Mom... December 28, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
As I go through my days, I go through all the feelings. I am told it is part of the healing process. But I feel everything. Happiness, anger, frustration, pride. It is a constant cycle of emotions. And throughout it all, I have not shared any of what I am going through with my mom. I am over four weeks sober, and to her this is all a secret I am keeping. With the daily texts and calls, I remain silent about all of this. I have grown to despise secrets. Yet, I continue to keep them. Ultimately, I would love to be able to talk to my mom about my sobriety, but I don't think I can yet. I am scared of what she will read or think, because she just won't be able to see past her own experiences. She may even see my sobriety as a slap in the face to her or a sign of disrespect, which saddens me.
I have boxed my mother into her own little corner for now. I have placed her there where I can mentally protect myself from her criticism. For many years, when I was in high school and college, I asked her to do exactly what I am now doing. I asked her to go to AA and face her alcohol addiction. She was never able to gain control of it or come to terms with her own issues. She blamed my dad for her problems and found comfort at the bottom of a bottle, and eventually, my sisters and I allowed her that outlet. We ultimately ended up moving on, always feeling a bit sorry for her. I think I always felt guilty for never being there more for her when my dad left, so I allowed her to have the ONE thing she always wanted. Booze. Little did I know, that I would find myself in the exact situation as my mother, years down the road, suffering from the same exact addiction, just under different circumstances. Like I have said, the cards were always stacked against me though. Except for me, just over four weeks ago, I was able to recognize and understand that the one thing that I thought was providing me comfort was actually the source of my pain.
So at times I find myself being angry at my mother and blaming her for not being stronger and doing more for herself when I begged her to get help, almost twenty years ago. She could have set an example for me back then and laid the groundwork for me, so I didn't end up like this. Then I take a step back and remind myself, that she too has always been just like me. In my exact shoes, afflicted by the same pain and addiction that I am now facing. I can't blame her. It isn't her fault. So I need to reserve the judgement and recognize that perhaps she has tried to fight this and has lost this battle before. Perhaps she tried to look herself in the mirror? Maybe she searched for the strength to face her subconscious and recognize the damage that alcohol was doing to her life but succumbed to the voice in her head time and time again. She couldn't fight the addiction, and here she is still today. Still drinking. So I tell myself to give her grace, find a place for her outside that box that you have placed her in and be strong for the both of us instead. I cannot blame her. I blame the alcohol for all of this.
So in the end, this all just breaks my heart. I want my mother to understand what I am going through, but I fear she won't. So as I cycle through all of these emotions, I end on sadness. I am scared for her to eventually read any of this, because I never want to hurt her. But I know it is all necessary for my growth to process these feelings and move through it all. I hope that, in the end, she can understand all of this someday and we can both grow from this. I hope.