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Ponte Vedra, the PGA & Alcoholism… My Home Town…

Ponte Vedra, the PGA & Alcoholism… My Home Town…

Ponte Vedra, the PGA & Alcoholism… My Home Town…

By now, if you know anything about golf, you know about Brittany Horschel’s alcoholism. The wife of golfer Billy Horschel came out in a series of interviews recently. She is one year sober, after a family intervention and a stint in rehab, and speaking out about her problem drinking and subsequent recovery. Everybody is happy and Brittany is ready to “help others”.

 

Spokespersons and Heroes…

It is never a bad thing to have someone in the public eye talk about their struggles with addiction. It helps to shine a light on a subject that is still rife with stigma and shame. To see a beautiful, blonde woman with a famous husband talk openly about how close she came to losing her perfect life is somehow – vindicating. We all have our problems behind closed doors. Even them

 

The subject of golf and alcoholism and the PGA is near and (not so?) dear to my heart. I lived for twenty-five years in Ponte Vedra, with an omnipresent glass of chardonnay in my hand. I was a golf widow. And I am a recovering alcoholic. I even got drunk at the Players Club a time or two. I went to the TPC only once – bouncing from sponsor tent to sponsor tent and annoying the people I was with by saying, “Where did the ball go?” While the posse, following someone I had not heard of, oohed and aahed. Not surprising I am divorced from an avid golfer?

 

Golf Widows

I can relate to Brittany’s joy in recovery, but also her path to addiction. The two-glass of wine lunches with girlfriends (and a third “shared” glass) at an open air bistro in Atlantic Beach, while the kids are at school. Continuing to drink when you get home, while your friends “sober up” and don’t think of drinking again until the next “boozy lunch”. The cocktail parties and fund-raisers with the open bars. (I don’t know about you Brittany, but I had two glasses of wine before the party and bellied up to the bar the minute I arrived at the do.)

 

Wealth is not a friend to an alcoholic. When you live in a big ole house in Harbour Island or the Plantation or on Ponte Vedra Boulevard, there are a lot of places to hide booze bottles. Also, when the master bathroom is way down the hall, you can replenish your glass when you go to the toilet (from the bottle stashed in a winter boot in the closet).

 

And having a husband who travels leaves a lot of time to drink alone and make excuses for not turning up at milestones or the children’s school picnic. The people who work for you are afraid to say anything. And even your friends don’t want to confront or embarrass you by bringing up the “incident” at the school benefit.

 

Giving Back…

When you are committed to sobriety, it seems important to give back. Especially for those of us who have dodged the big bullets of jail time or serious physical impact. I moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and work for Sanford House – an addiction treatment center.  I write a sobriety blog. For Mrs. Horschel, there will be many opportunities to sing the praises of recovery. God love her and her willingness to speak out.

 

I wonder, how many other alcoholics are tucked away in cul-de-sacs in Ponte Vedra…

Perhaps the bravery of Brittany Horschel will open the door to others who are tucked away on quiet streets in Ponte Vedra. My guess is that there are many more where she and I came from…

 

I am an Alcoholic

By: Helen Ross PGATOUR.COM

 

 

Today I’m not drinking because I am trying to give back and help others…

 

How come you’re not drinking?

 

E2E – can we help you?

Comments (9)

  1. Tall Girl
    Jun 22, 2017

    Thanks, Marilyn, a much-needed read after the ignorant and hateful letter by “Reverend” James Black in the Times Union today, quoting a friend, “drugs and alcohol are how God gets rid of stupid people.” Addiction truly is a disorder that makes good people sick. Can’t fix stupid, though, to Mr. Black’s great misfortune.

    • Martha
      Jun 22, 2017

      I have never written a letter to the editor and that hateful man sent me over the edge. If you see a response signed Martha D. Ponte Vedra Beach that would be me. I feel like I’m giving up some of my anonymity if it gets published but I just had to do it.

      I was one of those tucked away hiding in my big house and my comfortable life slowly dying a miserable alcoholic death. I finally gave up the fight and asked for and received the help I needed to start living the life I was meant to live. My hope is that if there is anyone out there who feels ashamed or scared to ask for help because of who they are or where they live or who they are married to that they can see beyond the stigma of shame and reach out for that lifeline. I promise it’s worth it.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jun 23, 2017

      We understand that addiction makes good people sick, but there are still more than a few idiots who spout vitriol out of ignorance (some in God’s name). Shame on James Black.
      XXXOOO
      M

  2. Beverly
    Jun 22, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    Because although it took me over 30 years of trying to moderate my drinking, I now understand that's not something anyone needs to try to do. If you need to work on moderation, you are better off without any.
    Thanks for the compassionate message today. One of the best things about becoming sober was the discovery of how compassionate my fellow humans can be. Especially ones who have needed compassion themselves.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jun 23, 2017

      Compassionate, giving back, asking for help, humble, non-judgmental, caring… funny how things change when you are in recovery, right? Thanks for this and I agree – if it feel like you need to moderate you probably need to quit. Congratulations!
      XXXOOO
      M

  3. KB
    Jun 23, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    .
    I just love reading your posts. We all come from such different backgrounds but have so much in common. I guess God planned it that way. Well done. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT !!
    (PS – I agree, Golf is the most boring, useless game in the world and I have tried to like it more then once. I even drove the cart at Pebble Beach for fellow gamers while I drank and they, well, “gamed” I guess. Great scenery but just a slow horrible passing of time while the beer worked it’s magic. What a piece of real estate though. They should make it a huge State Park).

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jun 23, 2017

      Thank you. And yes, we all have a point of reference.
      XXXOOO
      M

  4. Ainsobriety
    Jul 16, 2017

    I write a blog as well. I teach yoga at the local inpatient treatment centre. I am open about my struggles.
    Because I am a successful, well educated professional woman who has struggled with anxiety, depression and alcohol addiction.
    I’ve been sober for 3 1/2 years. And they have been the best years of my life.
    I can’t say how my life shifted from Thursday nigh ouns at university to drinking wine alone on the couch, feeling like life had passed me by…hoping it would end soon.

    But I know my experi nice is more common than I thought.

    There is so much living to do sober!

    Anne

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