Soccer player and two-time Olympian Hope Solo appeared on her Hope Solo Speaks podcast this week to explain how she is navigating life after she was arrested in March 2022 for driving while intoxicated.
The athlete, who shares 2-year-old twins Lozen and Vittorio with her husband Jeremy Stevens, was driving with her kids when she was arrested. She later pled guilty to the charges. The 41-year-old said that her drinking was partially connected to not coping properly with what she believes to be postpartum depression, which partially stemmed from a lack of support system during the isolated time of the pandemic.
“I didn’t think I needed help,” Solo explained on the podcast. “And I certainly wasn’t going to ask for it. At the time, I didn’t know that I was only doing a disservice to my family. I thought that I could white-knuckle it. But the reality is that nobody gets to live without asking for help. My sense of strength and pride became my two worst enemies. And I found myself living the worst night of my life. I let alcohol get the better of me in this moment on this god-awful day, and I will suffer the consequences for some time.”
She shared that these consequences included struggling to parent the way she wanted to.
“I put doubt in others of my ability and commitment to motherhood,” Solo explained. “I’ve disappointed my husband, my friends and family and it has caused arguments between Jeremy and me. I feel never-ending guilt, shame and embarrassment. I was mother-shamed around the world.”
She also added that the “financial burden” of her DUI is real.
“My income now will not go directly to my family, which is another layer of guilt that I must work to shed,” she explained. “I can’t drive for an entire year which is a massive inconvenience to my family and is a loss of independence.”
Solo eventually spent 30 days in rehab, which was also a challenge for her family.
“The burden fell on Jeremy and he had recently had a full knee replacement and was struggling to walk, let alone chase the kids up and down the hill into the chicken coop and everywhere else,” she said. “This didn’t make it easy for me to go to bed at night. Yes, I finally got to read some books and meditate and work on myself, but my heart broke for my family. The thought of squeezing my kids or cuddling them to bed or hearing their laugh just felt so far away. And I deeply missed it. And I knew that they did too.”
Solo pled guilty to her DUI charge in July. She said in an Instagram statement at the time, “It’s been a long road, but I’m slowly coming back from taking time off. I pride myself in motherhood and what my husband and I have done day in and day out for over two years throughout the pandemic with 2-year old twins. While I’m proud of us, it was incredibly hard and I made a huge mistake. Easily the worst mistake of my life. I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become. The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful.”
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