When I say the word “alcoholic,” what image and connotation come to mind? What are your immediate thoughts about the person? Are they positive or negative?
What if I described this lady to you: She is Ivy League educated. She has a loving and adoring husband. She has three beautiful children who do well in school and are involved in athletics. She is the quintessential soccer mom. She attends PTA meetings. She drives an SUV full of kids and sports equipment. She lives in a beautiful home in the suburbs.
What comes to mind now? Are you thinking, “Dang, I wish I had her life?”
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This Ivy League educated, minivan driving, suburban soccer mom next door is a recovering alcoholic, and she is coming clean to break stereotypes and help others. Her name is Martha Carucci, she has been sober since 2012, and I am honored to call her friend and introduce her to you. Trust, me, you NEED to hear what she has to say. More on that in a minute.
I took a jog over to Martha’s house for a chat over a cup of coffee and to offer advice about growing her blog, SobrieTease. Two hours later, I walked away knowing that God had our paths cross for a reason because she is my second self. The words that she spoke about her recovery from alcoholism and how she chooses to view and live her life are the same fuel that drives me to do what I do for other cancer survivors. I had no clue that cancer survival and alcoholism recovery were so parallel and had so many similarities.
I also want to introduce you to Martha and her book, SobrieTease for two reasons: understanding and awareness.
The holiday season is especially difficult for recovering alcoholics, and if you are hosting, here are a few things to consider. As a respectful host, always make sure you have non-alcoholic drinks (water, soda, etc) to offer. If one of your guests does not want an alcoholic drink, do not push them, do not ask them why they don’t want to drink and do not ask if they are pregnant. Simply offer an alternative. You may or may not know about your guest’s situation, and a respectful host always tries to make her guests feel welcome and comfortable.
I asked Martha what advice she would give to well-meaning friends who are trying to be supportive as one is struggling with recovery during this time of year (or any time, really).
“Don’t exclude me from your events and activities. Please invite me, and give me the opportunity to make a choice. And please respect my decision.”
“While I appreciate a friend saying to me that they won’t drink either in an attempt to make it easier for me, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Whether or not someone I am with is drinking, the temptation still surrounds me.”
Alcoholism can be hidden and shameful and it isn’t something that is easy to talk about. Here are two articles that Martha wanted me to share with you. Her story is real, raw, gutsy, and inspirational.
“We all have our struggles and crosses to bear— whether its depression, anxiety, addiction (of any kind—alcohol, food, drugs, gambling), an abusive relationship, an unhappy marriage— but it’s never too late to turn things around. ”
“Whatever your struggle, there is a reason behind it and somehow, someway, even though we may have a hard time seeing it or understanding it, God has a plan and will produce some good from it…I am supposed to take my mess, my bad, my pain and not waste it, but rather use it to help others in a similar situation. That situation doesn’t have to be alcoholism. It can be whatever trial or tribulation you suffer in your life. It reinforced the fact that it’s never too late to change something bad into something good. To consider it pure joy.”
Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf. (from MADD.org)
Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2013. (from MADD.org)
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for too many families, they are filled with tragedy. In fact, 43% of driving fatalities on Christmas Day are alcohol-related.
Watch the Interview
You can watch the interview here:
This holiday season (and at all times), please be respectful of other’s choices for sobriety, please drink responsibly, and please… do not drink and drive.
Martha, thank you for being so courageous and putting yourself out there to help others. I look forward to collaborating with you on future projects!
Are you Inspired?
Be sure to download your FREE eBook Transform Your Pantry – Transform Your Life and take the challenge!
Love, hugs, and alcoholism is extremely sobering.HERE.