Kate's Story

I wouldn’t characterize my drinking as anything out of the ordinary at first. I started drinking when I went to college and balanced my school work with the weekend with fraternity parties. I graduated at the top of my class and went to work in corporate sales. I was able to advance my career and keep the partying to a minimum until I went through a messy breakup and that’s when I noticed a shift in my drinking. I turned to alcohol to cope and looking back, it’s incredible how quickly alcohol became the thing I turned to whenever I hit a bump in the road. Lose out on a promotion at work? Buy a bottle of vodka to make the pain go away. Quit my job, move to another state and move in with the man of my dreams? Get blackout drunk on a bottle of blue berry Smirnoff. Get married, quickly become pregnant, welcome a healthy child into the world, and quit yet another job? Pump a bunch of breastmilk so I can get hammered on some cheap wine from the convenience store. You can see the pattern. Any disappointment or hardship resulted in a hangover. Welcoming a second child into the world and moving overseas did not help my mental health situation.When the girls and I got to Poland, the first few months were enjoyable. Everything was new and exciting, my anxiety wasn’t that bad, I had started making new friends and was getting out regularly to explore the country. Then, I got pregnant again, and I was NOT READY for another child. I cried when I found out I was pregnant and was generally unhappy until I found out I was pregnant with a boy. I smiled for the first time in my pregnancy at 12 weeks and actually enjoyed the next few months getting ready for him. His arrival put me on a collision course for sobriety. I experienced severe post partum depression and buying vodka was just easier than traveling two hours for adequate English-speaking support. So, I bought vodka…a lot of it. I had two active toddlers and a VERY CHALLENGING newborn, and I just couldn’t cope. There was SO MUCH noise. I was depressed, frustrated, and tired. Alcohol was the easiest way to boost my spirits, so I started relying more and more on it until it became the only thing that made me happy. About a year after my son was born, I realized my drinking was not healthy. There were a few nights when I just couldn’t deal with life so I drank until I passed out. That’s one way to turn the noise off. My relationship with my husband suffered, and obviously, I wasn’t providing my children with the support they needed. So, I began working towards quitting alcohol. I created rules for myself and accumulated chunks of alcohol-free time (7 days, 15 days, etc.). Nothing lasted longer than a few weeks, and each time my drinking picked up where I left off. Sometimes worse. It took a countless number of attempts to quit alcohol, plus two inpatient stays but today I am so thrilled to say that I will be 2 years alcohol free on January 30, 2020. I am the woman my husband fell in love with, the attentive mother to my children that I always hoped to be, and it is my hope that by writing about fitness and sobriety, I inspire women to take their power back from alcohol.
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