A woman who’s been sober for 17 years is using her experience in a unique way to tackle the stigma about women with alcoholism or addiction.
In her one-woman show, “Drunk With Hope,” Tara Handron plays a chocolate martini an obnoxious, too drunk wedding guest, and a range of characters in between.
“I think women are judged harsher,” she said. “Sometimes when the woman is the mother, the head of the household, there is more pressure to keep it together for everybody.”
Handron said she began drinking in high school.
“When I took that first drink, it fixed me; it made me feel better in a way,” she said.
What she used as a teenager to curb her anxiety turned into a destructive habit as an adult.
“I was very much a binge drinker,” she said. “I blacked out a lot.”
She wanted to use her experience to reach out and help people in a creative and personal way.
“The arc of it follows a character named Hope, and at the top of the play, you get the sense you're in a recovery meeting with Hope,” Handron said. “She says, ‘My name is Hope, and I'm an alcoholic.’”
“In the beginning, there are monologues of different women, different ages, different ethnicities sharing different stories but all giving sort of different little nuggets that tell you there’s something wrong there or she has a problem with drugs and alcohol,” Handron said.
She performs the play in various theaters in small venues so she can reach more people and hopefully encourage those who might need help to get it.
“I think people walk away and think, Oh my gosh,” Handron said. “They start thinking, I would have never thought that type of person might have had an issue or that recovery could be fun or interesting.”