Almost every day for the last 13 years I've taken drugs in front of my kids.
I would do it openly, no shame, no fear, no rules.
It was no secret, it wasn't anything dirty, it was just me choosing to release the stress' of my life and the stress' of motherhood using a substance.
I was a high functioning addict.
From a very early age, my children saw me self-medicate regularly. I even joked that it was them that drove me to it, I would justify using by saying things like 'whatever get's you through a day'. I was effectively teaching my kids that if they found things tough, they could always dumb it down with a little pick me up, just like mummy did.
As time went past and my habit went unchallenged, my kids got to an age where we were able to share in my escapism together, and so I racked up a hit for them too.
We all sat doing drugs together, enjoying the release it brings and the connection it creates.
My drug of choice was alcohol.
It's hard to hear it in those terms I know. I certainly didn't want to know how damaging alcohol was, it was my best friend, it wouldn't betray me like that?
But actually, in the cold light of day, these are the facts;
In 2010 the Nutt report on Drug Harms in the UK found that Alcohol was the 4th most harmful drug after Crack Cocaine, Heroine and Crystal Meth leaving Cocaine, Amphetamine, GBH, Tobacco, Ketamine and Benzodiazpains in its wake.
My older boys are now dabbling with other varieties of drugs and if I'm honest, I judged them, I feared for them, I was disappointed in them. What a fucking hypocrite when I was openly necking my drug of choice on the daily!
Had my messaging through their childhood been 'I drink because of you?' 'I need to drink to get through parenting you?' had it been a message of 'when in doubt, drown yourself out?'.
I had laid the foundations for them, I had introduced them to drugs, I had given them permission to get wasted, just like they had seen their mummy do.
I now haven't had a drink since 28th December 2017. My last family celebration went by in a drunken, vomit inducing haze, and I lost the day after to heavy sleep, while my body tried to rid my body of the toxins that it had so readily welcomed just the night before.
I've decided to go teetotal as I'm an addict. I am all or nothing. I can't dabble (trust me, I wish I could, but I can't).
And I can't help but think how ironic it is, I drank because of my kids, and that now, I've quit because of my kids.
It's not been easy, I miss my old friend fiercely some days. My cravings not helped by the over glamorisation of booze, the social acceptability of daytime drinking, public drinking, expected drinking and the fact that I feel like I'm now on the outside of the cool gang, the gang who use Gin like a must-have fashion accessory.
I'm struggling with the idea that I'll never again drink a glass of champagne to celebrate, or a large glass of red to commiserate, but I'm loving that I'm finally in control and that I'm no longer sending the message to my kids that using a substance as a crutch is an acceptable thing to do.