Everything went as planned over the last few days and I am feeling good. Great, even. Clear-headed and healthy and proud of myself. Thank you, for each and every one of your kind words lately.

I am, however, feeling unsure about the things I’ve been sharing. I read some comments that made me feel small and red-faced and not at all like the say-it-out-loud-and-own-it the-truth-will-set-you-free person I’ve been trying to be and I don’t know, maybe I am being selfish when I spill my secrets to the world. Maybe it’s the wrong thing to do. At any rate, I’m not hitting the delete forever button but I am filing away some previously-public posts until I find my confidence again.

Comments

134 Responses to “Bravery: MIA”

  1. Katharine on August 10th, 2013 11:40 am

    Ah, no. Eff those commenters. I’ve enjoyed these recent posts as much as I ever have your funny or family posts. In a different way, of course.

  2. Ashleas on August 10th, 2013 11:42 am

    Really? I hate people sometimes..

    You’re inspiring and not selfish at all. You are selfish if you act like “Congratulate me for doing this thing!” instead of “This has been very hard but I’ve achieved it.” Which is how I feel about half the posts on stir-mom..

  3. Janet in Miami on August 10th, 2013 11:50 am

    No one likes to feel vulnerable. But by admitting your weaknesses to yourself, and then talking about your concerns, you are able to yoke the strength of everyone in your cheering section that loves and supports you. It can make you you a little vulnerable to attack – so its a bit of a two-edged sword that way. Especially when people talk about how your kids may be affected.

    You’ve displayed a lot of personal courage here, and you’ve done so much good doing so. You have helped so many to face and then conquer their own fears. How can that possibly be selfish? Seriously, that is the LAST think I would think of you. Really.

    All your children would need to say if confronted with what you post is ‘my mom has health issues and works hard to keep healthy. She talks about it on the internet to help other people with the same problems”

    Warmest always –

  4. Barb. on August 10th, 2013 11:52 am

    Those commenters on cafe stir… for whatever reason, you’ve attracted a certain type that seem only a half-step (sometimes considerably less) above trolling. I honestly don’t know how you can deal with them week after week. I couldn’t do it. You’ve got bravery in spades.

    As for your recent posts on your relapse and recovery: I couldn’t be prouder if you for your honesty and courage. You’re setting a wonderful example for your children by continuing to solider on even if the going is tough and you’ve fallen down a few times. I know I don’t comment much, but I cheer for your every success, and wince in solidarity when you hit a wall. Don’t let the bullies (even if they are well-spoken and seemingly polite) make you feel any less than the amazing woman and example that you are. You’ve got this, and those who love you have got your back.

  5. JudithNYC on August 10th, 2013 11:52 am

    People who leave comments that make you feel small should be ashamed of themselves.

    I have not commented lately because I am so in awe of your strength that anything I wrote came up sounding trite.

    If you need to be more circumspect as to what you publish here, by all means, but be assured that most of us respect you so much and get inspiration to deal with our own personal demons by reading about your struggle.

    We are rooting for you, kid and I, for one, know that you and your family will be alright.

  6. Tessa on August 10th, 2013 12:03 pm

    Fuck those people right in the ear. They should consider themselves lucky that they’ve clearly never had to struggle with something as big as you are, not pass judgment on how you’re dealing with your recovery. Your kids will see that you’re brave and willing to do hard things to make your (and their) life better, and you’re providing them an example of how, even if you fall down, some things are worth struggling toward.
    These are the same people, if you knew them in real life, you’d think were sanctimonious bitches and write off anything they say because of that, don’t let the fact that they’re online change how you react to them. The real people of the Internet, those of us who are willing to admit that we too have flaws, are pulling for you without judgement.

  7. sooboo on August 10th, 2013 12:19 pm

    This is definitely not the first time some of those commenters at the Stir made me so frothy mouthed angry! It seems like many times when you offer something more personal, there’s a handful of people that say really shitty and judgmental things. So, consider the source of the comments. You are helping people and I think your kids will be proud of your struggle and achievements when they get older. You have not been overly detailed or shared anything specific about your kids, so I think it’s totally fine.

  8. Megan on August 10th, 2013 12:21 pm

    Remember the comments on this post? -> http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/129786/5_offensive_holiday_carols_you. Yep. So. The majority of The Stir’s commmenters are THE WORST. Please ignore them and keep doing what you do — you are helping others, your family included, by being so forthcoming. xoxo

  9. Lesley on August 10th, 2013 12:23 pm

    As the child of an alcoholic, I can say without a doubt thy my father publicly admitting that he had a problem and was taking steps to address it, and even that recovery was not a steady upswing but rather an ongoing struggle, would have been AWESOME.

    I don’t know how people thing this could negatively impact your kids. They are going to know that you are an alcoholic. They’re going to know that you sometimes make mistakes and that relapse was one, but that you didn’t give up. Why WOULDN’T you want your kids to know that?

    As far as some other kid using it to pick on them, that seems really unlikely. And if it does happen, tell your kid that other kid is a douchebag. Really, if we all lived to make sure no jackass bully ever had ANY potential material against our kids, we’d have to live in bunkers.

  10. Jo on August 10th, 2013 12:25 pm

    Is it just the comments at the stir that are bothering you, or have there been others elsewhere? If it’s just the stir comments then to hell with them – all this nonsense about we shouldn’t congratulate you for maintaining recovery, instead we should admonish you for becoming an alcoholic in the first place – it’s BULLSHIT. Some of the women over there are so sanctimonious it’s unreal.

    I’ve always admired your honesty. Keep it up.

  11. g on August 10th, 2013 12:27 pm

    Linda, the thing that keeps me coming back to your blog (rather than deleting it from my feed like I have so many over the past year) is the elegant honesty with which you write about your life. I haven’t commented on your recent posts, but if I had, calling you selfish for posting them would have been the last thing on my mind. You are incredibly brave to put yourself out there like you have. You are doing a service to yourself and to others by demonstrating that you can have a simultaneously happy and flawed life (don’t we all?), that you pursue self-improvement even when it’s difficult, and that you love yourself and your family enough to do so. So fuck those sanctimonious commenters, Linda. Keep on keeping on. There are a lot more of us in your corner than you know.

  12. Ginger on August 10th, 2013 12:31 pm

    I havn’t read those comments and I am not going to, but if they have caused you to doubt yourself and your voice you are giving them too much power. From the vantage point of many years I know this: someone will always dislike you, disagree with you, criticise you, eat away at you, blame you and point at you. Their reasons are their own. Your reaction is your own. Don’t play to the lowest common denominator; in exposing yourself you challenge your readers to look at ourselves and who they want to be; those that can only respond with defensiveness and attack are truly missing an opportunity for growth.
    I’m pretty sure that the day will come when your boys will celebrate that their dad hadn’t married a Barbie doll.

  13. Starr on August 10th, 2013 1:36 pm

    Stay strong, share what you feel comfortable sharing, remember that anyone who is trying to tear you down is stuck in their own small-ness and maybe one day they’ll find kindness and love, and maybe they won’t. In the meanwhile, treat yourself gently and remember that for every person who gives you shit, there’s dozens cheering you on. And even with all that, the only opinions that truly mean anything are those of you and those you love and who love you. Everything else is just noise.

  14. Deb on August 10th, 2013 2:11 pm

    What everyone else said, especially “fuck them all right in the ear.”

    You are brave and courageous to share this, but I understand the reflex to hide some of your posts until you, too, can say “fuck them all right in the ear.”

    Because fuck them all right in the ear. Fuckers.

  15. Catherine on August 10th, 2013 2:16 pm

    Echo everything everybody said above.

    I said this on Twitter but wanted to expand here. I hope you’ll bring up your feelings and response to these comments to your therapist. We’ve all dealt with trolls, and they suck, but if you’re altering behavior that was making you feel good and badass due to what strangers have accused you of on the internet (and we’ve all been there), it’s something to explore further.

    There’s no right thing to do or wrong thing to do in the world (I mean, like, murder & stuff aside), especially according the standards of lame internet commenters — just what’s right for you.

    Good luck.

