I had a dream last night.
I was watching my son play and laugh. He was happy and I was crying in my dream. Someone in my dream was showing me what I had missed because of my drinking.
I was crying because I felt I had missed all of his childhood because of my drinking. I felt horrible, I felt sad and I felt I was unavailable.
Even though I was present and available for them throughout their childhood, I guess subconsciously I know they lacked the security as children. I know they heard the fights, they seen my depression first hand and went through the divorce of their father with me. They’ve seen abuse first hand, whether witnessing or being on the end of it from their father.
As much as I have tried to shield them from the damage caused from drinking, divorce, and abuse, there are moments that we, as parents, even the “perfect” parent, can not shield our children from.
There are moments of regrets I have as a mother that I do think of often.
I wish my children never saw me at my worst, I wish they never saw me as anything but a strong secure mom.
When we think of the times when our children witnessed our drinking episodes and what it has done to them emotionally we also must remember they saw us recover as well.
When I decided to give up the drinking I didn’t do it just for myself. I did it because I was killing my children emotionally. Killing any good they saw in the world. I was killing myself. Where would they be if I did die or continued in this drunk escape. We as parents are all they have, we are their world.
I wanted to get sober and be better but in my state of mind at that time I was so low and carrying so much emotional baggage that I did not care what happened to me, but I did care what happened to my children.
We can’t go back and repair what has already happened but we can make it better and heal. Heal each other.
When we are seen in recovery from either alcohol or drugs and we slowly start to love ourselves, feel good about our progress, and stay committed to our sobriety, our family and friends see that as well. They start to see the strength, the determination and the real person behind the fog.
The anger slowly starts to leave. The doors open for a new you to come through.
When I awoke from this dream I reminded myself that yes, there have been many moments of regret but there are also moments of clarity and forgiveness, for myself and from the ones I love.
They now understand the disease and reasons behind the bottle. The why?
They’ve gone through the recovery along side of you. With you.
Do you think we recover alone? Our family, friends, or whoever is begging you to sober up or get clean, they are full of anxiety, mixed emotions of hate, anger, love, panic. Constantly waiting for us to relapse. If and when we do. They go through just as much as we do. They are also in recovery.
Drinking is easy!
Recovery is anything but, it takes work, hard work, it takes strength and most of all commitment.
So if your tormenting yourself about past regrets, remember how much you fought to get where you are. How strong you have become.
When you think of your children, the damage, the regrets, think of the strength you’ve put back into their lives by watching you get well and recover and being here, sober/clean, physically, mentally and emotionally with them, that right there is showing them more than we will ever know.
Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow is not here.
Today, is all we have.
This Is Being Me Sober