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.

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Katharine
9 years ago

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.

Ashleas
Ashleas
9 years ago

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..

Janet in Miami
Janet in Miami
9 years ago

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 —

Barb.
Barb.
9 years ago

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.

JudithNYC
JudithNYC
9 years ago

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.

Tessa
Tessa
9 years ago

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.

sooboo
sooboo
9 years ago

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.

Megan
9 years ago

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

Lesley
Lesley
9 years ago

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.

Jo
Jo
9 years ago

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.

g
g
9 years ago

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.

Ginger
Ginger
9 years ago

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.

Starr
Starr
9 years ago

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.

Deb
Deb
9 years ago

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.

Catherine
9 years ago

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.

JB
JB
9 years ago

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.

Mandy
Mandy
9 years ago

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.

NancyB
NancyB
9 years ago

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.

julie
julie
9 years ago

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

Mia
Mia
9 years ago

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.

Rachael
Rachael
9 years ago

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

Catherine
9 years ago

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.

Nix
Nix
9 years ago

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.

squandra
squandra
9 years ago

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.

Allison
9 years ago

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

Kathe
Kathe
9 years ago

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.

Sandy
Sandy
9 years ago

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

Judy
Judy
9 years ago

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.

ABDPBT
9 years ago

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.

irene
irene
9 years ago

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.”

Leah
9 years ago

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.

Kizz
9 years ago

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.

lissie
9 years ago

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.

MLN
MLN
9 years ago

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.

Mary
Mary
9 years ago

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!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

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

Nichole
9 years ago

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.

Nancy
Nancy
9 years ago

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

Jennie
9 years ago

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.

Alison
Alison
9 years ago

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.

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

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.

Maura
Maura
9 years ago

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.

Charlene
Charlene
9 years ago

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.

Mary
Mary
9 years ago

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.

Hannah
Hannah
9 years ago

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.

Michele
Michele
9 years ago

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.

Melissa
Melissa
9 years ago

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.

Katie
Katie
9 years ago

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!

J
J
9 years ago

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.

AnnabelleSpeaks
AnnabelleSpeaks
9 years ago

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

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