On today’s HLAM episode, Emily and I dive into Motherhood and Addiction, how to be honest with your motherhood journey, and learn more about what it’s like to struggle with addiction and be a “sober mom”. You can find Emily on her website, Chasing McAllisters and on instagram @emilymcallister_. Listen in while we tackle topics like hitting rock bottom and learning to rise with grace.

Honest Motherhood and Addiction / Sobriety with Emily McAllister

I am SO excited about today’s guest!!! Emily McAllister is a writer, speaker and photographer based in Southern Ca. She most often shares about raw, honest motherhood and navigating that while maintining her sobriety. Emily is a recovery advocate, working daily to help erase the stigma of addiction. She has been sober since September 25, 2009. Emily’s writing has been featured in Scary Mommy, Love What Matters, CNN Health, The Bump and more.



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**there is some slight language in this episode**
  • Sobriety adds an entirely different layer to motherhood.
    • AA + motherhood both share a lot of similarities in that they require you to be present, consistent and honest with yourself and those around you.
    • Emily often felt like she was missing this very important “piece” in her momming toolkit when she’d see other moms drinking wine.
      • This is also interesting because Taylor doesn’t drink either. Not because she is battling an addiction, but because she just chooses not to. So she can relate on some level as someone who is a non-drinker to that feeling.
  • Emily’s motherhood journey begin when she was in cosmetology school.
    • Halfway through – she got pregnant and it was so hard because she was SO sick during the entire pregnancy.
      • SO then she had her daughter, her husband was working nights, she was battling postpartum anxiety.
      • She was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety by her doctor and she went on medication for it.
        • She was so nervous about taking the medication but it made being a mom SO more enjoyable and she was a better mom for it.
    • She and her husband had agreed on 2 babies in the beginning but after their first daughter was born, her husband changed his mind.
      • This was a really painful part of her marriage story – it took them a long time to work it out and it wasn’t easy for them.
        • She did a personal development program and ended up coming to her husband and approaching the situation more calmly and they were able to work it out.
          • Her husband had a change of heart and they ended up getting pregnant with baby girl #2.
    • Before her second daughter was born, she was started on a low-level of meds and her postpartum experience was SO much different and SO much more enjoyable.
  • Comparison is often the thief of joy.
    • Emily believes in showing raw motherhood and the “realness” that is being a mom.
      • We all see these curated beautiful social media pages of mothers who are doing all the things.
      • We need to remember there is so much more happening behind the scenes.
  • Emily’s sobriety journey began in college.
    • She was struggle with anxiety and depression and it was undiagnosed – there was still a big stigma about it during the 90s.
      • She knew in her gut there was a problem but didn’t know how to fix it.
        • She developed an eating disorder and her parents were separating.
        • She started getting into trouble and she moved around a lot just to get new spaces and meet knew people.
      • She thought being “thin” was the goal instead of being healthy.
      • She constantly surrounded herself with people who were “lower” than her so she wasn’t the worst in the group.
    • She ended up hitting rock bottom and going to treatment for her eating disorder and addiction.
      • This put the breaks on everything.
        • This was her only chance. She would never have this opportunity again.
        • She was in treatment for 47 days.
      • After a few years, her eating disorder creeped back in.
        • She totally relapsed with her alcoholism.
    • It took her 3 or 4 months to really get it together.
      • She lost a close friend from alcoholism and she suddenly didn’t feel invincible anymore.
      • She knew this was her last shot to get sober and turn her life around.
    • She ended up with her husband and a year and a half into her sobriety, she got pregnant with her first baby.
    • She often says sobriety is having 2 lives in 1 lifetime. She is now 11 years sober.


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