Assessing Your Risk
Of course, not every mom who sips wine at day’s end develops a drinking problem. “It’s important to take a step back and not be an alarmist,” says Glaser.
Although children of alcoholics are four times as likely as others to become alcoholics themselves, half of them won’t have any issues whatsoever. Plus, research shows that most people who aren’t hardwired for addiction can moderate their drinking. The key is being brutally honest with yourself, says Reid Hester, PH.D., senior scientist of Checkup & Choices, an online moderation program.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers a free questionnaire (rethinkingdrinking .niaaa.nih.gov) that gives users an objective picture of their habits. (Dr. Hester’s website, checkupandchoices .com, has a similar self-assessment. Users get help setting limits and identifying what drives their urge to drink.)
But while moderation works for many, it isn’t the answer for everyone. After the car incident, Amanda ultimately decided it was best to quit drinking for good. Although seeing wine on Instagram can still trigger her, following accounts that advocate alcohol-free living has helped. She also checks in frequently with the Booze-free Brigade and is vigilant about taking time for herself. “I like art and crafting, and I make sure to get workouts in,” she says.“i practice more self-care.”
Self-care. There’s that word again. These days I’m trying to engage in the kind that doesn’t involve a popping cork. Two or three nights a week, my husband handles bedtime and I lace up my running shoes. When I get back, still coasting on endorphins, sometimes I pour some wine, and sometimes I don’t. I like having the choice. I’m glad that it still feels like one.
And if it ever doesn’t? Well, I’ll know what to do.