  16. JB on August 10th, 2013 2:16 pm

    There’s no shame, Linda. No shame.

    I think you’re kids know you’re an alcoholic. Maybe they’ve talked about it to their friends.

    I think hiding the posts that you’ve found so therapeutic and helpful, and also the comments that people have made supporting you, in case some troll on cafe mom judges you or in case some mom in Riley’s school judges you, well, that sounds kind of counterproductive.

    Talk to your counsellor about it. I think your kids would be proud of you. We all are.

  17. Mandy on August 10th, 2013 2:20 pm

    Eff them. Though it’s not me they’re criticizing, so it’s easy for me to say. Still, I think when a more public figure like yourself admits your weaknesses and shows your strengths, it’s encouraging for your readers who may be privately struggling with the same demons. I’m sure you’ve helped more than one person decide to seek help, too.

  18. NancyB on August 10th, 2013 2:31 pm

    What they all said! Especially “fuck them in the ear” cus that’s all kinds of awesome.
    75% of the Cafe posters are idiots and obviously don’t know you like we do :-) so please be strong, lean on us, let us continue to be your higher being or whatever.

  19. julie on August 10th, 2013 2:32 pm

    Hi, I’ve read you for awhile, enjoy your writing and commend you for your sharing. I feel proud and grateful for your thoughts. Thank you

  20. Mia on August 10th, 2013 2:32 pm

    As the child of alcoholics, I was LIVID when I read the comment about you setting your children up for ridicule. Like it would be healthier for them if you kept it a secret.

    Let me tell you something. I was old enough during a few (3 or 4, they stopped altogether when I was around 10) of my dad’s relapses to remember them now. And to a child, it was scary as hell. He would start drinking alone in the garage, so nobody knew anything unusual was going on until he was slamming into walls and babbling nonsense. It was scary and weird and it made me and my sister very upset. But what I remember most vividly was after the relapse – when he would be somehow softer, kinder. When we would be outside having a BBQ, just a normal day, and he would suddenly hug me and start crying. Even though I was young, I knew that there was something connected to those scary drinking episodes, something dark and bad but something he really WANTED, something he was giving up for US because he loved us.

    Yeah, I guess I might have been ridiculed by my peers a bit if they had known my parents were ALCOHOLICS, because little kids can be really shitty that way. But it wouldn’t have meant anything. Not compared to those moments where I could actually witness my father deciding to come back to us, to be with us instead of in that scary drinking place.

    Now that I’m older, I am proud of both my parents every single day for choosing sobriety. I am proud to SAY it out loud, to anyone. I am tired of the only stories about alcoholism and childhood being ones of horror and pain because some people think anyone with problems needs to shut the hell up about them.

    I hope you keep writing about your sobriety. I wish blogging had been popular when I was a child, I KNOW my mother would have been all over it and I would have felt so privileged to be able to witness her thoughts in this format, particularly concerning her addiction.

  21. Rachael on August 10th, 2013 2:46 pm

    Linda, I would be SO proud if my mom posted one of those chits on the Internet.

  22. Catherine on August 10th, 2013 2:47 pm

    I didn’t realize what the commenter wrote was they thought your blogging would make life hard for your kids. They’re, in my opinion, very wrong.

    Life for everybody is hard, including children. They’re going to deal with difficulty in their lives one way or another. I’m sure, hard as it is, you realize you cannot protect them in all aspects.

    But instead, by being open about your issues, you are modeling for them things that are so valuable for children – and adults, frankly – to learn: how to be open; how to communicate; how to be vulnerable; that you are a human with faults; that the only voices that matter and should influence their decisions are their own, and those of the people they love and respect.

    By learning these things from you, when they do inevitably encounter difficulties, they’ll be so much better off and more able to handle them.

    Sorry I keep weighing in on this, but 1) shitty anon internet commenters really piss me off 2) a lot of the stuff I’m saying I learned through my own therapy and still find very valuable. Hoping to be of an incremental help.

  23. Nix on August 10th, 2013 3:34 pm

    As a sober someone who’s family runs rampant with alcoholism (the kind that no one tries to change), please let me tell you that the fact that you’re baring your soul and self as you’ve been, trying to heal and become healthy…it’s awe-inspiring. You’re children, regardless of what anyone says, will some day understand what a true hero you are. These shit-stirrers have a right to their opinion, sure, but DON’T give them the power to change your path or to make you waiver in your recovery. Many of them haven’t ever walked this road and can stand self righteously because they either lack empathy or feel that by being judgmental it lifts them in some way. YOU have to decide what is right for you and yours, so please don’t allow someone who ISN’T near and dear to you impact that in any way. There are always going to be people with differing opinions or criticisms but you can’t continue to compare your life against theirs or you won’t become the person you need to be. If you need to go through this process less publicly, do it because YOU need to, not because someone bullies you into it. In my eyes, blogging is a form of therapy and if there are people dropping in on your “session” who just don’t get it, let them find a different therapist!!! On a personal note, I have huge respect for you Linda. We’re all perfectly imperfect and flawed creatures trying to make our way through our lives. You’re stronger than you think.

  24. squandra on August 10th, 2013 4:15 pm

    UGH, CafeStir.

    I truly hope the discouragement doesn’t stick, because seeing you fight through this process has been so inspiring to me, and I have to imagine the same would be true for your kids. I’d hate for them to miss out on that because of a handful of people who take their insecurities out on a stranger online (though I can only imagine how difficult that must be to read).

    Just my two cents, of course, and it all depends on how you choose to handle this issue with the kids. But for what it’s worth, I’m the child of an alcoholic who has always been open about his recovery — and who is and will always be my hero.

  25. Allison on August 10th, 2013 4:30 pm

    I’m sorry Linda. That blows. Hugs to you, and much MUCH admiration and respect for the guts it took to share that stuff at all. <3

  26. Kathe on August 10th, 2013 4:41 pm

    Oy. So, I am one of the people who had no idea you were – a recovering alcoholic? is that the term? – and I’ve been reading this blog for a few years? So. This was the first I’d heard of you and alcohol.

    I mean? So? What does that mean? Have you not been writing about it because it’s been ok? Have you not been writing about it because you’ve been hiding it? I obviously don’t know that answer – but I can say that knowing this part about you now, after thinking I “knew” you, hasn’t changed anything for me, really, except for wonder what was going, or not going on, all that time I was reading and not knowing about it. You know?

    I don’t know if it matters that you write about it or not write about it, but WHY you would or wouldn’t. Bloggers certainly don’t need to write about their life in every detail – many things are kept private – but who is your audience? who is reading? who would benefit? who would not? Is it for you? Us? Them?

    Sigh.

    I adore the Linda I know on this blog, that’s for sure. We do have your back. We do.

  27. Sandy on August 10th, 2013 4:52 pm

    You know sometimes people just suck. Seriously. I found comfort and inspiration from your years ago sobriety posts and have been reading your recents posts about your journey with good thoughts and gratitude. I for one can attest that your honesty about your life has always struck a chord with me,especially when you share about drinking and sobriety. It saddens me that you feel the need to guard yourself more, but totally understandable. I wish you well. Karmas a bitch and hopefully those Nasty ass commenters get a taste of their own medicine. Grrr

  28. Judy on August 10th, 2013 4:52 pm

    I never read the comments at the Stir because of the rampant sanctimony and lack of acceptance of anyone who doesn’t think exactly like they do, i.e., narrow minded and bigoted. Like everyone else said, fuck them.

    Your kids will be ridiculed for SOMETHING. That’s what kids do to each other. It’s not pretty, but it happens. If not for having a mother battling an addiction, then for their hair cut or their shirt or the way they sing or whatever. Kids are just mean. But I think your honesty is more important for your kids to see than for you to hide your problems. I know they will appreciate the honesty when they’re older. And they may grow up with more understanding, acceptance and kindness for other people who are imperfect.

    You just keep on doing what you’re doing, and loving your family the way you do, and fuck the rest of the world.

