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.


134 Responses to “Bravery: MIA”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

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


    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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*

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.


  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.)

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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 :)

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

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

    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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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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