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My sober pandemic: Tammy

May 3rd, 2020 Interviews

Mug on top book pile

“Everything is so strange right now, I need (and want) to be sober, present and calm for my family.”



Tammy: I’m proud of the way our country has handled this pandemic. Reading what’s been happening overseas has been awful and at times scary. Maybe because we only have 4.7 million people and one central government giving direction, it’s easier for us to be united during this time. We have a vulnerable child in our family so we’ve been taking this very seriously as to be blunt, he wouldn’t survive if he caught this.

Tammy: Initially worried, then my pragmatic side kicked in and I focused on what I could control. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times, but I take a moment to cry or just breathe and refocus.

Tammy: As I write this, 101 days!

Tammy: My drinking escalated about a year after our twin boys were born in 2010. Long story short, they were born at 26 weeks in a very traumatic way and our eldest son died when the boys were only a few days old. Our youngest son was very sick with heart and lung issues and went on to spend a year in the NICU and the next few years with a lot of serious health complications and his ongoing disabilities. I never dealt with the death of our son, not properly. We were in survival mode for the first few years, worrying about our younger son and our other 2 children and just getting through each day was a challenge. I pushed all the emotions about his birth/death down and drank to not have to deal with it. Drinking before going to sleep was one way to stop the replay in my head. I didn’t realise at the time I had PTSD. Over the years, I would stop drinking for a while and then when I did start again, I could handle 1-2 glasses before the dreaded “moderation” didn’t work  (because it doesn’t for me) and I was back to drinking every night again. In 2018, a friend lost her child and after attending the funeral, it was like a cork had popped and everything I had buried deep down exploded. My husband, my rock, organised some counselling for me and for the first time ever, I dealt with and worked through my grief, pain and PTSD. I felt like a weight had been lifted, I had got so used to carrying all of that pain and anger around for so long, it felt weird to think of a way forward without needing wine to numb myself. In the back of my mind, the seed took hold that I could stop drinking and it took a few more months but when I did back in January, it didn’t feel as scary as it had on the many attempts in the past – it felt right and I haven’t looked back.

Tammy: I think it’s sharpened my resolve to not drink even more. Everything is so strange right now, I need (and want) to be sober, present and calm for my family. My husband and I are both working full time from home, the kids have homeschooling and we have a child with disabilities as well.

Tammy: Not since the lockdown began, early into my 100 days, hell yes!

Tammy: Lots and lots of tea! Reading, family time, movies, following sober Instagram accounts and music – always music.

Tammy: Working. I run my own business and it’s crazy busy right now, I’ve been working 7 days a week for the last 2-3 months.

Tammy: Be kind to yourself. This is a strange, stressful time we’re all in. Do what you need to do to cope and get by. Be selfish if you have to, just do what needs to be done to take care of yourself.

Tammy: My favourite mug for tea and some of the books that have helped me during this new life of mine.

Tammy: Your book was the first one I read when I first thought I want to stop drinking. It made me laugh, cry and realise I could and will, do this. Thank you.


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