  29. ABDPBT on August 10th, 2013 5:18 pm

    Somebody told me once, early on, that alcoholism was the result of a moral weakness. It infuriated me, and I wanted to get into it with them, but a friend said that its not their job to understand us. And it’s true. It’s not, and they never will, and they never will get that having your kids read this isn’t something to fear. It’s necessary. Your story is your kids’ story because they are part of you, you need to share it with them, regardless of what ignorant outsiders may or may not one day say to them about it.

  30. irene on August 10th, 2013 5:27 pm

    You are awesome, and if all us anonymous readers are your higher power, then we are honored to be so. Also, I agree with the previous comment about the hateful people…”fuck them in the ear.”

  31. Leah on August 10th, 2013 5:41 pm

    If my alcoholic father ever took steps to get better, I would have been so happy and proud. I would have shouted it from the rooftops. If my alcoholic mother in law had ever taken steps to get better, my husband would have rented a billboard to proclaim how proud he was. We watched my mother in law due a painful death and now I’m watching my father dye a slow and pathetic death. I’m pretty sure that writing about your alcoholism and relapse isn’t going to do your children a disservice. You are brave and wonderful. If I had to choose between watching parents die from alcohols or writing publicly about their struggles with sobriety, the choice is obvious. Ignore the commenters on Stir. Your blog posts on your relapse and being sober were perfect and wonderful and heartbreaking and helpful.

  32. Kizz on August 10th, 2013 5:44 pm

    I absolutely do not understand how someone could interpret your brave, honest recovery posts as selfish. I have to believe that says more about the commenter than about you.
    Thank you for sharing.

  33. lissie on August 10th, 2013 5:47 pm

    As a grandchild and niece of a long line of alcoholics, I would have given anything growing up and even more now to have something like your words to understand my family and the choices they made and continue to make. You are so brave & so strong, regardless of what any mean, half-thought out commenters have to say about it.

  34. MLN on August 10th, 2013 5:47 pm

    My mother drove herself to rehab in 1986 and was sober until her death in 1995. My brother was 8 and she was so proud when she died that she had been sober for more than half of his life. It was the best thing that ever happened to our family and it was not a secret. (We just weren’t allowed to out her AA friends). I can tell you from personal experience that they will never be ashamed of your sobriety.

    I’ve been reading you for at least five years and I love your blog. Please know you have a ton of support out here and for what it’s worth I’m pulling for you. And I’m guessing your writing is helping lots of people. Sending love.

  35. Mary on August 10th, 2013 6:05 pm

    I have mostly stopped blogging because there was so much I wanted to say that I didn’t want other people to read. I still write, even more than I used to, but it’s for my eyes only (and occasionally for the eyes of my therapist). Many of us are here for you in whatever way you would like us to be, but I totally understand you wanting to pull back a little. I think you are incredibly brave, and I am also pulling for you!

  36. Anonymous on August 10th, 2013 6:20 pm

    Does it make it better for you to know that you’ve made me consider that I might have a drinking problem?

  37. Nichole on August 10th, 2013 6:42 pm

    I think you’re brave, and I think you’re helping a lot of people by being honest about your struggles. For what that’s worth.

  38. Nancy on August 10th, 2013 6:59 pm

    I love your writing and especially your honesty.
    Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  39. Jennie on August 10th, 2013 7:09 pm

    I don’t think you posted this so we’d reassure you that a lot of those commenters are wrong but, anyway, a lot of those commenters are wrong. When I wrote for The Stir, I wrote about a crib music machine that really helped us with Kyle’s bedtime routine and someone told me I was letting machines parent my child. I kind of understood in that moment that when a site has THAT much traffic, some of it comes from out-of-touch, actual crazy people.

    Anything any blogger puts on the internet could one day fall in the hands of some idiot who twists our stories around to hurt us (or our kids) but we share anyway. We share to help, to heal, to be honest and true to ourselves and to connect, too.

    Sure, we could probably save ourselves and those who love us a little pain and ridicule and uncomfortableness if we never shared anything online but, oh, we’d also be saving all the joy and growth and strength too.

    You are great, so are your words, and those commenters are wrong.

  40. Alison on August 10th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Sigh. I (not totally successfully) swore off The Stir because, while I enjoy your writing, I just can’t take the comments. They’re so awful. Getting sucked in is such a waste of life. I really don’t know how you deal with them every week. I hoped you didn’t even bother to read them.

    Your writing is honest and brave. Your children should be proud of you. Don’t let the sanctimony and secrecy of anonymous others poison how good you’ve been feeling.

  41. Lisa on August 10th, 2013 7:29 pm

    Oh, Sumdry…I am so sorry that the Cafe Stir trolls are making you feel badly or ashamed or sorry about discussing what, for me, has been a really important subject. I think more people are struggling with substance abuse than anyone wants to admit. I for one, think that your honesty is what will ultimately be the thing that helps you (and everyone facing addiction) the most. Your boys will be fine, they have a mom like you.

  42. Maura on August 10th, 2013 8:07 pm

    As an alcoholic in recovery you give me strength and courage by your posts.

    I did not get sober till my sons were 12 and 13, I believe my sobriety brings stability to our family. I believe by me being honest about my alcoholism it shows them the road to recovery if someday they may need help. YOU are a power of example to your children, and NEVER stop believing it.

  43. Charlene on August 10th, 2013 8:20 pm

    Linda,

    Do not listen to the naysayer. What you are doing is wonderful for people who struggle with any addiction. They are learning it is ok to for them to speak their fears and lean on friends either online or off. . I’m proud of you for trying to better yourself.

    I would say the naysayers are afraid and do not want to own their problems. hence the negativity. Nobody and I mean nobody is perfect. Keep working on you.

  44. Mary on August 10th, 2013 8:42 pm

    1. When you write about these things, you’re taking away the stigma. If a smart, cool, funny person like you has to struggle with this, well, maybe some of the rest of us do too. 2. Your kids have a higher than average chance of having to struggle with this too. Not your fault, they just do. Mine too. I think that seeing you struggle and take steps to get better is a hugely positive thing for them. Secrets let our disease get stronger.

    I sampled those comments just now and I’m in the fuck them in the ear camp.

  45. Hannah on August 10th, 2013 9:53 pm

    I had a moment of panic earlier this summer when I ran into my son’s upcoming preschool teacher at an AA meeting. Especially since she was there to support her boyfriend- it was like, oh shit, she knows I am an alcoholic, for about five seconds. And then I realized there was nothing to worry about. If she’d seen me in a bar? Whole other story- there’s no way I could guarantee a judgment-free school year then because who knows what my behavior would have been like (or how well I would do at preschool drop off with a hangover.) But I have nothing to fear from people knowing I am a sober alcoholic. Their judgment of that is not my business.

  46. Michele on August 10th, 2013 9:58 pm

    Personally, I think the fact that you are moving forward the way that is best for you, sends a strong message to your children. So maybe it is not the way that others would do it, but does that mean you shouldn’t do it? When your boys are older and discover these posts, they will undoubtedly see how much your love for your family is motivating you to seek out countless ways to help yourself. And when your boys read the MANY comments of all of the people you are inspiring and helping, the pride they will feel for their mother will be immeasurable.

  47. Melissa on August 10th, 2013 10:03 pm

    I haven’t read the comments on this post but after the reading the post I was curious so I clicked the link, read The Stir post and then the comments. I was thinking, eh the comments cannot be THAT bad and whoaaaa. I was wrong. It sucks because the good comments outweigh the bad but those comments are awful. No one is PRAISING Cory Monteith’s drug abuse, for the love of God. Just… try not to listen to whatever people are saying about what your kids need/want/etc. they are YOUR kids. They will be fine. Great, in fact. Ugh. Sorry those commenters are so out of touch.

  48. Katie on August 11th, 2013 2:52 am

    I can’t imagine how awful that must feel! To be honest and put yourself out there and then to have people say terrible things to you. I think you’re right that honesty is so brave and SO IMPORTANT. If we could all just be who we are out loud and honestly and if we ALL stand up to bullies wherever they are–school yards, the Internet, our own families….the world would be a better place. I’m standing up to your bullies! Keep being yourself!

  49. J on August 11th, 2013 3:33 am

    I have learned the most in life from People who are honest about their experiences. I have been strengthened by people who share their tumbles and how they regained their balance.

