Thank you. I wanted to say one more thing, but I don’t want to sound presumptuous. So I’m going to go ahead and say it regardless, I guess, and just hope you don’t find it presumptuous.
This is in reference to your little boy self walking in on mom drinking rubbing alcohol. It reminded me of a thing that happened back when I was drinking, and I had a very precocious little boy of my own.
He was three, and I was (once again) heaving my guts out into the toilet. He walked into the bathroom and was patting my back, because he was a lovey little guy. On the counter was a blister pack of nicotine lozenges, because I was trying to quit smoking (which just makes me howl with laughter today). He reached up and got the pack and handed them to me and said, “Here, mommy, medicine make you better.”
I remember that through the haze and the sickness, I was just gutted by his innocent empathy and love.
Through events not necessarily in line with my wishes, the very next morning I was in an inpatient rehabilitation facility and presented with divorce papers and a restraining order barring me from contact with my husband. For the next four months, I didn’t see or speak with either of my children. This was not because of rehab; they could have come to visit at any time. Their father kept them from me. It was terrible for me, but I also knew that it was not good for them. However, exactly 120 days later, he was forced to bring them to me, and the reunion makes me cry even now. My son ran at me full force and jumped into my arms and sobbed.
Four years later, he told me that for years he believed that he had given me medicine, and it had made me sick and that it was his fault I went away. No one would let him see me, they just kept telling him I was sick. He didn’t believe them. He thought I had died.
I can’t even imagine what that did to my child. I can never make that right. But I do know this: my kids mean everything to me. EVERYTHING. I would walk through fire for them.
But that didn’t get me sober.
I’ve heard so many people say that if a mom loves her kids enough, she’ll put down the bottle. This implies that alcoholic moms don’t love their kids, and it’s bullshit. My reply to that (like everything in recovery, I got it from someone who came before me) is this:
If love were enough, there would be no alcoholic moms at all.
I just want you to know you are loved, even if this monster has managed to strip the evidence away most days. There is nothing more precious to a mother than her children. Even if she’s lost in her addiction. ❤