“On April 8, 2007, Emily Eggleston claimed her first day of sobriety. But she’d given up a lot for it. At 30 years old, Emily called her parents to tell them that her marriage was over, she’d quit her job, and – worst of all – that she was drinking again.
Through the process of fixing up a house in her hometown, a two-year project that she completed with her father, she also fixed herself. Now, in her twelfth year of sobriety, Emily reflects on the things she’s learned from addiction, a well as from recovery, and how those lessons prepared her for the greatest challenge of all: motherhood.“
Emily Eggleston is the mother to two sons, Owen (9) and Eli (7). She’s the wife of Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston. She homeschools. She’s a stay-at-home mom. She runs a Facebook group to foster relationships between local families whose children have special needs.
And, she’s an alcoholic.
Twelve years into sobriety, Emily sits down with me to talk about her addiction, her rock bottom, and her gradual but life-changing recovery from alcohol abuse.
In the first episode of Two Moms Day Drinking, Emily talks about the amount of cognitive energy she had to put into her early recovery to maintain her sobriety and, eventually, to gain momentum.
After a decade in Cleveland, Emily she called her family and asked them to come and get her. She felt, she said, like everything was falling apart. Her marriage had ended in divorce. She’d walked away from her job. And on top of it all, she told her parents, “I was drinking again.”
Emily talks about the first two years of her recovery, and how those two years dovetailed with the restoration of a house, into which she said she couldn’t move fast enough, alongside her father.
“It made me stay. I stayed in my parents’ house for two years while I worked on that house, all the while working on myself. “Emily Eggleston
You couldn’t get a better metaphor for significant personal change than a brand new home that needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt.
And that is what recovery from drug and alcohol abuse is, at its core.
It is a disintegration of so many negative core beliefs, cognitive distortions – the lies we tell ourselves to justify behavior we know is below our potential – and a process of building an entirely new way of living in, and interacting with, the world.
From the paradox of the selfishness inherent in addiction and the behaviors that become necessary to maintain it, Emily talks about the selflessness that comes with parenthood. And she elaborates on the ways she’s found to cope with the natural stress of parenting in general – and parenting autistic kiddos on top of that – when the glass of bedtime wine so many moms glorify in memes (myself included, though, and in real life too, so no judgement) is no longer an option.
Emily talks about the absolute joy of meeting and falling in love with the man she’d eventually marry, sober for the first time in her life. She also talks about the challenges and supports that exist when two people in recovery are able to make a relationship as serious as a marriage work. Another paradox: how to nurture and strengthen a shared relationship while maintaining the autonomy and personal responsibility that is yours and yours alone in recovery.
And, sprinkled throughout one hour of heavy conversation, there is laughter as well. Emily laughs about the “glaring” differences that her children have from their same-age peers as they grow older, and the horrors of that one motherhood interaction that, honestly, most of us dread:
The play date.
The inaugural episode of Two Moms Day Drinking takes a deep dive into one woman’s story of addiction, recovery, and now motherhood, surfacing with some things that should be interesting for anyone to ponder in the context of their own lives.
Ultimately, this episode comes down to a major message: the essential human need for connection, how to find it when you’re struggling, and how to make the most of the supports it provides.
All this and more, on this episode of Two Moms Day Drinking.