    Silence about the trials of life serve to do nothing but cover the path that others my follow to a better life.

    At 46 I don’t drink and never have but your story touched me because of the bravery you have shown. It lets me know that there are others struggling to make sense of it all. I am not alone. It is not that misery loves company..it just needs a flashlight to make it through some dark and unsure times. Your stories (happy and introspective) are my flashlight.

    I just want you to know the impact of what you have shared.

  50. AnnabelleSpeaks on August 11th, 2013 4:13 am

    Those idiots in the Stir comment section are INSANE. What is WRONG with them?
    You are amazing, inspiring, and strong. As the child of an alcoholic who made her struggle public in pre-social media days in a way less positive way I can say that exactly zero kids made fun of me for having an alcoholic mom. Zero. I got picked on for other stuff, of course, but never once that. And my mom is my hero, as you will be to your kids. You are showing great strength and they will see that.
    xo

  51. Alexa on August 11th, 2013 4:22 am

    I’m sorry that those commenters made you doubt yourself at all. They are jerks. I’ve really felt for you and your struggle, and I wish you all the best. I think you have a right to post whatever you want, but if you feel you need to share less to protect yourself from the jackals that makes sense too. I admire your strength and I hope things get easier for you soon.

  52. Kim on August 11th, 2013 4:49 am

    Because of you, I started my blog a few years back, where I proceeded to share the intimate details of both my opiate addiction & recovery and my marital crisis & recovery. I made actual friends and got a ton of positive feedback and support. I thank you for making the decision to share all the time.

  53. Stephanie on August 11th, 2013 5:48 am

    Linda, haters gonna hate, period. You are a rock star, whose sharing has given me new and much-needed insight into my own husband’s struggles. Congratulations on making it through the challenges of the weekend. One day at a time. One MOMENT at a time.

  54. Jenny on August 11th, 2013 6:37 am

    This is my first comment (other than a random one telling you how cute your kids are, maybe!) in a long, long time.

    And I want to tell you that just from reading your posts, I have found you to be incredibly brave. Breathtakingly brave, in fact. You write in such an honest and great way, that frankly there is a book in all of this, if that is something you would ever do.

    You owe no explanation for what you write, don’t write, post, delete, etc.

    And just know that a stranger in Iowa is wishing your peace, success, forgiveness of yourself, and lots of love.

  55. Autumn on August 11th, 2013 6:40 am

    This literally made me cry for you. I cried for you when you relapsed because I could *feel* the pain and shame you were feeling and I hated that you hated yourself. I have been so happy to read your latest posts on recovery because you’re taking all the right steps and you’re gaining so much power and it’s been wonderful to see. My brother is a recovering alcoholic and I’ve seen how ugly addiction is and how difficult recovery is and I am really fucking proud of him and really fucking proud of you. I’m not going to tell you how much of this experience you should or shouldn’t make public because only you can decide that. I will say that I sincerely hope you don’t let those self-righteous assholes negatively impact your recovery. If it helps you to “put yourself out there” then that’s what you should do. If people rooting for you is your “higher power” then don’t let anyone block your access to it. If they can fill the internet with judgement and hate, you should not feel bad about having a little corner of it for your own to fill with hope, courage, strength, health and recovery. I’m rooting for you always.

  56. Angella on August 11th, 2013 7:00 am

    Oh, NO THEY DIIN’T.

    My Mama Bear has emerged. You’ve done nothing wrong, L. Haters gonna hate. xo

  57. Christine on August 11th, 2013 7:04 am

    In The Ear. Like they said. Also maybe in the eye.

    Those Stir commenters can be horrible. They are idiots. You are so much better than them.

    You are a superstar. Your family knows that more than anyone else.

  58. m @ random musings on August 11th, 2013 7:38 am

    I agree with @Christine – they’re idiots, without any empathy. Will some people disagree with your posts? of course – we all have our own opinions. But that doesn’t make your journey lesser in any way. It’s just yours. *hugs

  59. A on August 11th, 2013 8:29 am

    Oh my hell. I went and read those comments–funny how the mean commenters admitted they had no personal experience with alcoholism or alcoholics! God, do they ever reek of condescension. Like I said in your first post about your relapse, I wish like hell my parents would be brave enough to seek treatment, like you. I knew they had a problem by age seven or eight. I could not have cared less if it were publicly broadcasted that my parents were getting help. Honestly, anyone without up close and personal experience with addiction/addicts needs to STFU and leave you alone. If they want to see what happens when you’re forced to stay silent about your demons, they’re welcome to come to my house and witness our Thanksgiving dinner.

  60. Penne on August 11th, 2013 8:58 am

    Some people are so self-righteous and stupid. I once posted pictures of my kids jumping on a trampoline and got tsk-tsk comments that I am a terrible parent for letting them do something so horribly dangerous. If all they have to do is look for opportunities to be superior to someone who is very fucking bravely sharing their soul and laying their private battles out for the world, then something is terribly wrong in their world. I am so sorry that anyone made you feel small or ashamed. I apologize on behalf of every condescending prick. I admire the hell out of you and any real person who can admit they’re not perfect would also. You are an amazingly talented writer, a wonderful mom and a good person. You have demons. Who the hell doesn’t? Again, I’m sorry. Try to ignore the haters because there are so many of us supporting you. Draw strength from that. My mother in law just admitted she was an alcoholic 2 years ago at age 65. Her kids knew it all along, of course. It caused tension and awfulness their whole lives. She didn’t know her grandkids. She went to rehab and then lived with our family for 6 months until we all agreed she was strong enough to be alone…she lives a few blocks away now, healthy and happy and going to two AA meetings a day. Her admitting it and getting better made the whole family stronger. My husband and his siblings get along better now. She has a relationship with her grandkids. There’s no shame any more than if she’d recovered from cancer. We’re proud of her and love her. Sorry for rambling. Be strong, so many of us are pulling for you.

  61. D on August 11th, 2013 9:11 am

    Thats really too bad, I was SO HAPPY when I saw your posts, as we have been struggling with my husbands drinking for years (he is a wonderful man, just a physically useless alcoholic come 6pm each day). He just entered Rehab, and I have to admit seeing you relapse and post about it made me realize the EVEN GOOD PEOPLE RELAPSE and it isn’t the end of the world if you do.

    Thanks for that. and F the oversharing whiners

  62. SJ on August 11th, 2013 9:29 am

    Linda, this is your story to tell, and most of us are here to listen and to support you in your journey – NOT tell your story for you. Or to tell you that you are doing it wrong, or not doing it how I would do it.

    I believe you are doing a good thing, for yourself and for your family and for so many others that you’ve probably never talked to or met before. You are brave, and raw and honest – that’s why I know you will overcome.

  63. Kaitlyn on August 11th, 2013 9:39 am

    I felt that I have to say something here.
    Being a recovering alcoholic isn’t something that you have to hide. It’s a disease, and you are battling it. You relapsed, yes, but you’ve taken steps to get back on track and are actively taking part in your recovery through AA and therapy.
    Do your children know that you’re an alcoholic? I don’t know, and honestly, it’s no one’s business how you broach that conversation with them – that’s between you and your husband. But the notion that you writing TRUTHFULLY about rising above your mistakes and making yourself better, making your life better is somehow selfish and cause for embarrassment, criticism or shame? I completely disagree with that notion.
    Your children have nothing to be embarrassed of! Both they and JB and all of your other family members are proud of you. You are walking a difficult path right now, Linda and you are doing a fine job of it.
    I can’t even fathom that this is something to hide. I’ve struggled with depression a lot over the years, and I really understand the feeling of being ashamed of yourself and your actions, but from the outside, Linda, please don’t be ashamed of yourself.
    Feel your own strength and take energy from those who love you and support you. Travel inwards until you can see the light within yourself, because it is there and it is beautiful.
    Good luck.

  64. Amy on August 11th, 2013 10:52 am

    I am so, so, so sorry that you’ve had to endure idiots like this. What you are doing is amazing. The path to sobriety is extraordinarily difficult and the support of others is absolutely necessary. And there is no reason we shouldn’t support you or anyone who is working so hard to improve their life and the lives of those around them.

