Melancholy Mama - Edition 4

Jun 12, 2024

Tomorrow, my older son Mitch, is turning 29 years old. I cannot believe I have a nearly 30-year-old son! What the?

Anniversaries and birthdays always bring a mix of emotions for me. With my high emotional intelligence, I can empathize deeply with others and understand their points of view. This is a wonderful trait, but it also means I feel things very deeply—both the happy and the sad. Pre-sobriety, celebrations like this often involved copious amounts of champagne, leading to emotional, intoxicated nights filled with tears, telling myself I was a bad Mum and other ridiculous irrational thoughts.

These birthdays can bring up some sadness and happy tears however with a clear head! I let these emotions in, feel them and understand them with loving kindness & compassion. The memories of being a family with my first husband, and the rose-colored memories that time has painted over the heartache of our divorce. We made a beautiful boy together, and that’s something to celebrate.

Tomorrow, I’m not sure what my mixed bag of emotions will bring. As I write this, I remember being in the hospital today 29 years ago, waiting for Mitch to arrive. It was a long journey with a 48 hour labor, an induction, every drug under the sun, and a possible emergency C-section. Mitch finally arrived with the help of forceps and a lot of stitches. For those with children, we all have a birth story.

After Mitch was born, I experienced debilitating postnatal depression. The Patsy perfect life I had compartmentalized in all its neat little boxes was blown apart. Thankfully, a maternal health nurse diagnosed me early, and getting help from a psychiatrist was life-changing. It was hard work—digging into the past, learning about myself, battling the nasty inner critic—but it was transformational.

Tomorrow I look forward to talking to Mitch and catching up with him on the weekend. It’s always challenging to get hold of adult kids but I know we will talk tomorrow! I miss him dearly, and we have a deep connection. But as the old cliche goes, we must let them spread their wings and fly. This will be my second celebration of Mitch’s birthday while sober, and I will savor every moment.

I also want to share some exciting news: I recently submitted a written piece to Mamamia about my drinking problem, and it was published on Monday. Today, it was featured on their Instagram grid. It’s funny—back in the early 2000s, I emailed Mia Freedman when she had just started Mamamia from her lounge room. I wanted to talk about alcohol issues and women, but I never responded to her reply, probably too scared to tell my story. It’s taken 20 years, but I finally felt vulnerable enough to share my journey. I’m loud and proud to have been published, and if it helps one woman become sober curious, it fills my cup.

I hope you have a beautiful week.

(P.S.) My service, focused on supporting women who wish to moderate or quit drinking, has been well received. If there's anything in particular you would like me to cover on midlife, please DM or email me. I listen and want to give you what you want to hear, reflect or read about.

With love and kindness & Happy Days!



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