Monday, August 22, 2011

Dear Phenomenal Girl

*** Submitted by Anonymous

Not so sure what to write here. I have read every single post to date.I am so thankful this website is here and thankful that Heather from the EO told me about it.

I am still drinking. As a matter of fact, I have never, ever stopped since I was about 19 or 20. (I'm pushing 40 now) with the exception of my pregnancy and the first 3 months after my daughter was born. I didn't even really want to drink then - but I suffered such severe postpartum depression that my family was suggesting constantly that I "have a glass of wine to calm down and relax". So finally I did. Then I found myself right back to where I was before I got pregnant. How quickly that happened.

The one point from most of these posts that resonates with me the most is "I'm not that bad".

I tell my self that all the time. I am not that bad.

Recently my mother was in town for my daughters 2nd Birthday and late one night, fueled by a bottle of wine, I confessed my habits to her in desperation and tears. She listened - she cried - she told me that I was "not that bad". That I should "keep an eye on it".

Boy was I happy to hear that. Except I knew - in my heart, I knew. Did she not hear me? Or maybe I really do drink like everyone else, its just that I am too hard on myself? I'm fine. Everything is okay. All mommies need to unwind. Right? Right?!?

I know I may not be "that bad" right now, but soon enough....

And part of me has to ask "When is drinking a bottle or even 2 of wine (usually on an empty stomach) not that bad?" Because I beat my self to a pulp every morning about it. Sometimes I don't....but mostly, I do. And it fucking sucks. I hate that feeling - yet have become comfortable in it.

I am pretty sure that it is REALLY bad. Especially when I have a precious little girl in my care. A little person that I swear to GOD I love more than life itself. I would die if anything ever harmed her. And yet....seems not enough to put down the wine glass. That bothers me. A lot. And I know the harm I will cause her if I continue. But holy crap - how do I stop this?

I subscribe to this daily email called "The Brave Girls Club". They send inspiration and things to think about to my email inbox once a week or so. Tonight's email made me think- this is what I would tell myself after I become sober. I am not sure when that will be or if it will ever be, but its nice to think that there may just be another way of life. Just maybe. And if it happened - well, I would tell myself this:

Dear Phenomenal Girl:

It is absolutely awe inspiring to see the woman that you are becoming. Through all that you have learned, all that you have experienced, all that you have cried over, all that has brought you to your knees, and all that you have have become an absolute miracle of a human being.

Take some time today to think about these things. Think about what it took to get you to where you are now. Think about your childhood, then your young adulthood....then the years of adulthood that brought you to now. Think about the victories, the hard earned lessons and rewards...and think about the heartbreaks and betrayals and disappointments. Can you believe you have lived such a big and beautiful life?

It’s time to cut yourself some slack, dear friend. Hug each part of your past and tell that girl that you are proud of all that she has endured, overcome and created. Tell that girl that she did the best that she could do and that it was enough!

Tell that girl that the best is yet to come, because now she knows even better than she did then. Tell her that you have forgiven the mistakes she made when she didn’t know what she knows now. Tell her that it was all worth it.

Let that girl be amazing. Let her be at peace. Let her fly.

Because she deserves to be amazing, to be at peace, and to finally fly.

That girl is loved more than she could ever understand. YOU are that girl.

Congratulations on making it to are a champ, my dear!

Nice work.


  1. What an awesome post! Great way to start my Monday. Thanks for that!!

  2. Beautiful post, thank you. You are a Phenomenal Girl. Please keep coming back. reach out so we can help you if you want. We all have different programs we work, maybe you will feel comfortable working one of them. You deserve it and your little girl wants that phenomenal mom!!!

  3. I know from experience that hating yourself every morning is no way to leave. Even if you're drinking like everyone else - which it sounds like maybe you're not - you still hate yourself. That doesn't help anyone. This post is a great start to becoming Phenomenal Girl. You had a year sober during pregnancy, even if you're not counting it. That proves you can do it.

    I know you can - Phenomenal Girl already lives in you.

  4. You may or may not have a concrete idea of what 'that bad' means to you. Perhaps its a DUI or stealing or physical violence while drunk. For everyone it is different. I can tell you, though, that all those things happen in an instant. And then you can't take them back. The fact that you're reading these blogs indicates to me that you are in a lot of pain. But what you are experiencing is addiction, and your addiction will screw with your head until the bitter end. The time to stop is now.