    So yes, eff them all. My guess is that they are miserable people who have crappy lives and can only feel better by feeling superior. Shame on them all. You rock.

  65. Hannah on August 11th, 2013 11:34 am

    I’ve been thinking some more about this this morning in context of the Eleventh Tradition- in this day and age I wonder a lot about it (and there was some recent attempt to have it changed to include social media.) (Susan Cheever’s written a lot about it; she is on the anonymity is outdated camp- a lot of other alcoholics tend to use euphemisms instead of outright saying they are in AA.)

    I have to admit in the past (and present) other people’s anonymity breaks have irked me. Yours didn’t as much- and I think it’s because you are being honest about where you are at. You’re not setting yourself up for head pats or making it out to be anything more than what it is-you’re quite clear about where you are- in the middle of a difficult process. I think that can only be good for you, whether it is public or private honesty.

    But I do think anonymity breaks should come in a context of a greater understanding of the Eleventh and Twelfth traditions. I don’t know what the right answer for you is, but I hope you reach it after discussing the original reasons for anonymity as well as the current benefits and drawbacks to all the different approaches to anonymity us AA folk currently take. (I don’t think there’s one right way.) It’s a good one to run by your sponsor and your home group- this is one topic people are not short of opinions on. Find some people who seem to be doing well and see what their take is. In my experience, there’s no better way for me to find an answer- especially on something like this.

  66. Hannah on August 11th, 2013 11:54 am

    Also (and I’ll shut up after this!) I didn’t mean that as criticism in any way- it may have come off wrong. I just know in my experience I get the best advice about staying sober and how to do it from sober people- my non-sober friends are supportive but don’t really get certain things. (Like the time I thought I had six months because I only asked my sorority sisters, not the people in AA, if it was ok to still smoke pot.) I imagine the Internet is like that except you have idiots who don’t care giving feedback along with the well-meaning people who do care but don’t have the experience.

  67. Laurie on August 11th, 2013 11:59 am

    Congratulations on facing your fears. It takes a lot of bravery to do that, and speaking to others about it helps them follow in your footsteps and find their own courage. Thanks for being a role model without realizing it.

  68. Ashley, the Accidental Olympian on August 11th, 2013 12:57 pm

    I wont even try to be tactful about this one. Haters can go fuck themselves.

    Clearly their comments telling you to pipe down have more to do with them, than they do you.

    Again, please tell them from me to fuck the eff off.

  69. yaya on August 11th, 2013 3:46 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and years and years and I have always loved your honesty. I respect it & it makes me feel brave in many aspects of my own life. I live my life out loud as well, with friends, strangers and online. I have made so many friends over the years by speaking the truth ‘Hi, oh yeah I had post partum depression and went down the rabbit hole, parenthood is awesome but damn hard huh?” For me, living out loud has not hindered one aspect of my life or my family’s. In my mind there is the truth and then everything else is just glossed up for facebook or the public eye. In my mind, I prefer truth and love and support in every aspect. THANK YOU..

  70. wanda on August 11th, 2013 3:51 pm

    Linda,

    I’m sorry you are not feeling confident right now. I admire you for the strength you really do have to share everything you do. It is easy for people to leave ugly comments, since they can hide behind the internet. I hope you feel better soon.

  71. Mariya on August 11th, 2013 5:20 pm

    Secrets are poisonous. Honesty and openness save lives. For every negative, ignorant troll, there are one hundred of us admiring your bravery and knowing that your sons will be better off because of it.

  72. Heather on August 11th, 2013 5:34 pm

    I don’t know that I’ve ever posted on your site but I’ve been reading since before Dylan was born. I’m so sorry that there have been such hateful things written when you are working so hard to better yourself and your children’s lives.

    Know that your supports are legion and you are doing the right thing.

  73. Debi on August 11th, 2013 5:41 pm

    Ok; I’ve been following you for years and have never commented (swear I’m not creepy, much), but this got my hackles up. I think you are incredibly brave and open and candid and exactly what SO many people need to hear. I say to hell with the morons and you post whatever you want and need to. I admire you tons!

  74. Marie on August 11th, 2013 5:50 pm

    Some people are addicted to alcohol. Some people are addicted to drugs. Some people are addicted to sitting at their computer and being a judgmental asshole. Pick your poison.

    I wish you all the best. Good for you for being honest and brave.

  75. Larissa on August 11th, 2013 6:59 pm

    Do what you need to do for yourself and family. I, however, think you were brave and admirable.

  76. angela on August 11th, 2013 7:06 pm

    i’m so sorry that people made you feel that way. anyone who is willing to admit they have a problem and seek help is brave, courageous, and to be admired. your story helps give the rest of us confidence to face our trials.

  77. gingerest on August 11th, 2013 7:21 pm

    As a kid, my life would have been a lot easier if I hadn’t had to keep the secret that my mother was an alcoholic. And I would absolutely no doubt about it have a healthier head and a better relationship to alcohol if people hadn’t insisted that having an alcoholic in the family was something to be ashamed of.
    Those CafeStir commenters can go fuck a tree. Not “Tara” – I think she’s right, that we sometimes overpraise people for being decent, but there’s a difference between overpraising and destigmatizing. You are telling people you have alcoholism and you’re dealing with it. Putting a face to this and reminding people that alcoholism is a problem for intelligent, middle-class, otherwise reasonable married moms is important.
    You’re a good egg, Linda, and you are an alcoholic (and a mother, and a writer, and a thousand other things). Don’t listen to sanctimonious assholes, and don’t listen to people who overpraise you, and you’ll be fine. Thanks for writing about this. You’re helping me.

  78. Courtney on August 11th, 2013 7:46 pm

    I agree; secrets are poisonous. Keep your chin up and move forward Linda. Thank you for letting us be part of your cheering squad.

  79. sara on August 11th, 2013 7:51 pm

    As an avid reader of the stir (yes, i admitted it) i can whole heartedly say that 95% of the commenters are only looking to pick a fight. Most are angry and not too bright (i was going to reference the holiday song post but someone beat me to it!). So take it with a grain of salt. I would be shocked if any of your kids friends are reading either the stir or your blog… They would probably be bored to death by both. :) Keep up the good work.. I may sound like a cornball but we’re all rooting for ya!

  80. Anne on August 11th, 2013 8:01 pm

    Those commenters who think it’s awful that you talk about your struggles with substance use on the internet “because of the children” remind me strongly of people who used to say that people of different races/ethnicities shouldn’t marry and have kids “because then the children will be ridiculed.” Their opinion has to do with what THEY are afraid of, not some “objective” point of view. Now, if you were posting about, say, your kid accidentally pooping in his pants at school, or something, I would definitely think that was off base, but my god, you’re not even writing about your kids, you’re writing about YOURSELF!

    I do have some sympathy for the commenter whose family members were killed by a drunk driver: although we could wish for her to have more sympathy for the driver’s child (e.g., putting the driver in jail for a longer time wouldn’t likely have much more of a deterrent effect, and would most likely have a worse effect on the child’s development), a lot of humans do tend to get stuck in “revenge” mode when they or those they love have been hurt.

    BTW, I’m a psychologist, and I was really touched by your posting about starting therapy. It made me proud to be in my profession. So, thanks for the warm fuzzies. :-)

  81. kim on August 11th, 2013 8:20 pm

    I only read a few of the stir comments – I don’t know why it is, but most of the people who post comments there are complete asshats. I’m so glad they don’t follow you over here. Frankly I don’t know how you manage to deal with their wackadoodleness – curious: do you have to read the comments? Is that part of the deal?

    There is nothing over-sharing-y about anything you’ve posted. Yours is one of the most honest blogs I’ve ever read – and I love that.

  82. Katherine on August 11th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Everyone is in recovery from something. Here’s something I read today as part of my recovery, that made me think of you. It’s from Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection.”

    “According to Dr. [Linda] Hartling, in order to deal with shame, some of us move away by withdrawing, hiding, silencing ourselves, and keeping secrets. Some of us move toward by seeking to appease and please. And some of us move against by trying to gain power over others, by being aggressive, and by using shame to fight shame….”

