No one would ever call me a failure. Not even myself.

No one would ever guess that I was hiding a problem, either. I’ve kept that to myself.

My husband of 21 years knows I like a glass of wine in the evenings.  He knows I prefer white – Sav Blanc or Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay in a pinch, red if there is nothing else in the house.

What he doesn’t realize is that I often slip to the fridge quietly to top it up – not too full, which would make to easier to notice and count the glassfuls – I like to keep it half full so it appears as if I’m nursing it – maybe even indifferent. It’s gotten easier since I started buying wine by the box, since there is no tell-tale visual of the diminishing bottle in the fridge door.

My sons – three of them, teenagers – know it is normal for a glass of wine to sit on the counter as I cook, or beside me as I watch tv.  They hate the smell of it. I hate that they think it is normal for a mother to drink every night.

You wouldn’t guess to see me – fit, healthy, successful in my field, well-known and respected in my community. A leader, a role  model.  Other women often approach me for guidance or to say that I have inspired them.  I am driven, friendly, cheerful, mostly happy, and I always look the part. 

But here’s the thing.  I jump out of bed each morning and tackle the day. I can’t wait for each new turn, each new challenge. I do love my life and give it 110%. At the end of the day, I used a glass of wine to shift gears, to signal a slow down.  It worked, at first. One glass did the trick, then two.  After a few year the numbers crept up.

My wine is my way of putting a brick on my head to slow me down at the end of the day – physically, mentally.  It’s my off-button. WAS my off button.

Until the other day, I ended each day with 3 – 5 glasses of wine. Last night was the first night of this journey. Hopefully tonight I can be just as strong.