A note from Ellie:
So many women come to this website who are wondering about their drinking, or trying to stop but just don't know how to take that first scary step. At Crying Out Now we get dozens of emails every month from women who see themselves in the stories here, but still feel so alone, so stuck.
There is one absolute truth to getting sober: you cannot do it alone. In order to stop drinking, you have to open up, ask for help, get talking, get a support network in your life. For many people this is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (this is where I went when I finally knew I had to get help). You can find meetings at their website online, or call their hot line to find a meeting near you. At these meetings you will find people who have walked the path before you, and who totally understand how you feel. They are safe, and are as concerned about anonymity as you are.
There are people who won't try AA, for whatever reason, and I understand that. There are other resources, like Women For Sobriety (see the link in the right hand sidebar).
There are online resources like the Booze Free Brigade (link also in the right hand sidebar) - over 1,000 members strong (mostly women) and growing daily. The Booze Free Brigade (or BFB, as we call ourselves) is a Yahoo chat group that was started by two sober women (one of them is Stefanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored) and it is FULL of women who are newly sober, who are still drinking but want to get sober, or who have been sober a while and want to stay that way. This is a FANTASTIC place to go open up, introduce yourself, talk about how you're feeling, get encouragement from people who are right where you are.
If you are concerned about anonymity, start an anonymous yahoo email account to join. It's free. You have to be "approved" to get in, but this only means a very brief application (keeps out spammers and people who shouldn't be there) - applications are approved once or twice a week so it doesn't take long to get in. Many of these women have met up in real life, become invaluable support systems for each other. They have cheered each other on as they went to their first meeting, opened up to family members, celebrated milestones. In order to get the most from the Booze Free Brigade, however, you have to introduce yourself and start talking. I guaranty that just typing out your pain will help.
Stefanie created this beautiful video to show those of you who are out there struggling that there IS life on the other side of drinking, that it DOES get better, but you have to ask for help to get there. She asked some sober women from the Booze Free Brigade (and elsewhere) to write out a piece of advice that helped them when they were struggling, and then she put them all together in this gorgeous video. Watch it and be inspired. Get help. You're worth it.