    “…Yet all of these strategies move us away from our story. Shame is about fear, blame, and disconnection. Story is about worthiness and embracing the imperfections that bring us courage, compassion, and connection. If we want to live fully, without the constant fear of not being enough, we have to own our story. We also have to respond to shame in a way that doesn’t exacerbate our shame.”

    When I read your column on the Stir, I was a little confused about the “TMI” bit in the headline. It just didn’t connect for me that anything in your posts there or here was TMI. I think your shame was rearing its head in that title, and it gleefully opened the door and invited others in to the Shame Linda party. And came they did, with presents of shame.

    Fuck shame in the ear, Linda. Own your story–your lovely, complicated, unbelievably human story. And keep sharing it with the rest of us who feel you belong and feel connected with you. You’re worthy of that.

  83. anon on August 11th, 2013 9:39 pm

    Hmm, I go back and forth on this, what is best. I really feel that writing on the internet in a non exploitative way regarding kids is an art that requires talent and discipline. I think you do it well.

    You have a wonderful mix of life stories on this site. If you feel uncomfortable sharing certain things at this time in your life, good for you for taking a break.

    Congrats on your 1 month recovery!

  84. AlisonC on August 12th, 2013 1:30 am

    I haven’t read all the comments above so I might be repeating what has already been said.

    People who leave nasty comments are like old fashioned bullies – they have something lacking in their own life and it makes them feel big to pick on someone who they think is weaker than they are.

    The big problem here is that we can all see how strong you are being by admitting that you have your own issues and are facing up to them.

    Keep strong xx

  85. Sarah on August 12th, 2013 4:21 am

    I have been reading you for years and rarely comment, but I hate that the sanctimonious asshats over at the Stir are causing you to feel like this. Their comments are only reflective of their own lives. I feel for their kids; it’s gotta suck to live with parents who are so unforgiving and judgmental.

    You are a brilliant writer. The clear, almost cutting way you use words is a gift, and the lens through which you view your addiction has been incredibly helpful to me and lots of others, judging by the comments here. I’ve always thought youve had one of the best comment sections on the Internet, and that’s due to your thoughtfulness and grace.

    Seriously: fuck the haters. You’re awesome. And your willingness to face your flaws is what makes you that way.

  86. annon on August 12th, 2013 5:48 am

    Point your bravery in the most vital direction and the rest will come together as it will.

    I hope every day for your continued energy to do hard work.

  87. melanie on August 12th, 2013 6:36 am

    If by “selfish” you mean “incredibly brave” and “very helpful for others who are suffering from the same bullshit”, then yes, absolutely. If you actually MEAN selfish, then no, not at all true. Because there is nothing remotely selfish about saying “hey, this is what’s up, this is how I’m dealing with it, let’s have a conversation about it”. That’s just balls-out awesomeness on your part. Whoever said eff those dudes in the comments above is 100% correct. Those people who are giving you crap for being real are the ones who are being selfish and crap. Every time I read one of your posts I am pretty much floored by how honest and real and open you are. I wish I could do that with my own b.s. You are doing it for me, so I can hide behind people like you who are braver than I’ll ever be.

  88. Amber on August 12th, 2013 6:37 am

    I just wanted to add my voice in to support you. Those people over at The Stir sound small-minded and awful. You are doing your kids a tremendous service by being open and honest about your struggles and showing them the value of reaching out for help when you need it.

    And it was just ugly for those commenters to bring your kids into it AT ALL. There was no reason to do that. It’s the same as people who want to ban books or control free speech because they’re “worried about the kids.” Who are they to say what will be damaging to your kids down the road? Who are they to say that you can’t handle up on things and take care of your family in a way that is best for them?

    My mother went for a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction when I was 12. And if anyone had ever tried to use that against me, I would have only known how brave and honest my mom was. And how utterly grateful I was that she was getting the help she needed. And nothing else would have mattered.

    Obviously you need to do what is best for you and yours, but don’t make decisions based on what some idiots over at The Stir had to say. Gah, it just hurts me that they made you question your openness. On a post about how much your openness is helping you HEAL.

    Right in the ear, seriously.

  89. Jo on August 12th, 2013 6:42 am

    Nothing is as important as learning that you need to take care of you. For you. For your kids. For those you love and who love you. The rest is all beside the point. You are an inspiration. You. Are. Inspiration. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget that. Please.

  90. Sande on August 12th, 2013 7:56 am

    Horse cock fuck ‘em in the nostrils! Bunch of Assholes is what they are!
    YOU ROCK as a person, as a mom, as a wife….PERIOD!

  91. Anonymous on August 12th, 2013 8:20 am

    Just wanted to say that you inspire me as a woman, a mother & a wife!

  92. Sarah B on August 12th, 2013 8:55 am

    My father’s slow, awful death from alcoholism is still a taboo topic in our family. I would give anything in the world to have a sober dad who was still alive; to not feel relieved that he died. I read his journals after he died and they were heartbreaking. He loathed himself and thought he was the worst kind of failure. He wasn’t. He was my dad and I loved him and I tried to save him but I couldn’t. No child should have to feel that they failed at saving their parent (through therapy I now realize it wasn’t my responsibility). Because you are seeking help and working hard to build an enduring sobriety, your children won’t feel what I, and so many other children of alcoholics, felt. Your openness and honesty, both with your family and the world, is the greatest gift you could possibly give to them.

  93. Leslie on August 12th, 2013 8:59 am

    I appreciate what you’ve been sharing, Linda. There’s value in it – for you and for us.

  94. Christen on August 12th, 2013 9:03 am

    People are the worst sometimes. Obviously this is your story to tell/not tell, but nothing about sharing your own experience seems selfish to me. People who judge you for speaking freely about something that’s still so taboo – addiction – clearly have their own issues if they can’t even READ about someone else’s story without casting judgement. Keep doing what feels right for you and your family, of course, but please don’t edit yourself to appease some assholes.

  95. tonya on August 12th, 2013 9:32 am

    Delurking…you are very brave. I do not believe you are outting yourself for attention or praise. I think you’re doing your best to keep it real, and be your honest, authentic self. It might not matter coming from someone you don’t know (and very rarely leaves a comment), but I was so proud of that one month coin – you’d have thought I earned it!

    Be yourself. Live your life for yourself and your family. Be proud of the person you are. For you are worth it.

  96. Mary Clare on August 12th, 2013 10:11 am

    Dang. I missed your posts that were removed.

    It’s a fine line, I suppose, telling our stories online. What to share and what not to share. I think you’ve found your balance about what it appropriate for you and your family. You are sharing as part of your healing and recovery process and others benefit from hearing your story.

    I love the space that blogs create for new perspectives. I relate to your struggles and learn from them. Wish you the best in your journey.

  97. sal on August 12th, 2013 10:28 am

    Echoing so so many folks above…those commenters are thoughtless jerks. What’s the deal with the Stir?? It’s like a breeding ground for grade-A shitbags. I’m so sorry it’s made you question your decision to share your struggles with alcohol. I’ve never once, in the many years I’ve been reading your blog, thought you’d crossed any sort of oversharing line.

    Fuck those confidence squelchers. Thank you for being open, honest, and awesome.

  98. Emily on August 12th, 2013 11:29 am

    I haven’t read all the comments above, so perhaps I’m reiterating something that someone else already said. I just wanted to say that I find it interesting that the Stir assholes would call you out for sharing your struggles online. You’ve said before, I think, that this is your community. This is your tribe. Do they really not share their problems with their tribe? Do they really bottle it all up? No, of course not. So you do it online, so what? What’s it to them? If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. If they disagree with it, they can go elsewhere. This is YOUR space and you can do with it what you want. They? They can shove a stick up their puritanical asses and go elsewhere.

  99. Em on August 12th, 2013 11:29 am

    I agree with what many others are saying – it is brave of you to write of your struggles on your blog, and if it helps YOU, that is what matters. Wishing you all the best!

  100. Becky on August 12th, 2013 12:01 pm

    All I know is that those posts are helping people, and I do not think you wrote anything that Was too much. I read some comments and I think they were so off base and, well, concern-trolling. I hope you do what feels right to you. You rock, and don’t let naysayers get you down.

