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Tough Decisions

answered 10:49 PM EST, Tue October 15, 2013
anonymous anonymous
I am a single mom. My kids dad is a deadbeat. I work 2 jobs and the night one is I am a bartender and that is the job that pays enough to keep our heads above water. I was a big drinker in high school and I stopped when I got pregnant but now I am drinking again. My customers share me tequila shots and it is the kind of bar where the staff have to be fun and party and make other people party and drink more. I was just drinking a few drinks a night from customers but for the past 6 months I am having way more. I cant barely remember getting home half the time but the more I am drinking the more money I am making from tips. I am getting to be an alcoholic again but I need this job and theres no way I can make enough to pay for everyone with out it. My mom takes care of my kids when I am at work and she says she is getting sick of me behing hungover. I go to work at 12 pm and I get home at 2 in the morning and then in the morning I have to do all the laundry and dishes and everything. Everyone always say to go to AA but what if you work all the time and have 2 little kids. Every morning I wake up and I am so scared that something bad happened last night. What am I supposed to do in this situation. I feel so trapped.

Dyan Kolb Says...

Hi there. I'm so incredibly sorry for your situation. Indeed, you must feel very trapped and at the same time I get the sense that some things really need to change too. Being told to "just go to AA" can feel incredibly invalidating in a situation like yours. A few things concern me over all, mainly the issue about you not so sure how you get home sometimes. Driving under the influence, as you already know, is incredibly dangerous. It also sounds like a problem with alcohol is developing again. Depending on how much you are consuming daily or weekly, if you do plan on stopping, be mindful of alcohol withdrawal symptoms by which a medical professional can assist with. 

Additionally, and I may be incorrect, but it sounds as though your work environment would be unsupportive of your need to stop drinking, so I'm not sure that continuing to work there (sober) is even an option. I do see how the drinking on your part enhances the party vibe and that in return yields bigger tips. 

I would suggest taking steps to research what other evening positions wouldn't require you to be in circumstances such as the current. Also consider reviewing your budget and see what you can reduce or eliminate at the moment so that you can further consider walking away from this job. Besides, what do you think will be more financially difficult to deal with, walking away from this job or having to deal with the legal consequences of a DUI? What's worse, possibly injuring yourself or someone else on the road. The greatest gift you can give your children is yourself, 100%. And your mom, who sounds like a major asset, is unhappy when she notices your hangovers, possibly jeopardizing her free care (which I'm assuming is the case). 

I do realize that it's easier said than done, which is why I recommend first talking to your family for support. Identify who in your immediate support circle can help you with child care/financial needs so that you may pursue different job opportunities. And, if possible, tell your identified support system how serious the pros and cons are of this bar tending job. 

Also know that alcohol is considered a depressant, so if you have a history of mental health issues, such as a depression, it could make your symptoms even worse over time. 

Discontinuing the drinking is recommended. And it sounds as though finding ways to walk away from this job, even if it means adjusting the finances and seeking support from family to assist with this until a new opportunity presents itself may be what is needed. 

Sometimes things will be more difficult before they get better, but in the long run, you may be better off. 

I wish you the very best.

Take care,


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Page last updated Oct 15, 2013

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