From time to time, we will post short interviews with interesting people about their thoughts and feelings on women and drinking. There is such a wide array of perspectives about this topic, and we are excited to gain insight into as many as possible and to share them with you.
Becky Sherrick Harks is an overachieving nurse who retired from the profession after an admirable three months. She stays home now, writing, raising kids and making mischief. She blogs at Mommy Wants Vodka pretty much every day that ends in “day.”
Drinking Diaries: How old were you when you had your first drink and what was it?
Becky Sherrick Harks: I was 13 when I had my first drink and it was, I believe, whiskey. It was neither an earth shattering nor a defining moment in my life. Despite being the product of two alcoholics, alcohol has never really had any allure for me either way.
How did/does your family treat drinking?
My parents were closet alcoholics. They hid their drinking so well that I was really the only one who saw that there was a big drunk elephant in the room. In fact, no one believed me when I first mentioned it. There were never any big embarrassing scenes at holiday parties or horrible moments where people wondered how to contain my parents, it was much sadder and more isolating. For them and for me.
How do you approach alcohol in your every day life?
Here’s where the Internet will collectively gasp in amazement when I reveal that I rarely drink. Despite naming my blog “Mommy Wants Vodka,” I don’t actually drink very often. It’s not that I’m afraid to drink, I just don’t really like to. I don’t like the feeling of being drunk so I simply don’t drink very often. I have no issues with other people drinking around me and we have plenty of booze in our house, I just don’t drink it.
If you have kids, how is the subject of drinking handled? Do you drink in front of them? With them?
My children are young enough that we haven’t had to broach the subject of drinking with them yet. They’re too young to remember when their grandparents weren’t in recovery and they don’t yet understand that addiction runs rampant on my side of the family. I hope that I’m able to impart on them the importance of moderation.
I don’t drink often, so I don’t drink around my children, but my husband does. I have no issues with my children seeing me drink, it’s just that I don’t tend to drink when they’re around, if at all.
Have you ever had a phase in your life when you drank more or less?
I drank more when I was going through some of the worse times in my life. Conversely, I drank more when I was happier, too. It seems so long as I’m in the middle of the road, I’m just fine.
What’s your drink of choice? Why?
Hmmm…shockingly, even with a blog name like Mommy Wants Vodka, it’s not vodka. It’s bourbon.
Has drinking ever affected—either negatively or positively—a relationship of yours?
One of my best friends died two years ago at age 26 due to complications from chronic alcoholism. She’d been to rehab twice, actually fresh from her second stint, and died in her sleep one night, leaving behind two young sons. I miss her every single day.
How has alcoholism affected your life?
There’s almost no part of my life that hasn’t been touched by alcoholism. As much as I like to be coy and flip about it, addiction is something I take very seriously. My blog name may be a tongue in cheek joke, but my attitude towards alcoholism isn’t.
(photo source: Bourbon)