  101. Steven on August 12th, 2013 1:53 pm

    Been reading you for years. Never commented. Just enjoyed the stories and the photos. I’ve been occasionally inspired and consistently fascinated by the unfolding of your family’s life, for better or worse. And yet I cannot grasp your sudden absence of “bravery”. It doesn’t take bravery to write about our shortcomings. It is living with them that takes the effort. And whether you overcome that challenge or not, I’d still read your blog. I don’t come here with the hope that you will eventually reach a happy ending, but with the understanding that life, on the whole, is, well, hard, and to see how other people cope with that reality.

  102. Donna on August 12th, 2013 2:13 pm

    Don’t know what what written on The Stir and don’t want to. I have stopped reading comments there because I SWEAR that site attracts the most judgemental people on the planet. I don’t get it — if you don’t like or agree with something that’s written, for God’s sake, don’t read them anymore!

    It seems that most of us who read you here at All and Sundry must be more . . . . . normal? intelligent? accepting? INTELLIGENT! That’s the one! :) Keep writing about you and life,, Linda — we come for the humor, the real stuff and . . . . yes, real life, as tough as it can be sometimes.

  103. D on August 12th, 2013 3:55 pm

    I remember coming home from high school with a friend to find my drunk father in the living room, and hustling my friend out the door quickly. (He was drunk most days.) In my family, we never discussed this giant elephant in the room. I would have been thrilled to have a father who was brave enough to admit he had a problem and face it as you are facing yours. If people think kids will be mean to kids with a mother who is open about her journey to sobriety, what do they think they would say to the kids whose mom is a falling down drunk? This is why I so strongly support my husband in his journey (over 6,000 days!), because I see what a great dad he was able to become because he took those 12 precious steps, one at a time. Your kids will be so proud of you. Your readers are too.

  104. Frema on August 12th, 2013 8:13 pm

    You’re an amazing example for your children, Linda. Whenever they read these posts, they will be so proud of you.

    And ermahgerd, you are so much better than the The Stir!

  105. Karen on August 12th, 2013 9:23 pm

    Not sure I can add anything more to all the other great stuff above….. AND YET, feel compelled to have my chance anyway!
    Stories that we tell each other, experiences that we are willing to share…. that’s how we learn, how we love, how we are human. You’re living out the best of that and I frankly love you for it.
    So there.

  106. nonsoccermom on August 12th, 2013 10:30 pm

    I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said, but I’ve been reading your blog for years (since you were pregnant with Riley) and I have nothing but the deepest respect for you. It is clear that you love your family fiercely, and the fact that you’re willing to go through the struggle of recovery shows just how very brave you are. I wish you all the very best, Linda. You are stronger than you think.

  107. Jillian on August 13th, 2013 5:11 am

    You’re winning, they’re losing. You have a full, happy, complicated life, and I appreciate that you let us celebrate it with you.

  108. Julie on August 13th, 2013 6:07 am

    Maybe the Stir could use some positive comments like these… over-shadow those ear effers over there. Stand tall Linda. There is nothing shameful in sharing your story. Look how much you are inspiring/helping all of these people!

  109. H on August 13th, 2013 6:51 am

    What everyone else said – family secrets are awful, kids know more than we think they know, honestly is beautiful, apologies are beautiful, showing weakness and strength is important, teaching and showing children how to pick themselves up after failure is critical, and most importantly: everyone has an opinion but, of course, some people are wrong. Stay true to yourself and follow your gut. It isn’t your job to help others, but you are – and thank you for that.

  110. Samantha R on August 13th, 2013 7:32 am

    Hello,

    I’m a very long time lurker and this is my first time commenting, but I felt I had to say something.

    I have always loved your blog and how truthful you have been, about being a recovering alcoholic, about your struggles with weight and fitness, about your feelings about being a mom. These are feeling and things a lot of people struggle with but until relatively recently it wasn’t polite to talk about. So we all struggled along with our feelings of inadequacy, thinking we are the only ones, since no one talked about it. Until now. I think what you, and people like you, do is so brave and so helpful to others. I think your children will be proud of you and I think having a record of how brave and human you are will only benefit them in the long run. I think by the time your children may possibly be affected by your story on the internet they will already have the tools to deal with it because of your openness and honesty. I love that you share the things that people don’t want to say and if it helps you to do so then keep doing it, because the best thing for you and your kids is your health. People are always going to judge, but that’s on them and more often than not, a product of their own issues.

    I wish you the best of luck from the depths of my heart.

    Also, haters gonna hate

  111. C on August 13th, 2013 7:37 am

    My first thought? OHNO I should NOT have said Trauma Chips.

    But yeah, people be jerks on the intarwebs. Sorry ’bout that.

  112. Emma on August 13th, 2013 7:42 am

    Don’t. Let. Them. Win.

    You post because you are a writer, an honest writer who doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of motherhood, marriage, or life’s struggles. Writing is how you work through things, and we are lucky that you share with us so we feel less alone. More real. More human. I refuse to look at those comments because I know they will piss me off and I don’t want to stoop to their level and engage in a comments war defending you, because that’s just what they want. Your posts have always opened up my eyes to similar events in my life, whether it be with my marriage, boys, or drinking. And written with beautiful words, when I can barely wrap my head around the issues themselves. Don’t give up, girl. We all have enough of our own internal demons, don’t let those she-demons win.

  113. Shelly on August 13th, 2013 9:22 am

    Long long lonnnnng time lurker. I wanted to join the bandwagon to let you know how much I admire your honesty and your bravery. I don’t know the specifics of what went down, but just from reading the comments I’ve figured at least a couple things out. I think it’s important to remember that life is hard, people aren’t perfect, and you have never EVER written anything that you should be ashamed of. You are who you are. Your life is what it is. You are doing the best you can and – most importantly – you are raising your children to understand these things, to be compassionate, to appreciate hard work and imperfection. To know that sometimes we break, but, if we let ourselves, we heal stronger in our broken parts.

    I wish we could figure out how to be gentler with each other on the internet. Or, in general, in the world, I guess. It makes me unspeakably sad that someone took your beautiful, brave honesty and used it against you to make you feel small. I hope you’re able to shake it off soon. As you can see – the masses are rooting for you.

  114. Anonymous on August 13th, 2013 10:10 am

    I’m not an alcoholic, but I’ve been doing something equally destructive to my own family for over a decade now, involving secrets and lies and total faithlessness to my integrity and my sense of self and promises I’ve made over and over again. Recently I’ve been trying to stop this behavior, and your posts have helped me so much: I have been trying to stop one day at a time, not think about 40 or 50 years in front of me of stopping. Just don’t do it today. I can manage that.

    It kills me that some judgy commenters took that away from me, and from you. Please keep writing.

  115. Gaby on August 13th, 2013 12:40 pm

    My parents struggled with drugs and alcohol, and I knew it. And I was glad to know it because it helped me decide that I didn’t want to follow down that difficult path. Being a parent is so hard. Being an honest parent is even harder. I commend you for being an honest parent and an honest writer, and I encourage you to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing.

  116. simon on August 13th, 2013 1:14 pm

    I cheated on my first wife. My confessional attitude towards that major lapse in morals and general goodness is partially penance, partially therapeutic, and partially a reminder to myself to keep myself in line.

    Do what you need to do. Post what you need to post. Remove what you need to remove. Just remember that you are in charge of your level of confession, just as you are in charge of whether you drink or not.

    Basically, it’s your show. Do anything you need to, unapologetically.

  117. Michelle on August 13th, 2013 3:36 pm

    What Simon said – it’s your show, it’s your blog, you owe none of us explanation or apology. Do what you need to do.
    As moms we are somehow expected to put forward an image of perfection. This is wrong, this is not helpful, to us or our children.
    Do what you need to do but know that there’s a lot of folks out here that have your back.
    And yes, the Cafe Stir people need to STFU.

