The Pregnancy Principle
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
2M ago
Dear Laura, I am almost five months sober and I am incredibly grateful for my path at this moment. I recently have started socializing more and entertaining in my home. I have gone to several events outside my home where there is alcohol and I am comfortable with that and accept that it will always be there. I struggle with what I do in my own home. Do I buy booze for others? Do I keep some in the house for someone when they stop by? Tell them my house is BYOB? Or can I have nothing at all in my home? -Boozie Mama in The Bean Hi, BMITB - First of all, amazing on the almost five months. W ..read more
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The Third Door
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
2M ago
After one of the first recovery meetings I attended, a woman said to me, “You never have to drink again.” I thought, is that supposed to be comforting? Because it makes me want to die. I didn’t want to not drink again. I wanted to drink normally, passably. I wanted to go back in time and un-fuck-up all the things I fucked up. I wanted to erase the series of bad nights that other people knew about and re-claim my position as the fun friend, cool co-worker, up-for-anything pal, silly sister, good-time daughter, mom like all the other moms who can have playdates and wine, girl who can go out for ..read more
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Don’t Let The House Burn Down
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
3M ago
I'm not sure how I found you on Instagram a month ago, but I've been following your posts since and have probably "screenshot" half of them. I listened to the HOME podcast for the first time today. "The Craving Brain.” I'm in tears. I've been considering taking myself to AA for the past three days, but don't quite think I'm an “alcoholic." I just take the edge off... every night... with a bottle of wine. I don't know how to share these words with my fiancé as we plan our upcoming wedding. I don't know how to share this with my mom. And I know that my kids know. What's my next step? I'm a yoga ..read more
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What if My Lobster is Addicted?
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
3M ago
Dear Laura, What if my sister is addicted? What if she's in trouble and her life has become unmanageable? Glennon Melton Doyle talks about her family loving her very much, just not having a plan. I am stuck in this cognitive mess of "don't judge,” "just love,” but "don't enable,” "don't turn your head/sweep it under the rug/act like it's not happening" but I don't know what that is all supposed to look like from day to day. We've been to AA meetings together, "long term" (3-6 months) outpatient treatment courses (which I've attended on "family nights"), short-term (3-day) inpatient treatm ..read more
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Chapstick
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
3M ago
I was driving my daughter to school earlier this week and absentmindedly reached for my chapstick in the console. I took off the top and as I went to put it on, a few pieces of something poked my lips. I drew it back to investigate, annoyed. Probably my daughter had stuck something in it to be funny. Maybe I’d dropped it in the sand? I turned the tube around, brought it closer, studied it. Oh. Huh. I’d reached the end. I cocked my head sideways and smiled, a small chuckle. I’ve never, not once, reached the end of a chapstick tube. Amazing. I haven’t stopped thinking about that damn chapstick s ..read more
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The subversive message of recovery?
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
3M ago
In 2011, I was working at an ad agency in Boston, my daughter was two years old, and things were a real goddamn mess. I was drinking at least a bottle of wine every night, my husband and I were screeching toward the end of our marriage, we had no money and piles of debt, and we were working through filing bankruptcy. Although I wasn't sober or anywhere near considering getting sober (I'd have rather chopped off my pinkie toes), I still gravitated toward the one sober person in the agency: Grant. Grant was the Creative Director and one of the partners at ..read more
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The Shame Cave
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
4M ago
Hi Laura, Your work has given me a lot over the past couple of years and pushed me to really examine my life, my choices, and ultimately my decision not to drink. Not drinking has helped me put my life back on course and made me a better mom and a better human in general. I watched my life slowly deteriorate over the course of a few years, and alcohol played a role in that. It took my focus off my daughters and onto myself. I made terrible choices.  How do you ever get over the shame? Even with two years in therapy, I feel like I sit in a shame cave that I can’t get out of. You mention th ..read more
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You could be soft instead.
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
4M ago
You could be soft instead. You could be patient instead. You could see that you are doing it. The latch in the door that won’t close could be something you now fix— a sign of your attention, and willingness to mend— instead of more evidence of your failings. You could be sweet instead. With all the missteps and the falls. You might kiss the bruise on your knee— or tend to the scar on your arm, with a bit of balm, and soft touch— instead of hating it for the way it does its job. You might see that these scars make you interesting— that you quite like the scars on others, because they tell stori ..read more
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Leaving the bouncy house of social media
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
1y ago
Sometime in the spring of 2014, after much hand-wringing and mental gymnastics, I decided to go to a happy hour with my colleagues. I’d been on the fence because I didn’t want to drink. But I did. But I didn’t. But I did. I’d been taking stabs at sobriety since the summer prior and the stakes were as high as they could be. Getting sober wasn’t a thing I should probably do, it was a thing I had to do if I intended to keep my daughter, my job, or anything else that mattered. But, I was still in the process of letting it go, and so, I still wrestled with decisions like whether or not to go to a h ..read more
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We are in a process. Let the discomfort work on you.
LAURA McKOWEN
by Laura McKowen
2y ago
I’m this writing after several consecutive nights, weeks, and months of not sleeping well or much. I know I’m not alone, obviously. I also know I will not put these words together as well as I hope to, but writing is how I try and get to the truth, so I’m reminding myself that the process is the point, not being “right." The pandemic was already one level of unprecedented (in our lifetime) unrest. Then, the horrific murder of George Floyd and the aftermath has forced a collective reckoning with multiple, long-existing, systemic issues in our society. Institutional and individual raci ..read more
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