​I Had My First Drink at 36 After I Left the Mormon Church — Personal History

I had my first baby at age 21 and my first drink of alcohol at 36 — and no, that’s not a typo. I was born and raised a Mormon and, as part of adherence to my faith, I abstained from alcohol. Entirely. I never touched so much as a drop until several months after I left Mormonism at 36 with my husband and our two sons.

Mormonism is a high-intensity religion (like, even more than SoulCycle), demanding equal parts obedience and belief. Obedience was never the hard part for us, but belief? Over time, that part became impossible.

Leaving the church came with a lot of changes for us and a period of reevaluating rules by which we lived, including rules about drinking.

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