  118. Kelly on August 13th, 2013 6:27 pm

    As the adult child of an alcoholic who never did get help and never did come clean publicly about it, I have to say that I would have much preferred if he’d done so. The coverups really damaged my mother and it felt like there was something wrong with the whole family that we had to hide it. I’m sure had it been made public in a way like you are doing, we might even have found support in others we knew who were probably going through the same sort of thing, but they were hiding it all, too.

    I just don’t see that it helps the situation to add shame into the mix for the alcoholic or for the family. Please don’t let the Cafe Stir trolls get you down and turn you away from something that felt so much the right thing to do. *Hug*

  119. MaryE on August 14th, 2013 6:46 am

    Girl, speak your truth and speak it loud. Nobody has the right to judge or belittle you for it. Haters are always going to hate. They think their two cents worth matters, but they’re wrong. It doesn’t. Keep living your beautiful, imperfect life and don’t let them steal any of your joy. That is the best revenge.

  120. Rachel on August 14th, 2013 11:02 am

    Fuck the people who are trying to make you feel bad, every single thing they are saying is wrong. If you’re kids grow to be embarrassed about you, you can take pride in the knowledge that you are raising individuals who will someday move out and have to wash the skid marks out of their own underwear.

    I love that you share as openly as you do. You make people feel less alone.

  121. Rachel on August 14th, 2013 11:28 am

    I’m sorry, I was just reading more comments and I. CAN’T. EVEN.

    What is wrong with people that they think that once you have kids you have to be a saint, because if you don’t live 110% above reproach then bullies will target your kids. Either these people were never bullied, and so they don’t know how real bullies operate, or they are bullies, who are getting off on making you feel bad. Seriously, just fuck those fucked-up, fucking, fucks.

    UGH!

  122. Anne-Marie on August 14th, 2013 3:33 pm

    Linda, I love your writing. I love your honesty. And I get excited every time I see one of your posts on The Stir because they’re so much more engaging and funny than anything else that site produces. I have, however, learned to avoid the comments section because it induces RAGE. Those people are self-righteous imbeciles and I am so sorry to hear they managed to damage your confidence. Sending you happy thoughts today!

  123. Amy on August 15th, 2013 6:11 am

    Linda, my father is an alcoholic. This November, he will have been sober for 35 years (I’m 33).

    Growing up, I knew about his addiction and his recovery. He explained it all to me one day when I was about 8 or 9 and found his 1 year medallion in the laundry, which he always kept on him in his pocket. I was proud of him. And I still am.

    Your recovery is yours. Yours to share or keep close to the vest as you wish. The fact that you CAN share with others, even strangers over the interwebs is a remarkable thing.

    I hope you are able to keep sharing your experiences, with us and with your family. They love you. Your boys love you. Keep being honest with them. And weed out the haters from your life (even on the web) who don’t (or WON’T) understand.

  124. Christine on August 15th, 2013 12:59 pm

    My dad’s an alcoholic, as I may have mentioned. He was really out of control up until I was about 6 or 7 (I’m the oldest) and then he relapsed, badly, when I was in college. He’s back on the wagon and now and has been for about 10 years.

    Anyway, maybe it’s a TMI – but I don’t view it that way. This isn’t about your kids or shaming your kids. I never felt shame about the fact that my dad was an alcoholic, I knew it. It was something that got brought up at parties when a drink was turned down, and that was it. It didn’t have to do with me. We knew that dad couldn’t drink, because if he did, then he couldn’t stop himself from drinking more and it was like if you told me that my dad had blue eyes. It was just a part of him, no worst, no better. Just a little part of what makes him, him.

    I liked the posts (well, not liked, necessarily – but appreciate them for what they are). I am impressed with your honesty and frankly I think anything that helps you in your process while not hurting others, is what you should do. I can’t tell you if 20 years from now Riley or Dylan are going to look at this journal and say with full eye rolling, “GOD MOM! You’re SO EMBARRASSING!” about those posts, but they’ll be fine. They have two great, loving, supportive parents and if it isn’t this, they’ll find something else to be embarrassed by. (Like that time they slid down your sex wedge! Also, Jesus, I’ve been reading here forever.)

    (Also, the Cafe Mom commenters are almost always the worst, so I wouldn’t worry what they say. Seriously.)

  125. Kathy on August 15th, 2013 5:18 pm

    It’s important that your kids know about your history because of the genetic predisposition for addiction. I say screw the commenters that are being negative and nasty. You are brave and someone that any kid would be proud to call his mother. We all have our difficulties in life, and you are working hard to overcome yours. Hold your head up high and ignore the witches! You are strong and you are beautiful, and don’t you forget it!

  126. Dawn on August 15th, 2013 10:06 pm

    Another child of an alcoholic chiming in to say: Keep sharing. Won’t any awkwardness for your kids dealing with these posts be far, far less than the awkwardness of them having their friends ask “What’s wrong with your mom?” or otherwise witnessing alcoholism in action, rather than reading about its (past, perhaps) existence?

    Everyone’s different, obviously, but any day of my youth, I would’ve picked a parent blogging about not drinking – or even trying really hard not to drink – over a parent who was just drinking.

  127. Amber on August 17th, 2013 6:08 am

    I love you (in a non-weird, never met you,blog follower sort of way). Your ability to write honestly about things that we all experience (but are afraid to be open about) with humor and wit and humility and a million other things? It’s a gift. You never come off as fake or trolling for praise, you are just you, and it’s awesome. You know, maybe not all of us are struggling with alcoholism, but I guarantee that everyone, especially the crazies, are battling some sort of darkness that we hide from everyone. Your honesty helps people, and it shines a light in the dark that makes the struggle easier to face. Seriously, don’t let the fuckers win :)

  128. Kristin C. on August 17th, 2013 7:58 pm

    Those FUCKERS. I’m sorry they made you feel that way. I would punch them all in their spiteful vaginas if I could. AHEM.

  129. Maggie on August 19th, 2013 10:46 am

    I’m sorry anyone made you feel bad about yourself. I admire your bravery, your struggle and you’re ability to put it all into words. I can’t promise if you continue to share that nobody else will hurt your feelings, but I can promise you that if you continue, you will be helping people with your honesty and humor.

  130. Ali on August 19th, 2013 2:22 pm

    Linda,
    Just so you know–your bravery to share your challenges with alcohol prompted me to start a discussion with my own husband about my alcoholism.

    Does that mean you have to share everything in your life? No. But it does mean you’ve changed my life( and my daughter’s and my husband’s) for the better by doing so.

    Also, for those who say “But what about the kiiiiiiids?” Screw those people. This is your ife, your blog and your children. Your boys will grow up knowing their mother isn’t afraid to face her demons. That she’s strong enough to admit when she needs help. And that she loves them so much that she will work her ass off to be the best version of herself that she can be for them.

    So, in summation: your bravery has changed he trajectory of my life. Your kids are awesome. And so are you. The end.

  131. MuthaTeresa on August 19th, 2013 2:28 pm

    Yeah, let me add to the chorus of Eff THAT’s for those over at Cafe Stir. My GAWD, what a bunch of jackasses! I hope you realize how much we all love you & root for you every day over here, woman!

  132. Jess on August 19th, 2013 6:26 pm

    When I read The Stir comments, I always picture Dana Carvey in his Church Lady getup, pretending to comment. Either that, or they’re all alcoholics who are terrified to admit it.

    My mom is a substance abuse counselor. I grew up with a parent in the program. I’ve spent more time in Al-Anon meetings that I can count, and I know the program backwards and forwards. When we hide things, it gives them power. When we cover things up, it gives them a voice. When we’re honest and up front, it gives us and our families a chance to heal. To be whole.

    Being whole is infinitely more important than the off chance that your kids (one of whom probably can’t read very well yet) is going to happen to read your blogs. And if they did? It’s not like your kids don’t know. OF COURSE THEY KNOW. They live with you.

    If writing helps you become whole, or at least a little less broken, then write. Write through the pain and broken until it helps heal the cracks somewhat.

    I read through all those comments. I couldn’t disagree with any of them more. I understand your need for healing, and for holding your words close until putting them out there doesn’t hurt so much. But it should be because that’s what best for YOU, not because some random people who don’t know you or your family think their ugly comments have some say or value.

    (….sorry for the novel)

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