  5. Yes.. The time to stop is now.. I was drinking a bottle of wine a night every night, with a baby in my care, and I can tell you, it IS that bad. It was for me. And you don't NEED to. I thought that without the booze I would fall apart.. I thought, like your family told you, that I needed wine to "relax". I have never been happier since I got sober. I have 19 months away from wine and that distance helped me realize that YES I WAS THAT BAD. It doesn't matter what other people were doing. It was that bad for me. Give sobriety a try.. If you hate it, you can always go back to drinking.. Thank you for sharing your story here..

  6. i was a bottle of wine give or take a glass for the nine months before i quit drinking. four years prior to that i talked to a sober friend about my concerns because deep in my gut i knew my thoughts around drinking were not normal. i didn't drink for a month but i really wasn't that bad then. went on through another pregnancy and didn't drink. those 9 mos were helpful in my delusion that i wasn't that bad. once baby was weaned, i became a daily drinker. i still wasn't that bad but definitely worse than i was the 4 years prior when i was starting to talk about my concerns about my drinking. this fucker is progressive. the further away i am from a drink, the more clarity and perspective i have to see that i may not have been that bad, but it certainly was not good. vino was how i would unwind, cope, relax, celebrate. i couldn't imagine my life without alcohol when i stopped. that was 21 months ago when i was almost 39. it was the most difficult thing i've ever done but my life is so much fuller now. it is worth it.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story!
    For me, well people still tell me they don't see me as an alcoholic, that I just binged at times. Doesn't matter what they think, sobriety has taken away the guilt, shame and despair.

  8. Try not to drink tonight and waking up tomorrow you may feel a bit better. One powerful thought that keeps me sober day to day is that I will not wake up feeling like shit. My drinking spiraled out of control when my 4 kids were in jr. high and sr. high. It was awful for them and it has taken them a very long time to trust me. And please, don't drive with your precious ones in the car!

  9. What a great post. I think you can rely on your instincts about how bad your drinking is. Can you honestly imagine going to bed sober and waking up feeling the same way you do now after drinking? Leaving behind that kind of daily self-hatred mantra literally saved my life. It's my favorite part of being sober. None of us can be Phenomenal Girls if we beat the crap out of ourselves first thing every morning. Removing the alcohol short circuits the downward spiral of self-hatred, ensuing depression and more drinking to numb the effects of the self punishment. You are so ready!

  10. you can do this - phenomenal girl is strong and right there inside you, she is RIGHT THERE. Right NOW. YoU are all you need. Sobriety is the best thing I have ever experienced. Everything in your life will be better after you stop. It won't be better immediately, but eventually, It gets glorious.

  11. Kristin said it best for me. You have to understand that when we're using, we're responding and making choices via prompts from "the addict mind"
    Sounds crazy maybe. But that addiction personality, which is very strong right now, wants so desperately to keep you drinking.

    That phenomenal chic is fighting.

    Surrender. Forget what "others" (including mom) perceive about your drinking habit. Stop this madness and listen to that voice deep within.

    Surrender. Let go. Permit yourself to listen to others who have been where you are. Just for a while until the dust settles. Get some email addys, phone numbers. When you catch that addict mind suggesting you pull over to pick up a bottle (and you've NO idea where that voice came from) ,, PICK UP THE 75 POUND PHONE AND CALL SOMEONE IN RECOVERY. Simply ask the person,, "please give me one reason why I should not have this first glass of wine"

    KISS -----> Keep it Simple Sistah !!
    This is not brain surgery. But you MUST surrender,
    be honest,
    open - minded
    and WILLING!!

    You got this!! Change your life today. Don't be like me and make some devestating mistakes as you approach 50...
    Dawn (

  12. Wow. Thank you - each and every one of you for your comments.

  13. Phenomenal inspire me. Our stories are so similar-my husband says I don't have a problem, etc.. But waking up every day with guilt is heartwrenching And physically stressful. My work at work suffers, and my work at home suffers. I read on a blog post once that we would fire a babysitter who drank on the job...yet we (moms) seem to look past it when it is us.

    I'm still drinking. Had one yesterday so the hubs wouldn't look at me funny. Wait, no, that's not why-I had one yesterday because I couldn't stop it. Heck, I was both proud and sad it was only one! Usually it's the bottle.

    Thanks for giving me some more inspiration to seek support and make a change.