a little bit, but isn’t that what you do at parties? Maybe you knew me as an active church member or a volunteer at my children’s school. Maybe you saw my Facebook posts of fun get-togethers, or my Pinterest page of all sorts of crafts and homemade items. You may have even thought I was one of those moms who had it all together. What you didn’t know was that I lived for 5 o’clock so I could pop open a bottle of wine — you know — to have with dinner. Then another bottle after the kids had gone to bed. Then maybe one more glass because, well, why not? Not even my husband knew how I would sneak to where we kept the “hard stuff” reserved only for parties. We were social beer and wine drinkers as far as he knew. We weren’t the kind of people who did shots, much less drank straight out of the bottle. And the scariest thing of it all is how quickly
my addiction escalated. I started as a social drinker, but when “normal” people stopped drinking, I still wanted more. I didn’t have that switch that told me when to STOP. Usually I only stopped when I passed out or the alcohol was gone. I thought I was keeping it all together, though. I was maintaining. I never missed getting the kids up for school. I never missed church. I always showed up everywhere I was needed with a smile on my face and usually a mint in my mouth. But things started to unravel. I knew I needed help when, because of my irritability from a hangover one morning I snapped at my 8-year-old for no reason. He looked hurt, and then he went to the kitchen, pulled out a beer from the previous night’s get-together and said, “Here Mom. Do you want this?” It was 9 a.m. I was mortified and ashamed. This was not the life I wanted for my children. This was not the mother I wanted to be. This was not the path God had ever wanted me to take. Instead of promising myself, again, that I would “slow down,” or only drink on the weekends or only on “special occasions,” I came clean with myself and my husband with three words: “I need help.” I’m grateful to live in a community where, between AA meetings, Bible studies, and recovery small groups, I’m able to get the help I need. I’m thankful for a supportive husband. And I’m especially grateful that I stopped my spiral downward when I did: before I lost my family, my health, my freedom, or my life.
Hello. My name is Ashley and I’m an alcoholic, a mom, a wife, a friend, and a daughter. I am also full of gratitude and hope. *Name has been changed.
30 SUMMER 2016
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