Sober Saturdayz is about community and that's why we've reached out to our FAV sober profiles to hear them out.
I have the absolute pleasure of introducing Jasmine from @Parentstrong! Jasmine has just recently celebrated her first 6 months and man oh man is she glowing. But just like many of us things didn't start out so easily, so without further ado.
I was 18 the morning I found out I was pregnant. I seriously thought I had a monster hangover, turns out…bun in the oven.
Let me back up just a bit. I started drinking at the age of 12 in an attempt to gain some relief from the broken and dysfunctional home I was living in. Like many people, alcohol provided the salvation I desperately craved. I drank vodka and orange juice alone under a nearby bridge as a young girl, moving on to drinking with older guys and becoming a popular 16-year-old. What most of my friends didn’t know, was that I was faking the entire thing. I was desperate for acceptance and determined to make an extrovert out of an introvert. At 17, I blacked out and was raped at a house party. I truly believed the narrative that it was my fault because I drank too much, and I kept this secret until recently.
As a young mother, I managed to keep things together, getting through college and holding down decent jobs through my 20’s. However, I managed to land myself in an abusive relationship with a woman and had my second son via IVF. Despite the outward appearance as a normal adult, drunk Jasmine always turned up, and when she did, life was a mess. My early 30s continued with bad relationships and subpar parenting.
In 2015 I met David. After somehow convincing this man that my roller coaster past was behind me and I was drama free, six months into our relationship I found out that my oldest son had been sexually abused by a family member. It would be 18 months of investigations and countless court dates before the man was sentenced to 12 years in prison. This kind of stress could easily end any new relationship, but in 2018 David and I officially blended our family. A family which consisted of a total of 5 kids and a shit load of ex-wives.
We weren’t the worst parents, but we were far from being the best parents. We were both masters at filling our emotional voids with the infamous drink. We hid drinks in strollers and water bottles, we had roadies with us to and from the kids sports games. We had Friday night dance parties on the weekends we had our kids. We would start the weekend off with pizza, drinks and music. The kids had a blast and so did we. It never occurred to us that when things got out of hand, our kids were witnessing everything. In all honesty, I knew we lived an unconventional life, but I seriously just thought we were the fun parents.
Although we had a “no alcohol” clause in our custody paperwork, we viewed this as minor detail, basically a technicality, nothing to worry about. Or so we thought. On December 2, 2017 we were caught taking shots at the bar while waiting for my step daughters Christmas parade to begin. The bar was right behind our seats, it was too close to say no. Pictures were taken and sure enough we were back in court for custody a few weeks later. The judge was pissed. He reduced our visitation to less than half. We spent the next 6 months trying to “prove” that we did not abuse alcohol and after $8,000 in attorney fees we managed to gain back what we had lost. Rock bottom? Sadly, no.
We became expert Houdini drinkers. We came up with even better ways of hiding our drinks, and we were still convinced that we were definitely not alcoholics. That term did not belong to people like us. Fast forward to March 26, 2019. I received a call from David telling me that he was on his way home from soccer practice early and that he wasn’t bringing our daughter home with him. I figured he was being lazy and didn’t want to drive her back to her mom’s house in the morning. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Apparently, the two-hour practice was too long for him to sit and watch so he decided to go to the bar while she practiced. Guess who drove by to find him at the bar? Ex-wife number 1. The ex who thrived on taking us to court over the smallest infraction. I knew the judge would take away our custody, again. I knew we couldn’t convince anyone a second time around that we didn’t have a problem. We were out of control and sabotaging our lives. We had only been married for 6 months and I contemplated divorce that night, or at least making him work out of town.
A miracle, Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, a winning lottery ticket…I’m not sure what the universe had in mind for us, but we did not go back to court. Somehow David convinced his ex that he wasn’t drinking that night and she believed him! This was the moment we quit drinking. The only smart decision I may have on my list of failed accomplishments.
Divorce, co-parenting, marriage, sobriety, managing a very blended family and a messy court trial, we’ve seen so much. Here we are six months sober, more in love than ever, repairing damaged relationships and living an incredibly blessed life. As a parent who has traveled these roads, I want to help others manage these challenges by sharing encouragement and inspiration through my message. Our story isn’t pretty, there are no cute pictures using perfect filters to highlight a well put together family. But our story isn’t the worst, either. It’s just real life that a lot of real parents deal with. Parents are stronger than they think, they are Parent Strong!
Sobriety doesn’t mean we don’t have problems; it means we know face them and move on.
You can find Jasmine on Instagram @parentstrong for more juicy tips and encouragement!
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