A Woman Name Wendy Hoard (post by Frank Somerville KTVU)

I got an email from a woman name Wendy Hoard.
She’s a mother of two who lives in San Jose.
And she is an alcoholic.

I asked her if I could share her story.
It’s long.
But I think you’ll agree that it’s a “good” read and it’s VERY inspiring.

So here’s what she wrote:

Hi Frank,
My name is Wendy and I am an alcoholic.
I have been sober for almost 8 years.

A couple of years ago, I was struggling with keeping strong against the never-ending temptation of going back to the bottle.
So I decided to write my story.

Addiction is taboo.
No one talks about it.
There is so much shame involved.
People view the addict as the homeless person walking the streets.

But addiction also looks like me.
A mom who had a child diagnosed with severe Autism and felt so much pain and loneliness, that something had to give.

No one knew.
Not my husband, not my parents, not my friends.
I hid it…. never asking for help as I spiraled out of control.
The shame was too great.

I used to say that I would never ever be a drinker.
I wasn’t one of “those” people.
I had too much self-control.

(But) I was under a tremendous amount of stress.
Andrew had just been diagnosed (with autism) 2 months prior.
I was at a loss.

Therapies were not working.
They seemed to be making my son more angry.

I would come home from sessions with bruises and scratch marks on my arms, and bloodied lips from him head-butting me as I tried to keep him from throwing himself on the ground and getting hurt.
I was so weak.

I drank as a coping mechanism.
I drank because I was in so much pain, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

It started with a glass of wine here and there.
But it manifested quickly into a problem.
I justified it by telling myself that I was a more relaxed wife and mother with a drink or 2 in me.
That was the biggest lie ever.

By the end I was completely out of control.
It culminated in me drinking too much and finding myself in the ER with my husband by my side.

(My husband) showed me why he had even taken me to the ER.
A fleece sleeper that had been worn by my son the night before.
It had my vomit all over it from me throwing up on him as I tried to rock him to sleep.

That was rock bottom.
Oh the pain!
The shame!
My heart broke in a way that it had never before.
That was the first day of my new life.

Immediately I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting.
Recovery is a terribly hard road.
The ‘not drinking’ was only part of the struggle.
Facing the reasons behind the addiction are much more difficult.

The physical need for alcohol was gone pretty quickly.
But the mental addiction had a death grip on my self-control.
Every single time I went to the store to get groceries, I had to call my sponsor, or my husband.

Someone needed to talk me through the store so that I wouldn’t go down the liquor aisle and lose all of my willpower.
Vodka was my coping mechanism, and I hadn’t figured out a new one yet.

Getting clean was a humbling experience indeed.

I remember the moment that the desire to drink went away.
(In recovery) we were talking about guilt.
It was my turn.

I said:
“I feel like it is my fault my son has Autism.
I was supposed to protect him and I didn’t.
What if I caused my son to regress into Autism?”

In that moment, I felt 1000lbs lighter.
It was the first moment that I did not want a drink.
I admitted out loud what had been eating away at my soul for years.
And it felt good.

I have a special place in my heart for those suffering from addiction.

I know from my own experience how easy it is to slip into a pattern that you never ever would have imagined.

Don’t be like me.
Don’t be full of pride.
Don’t be so strong that you aren’t willing to ask for help.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

Don’t ignore that voice in your head telling you that you are reaching your breaking point.

Don’t make the same mistakes I made.

Don’t be like me.

Wendy Hoard

I so appreciate Wendy allowing me to tell her story.
And I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who can relate.

Please feel free to share your story.
There is NO shame.
Especially on this page.

And if you want to read more about Wendy go to:


Frank Somerville KTVU's photo.
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