Being a sober parent has really made me see what a true gift sobriety is! But I sure didn’t think so at first! Parenting can be so stressful. What do you do when you get so frustrated that you want to rip your hair out? Have a drink!? Then the nerves come down and you feel like you could get through anything; go ahead scream you head off for hours and throw a tantrum and wake up 10 times a night! I can do this! Just let me have another drink! Ugh.
Back then nothing was about the kids, it was all about the drink. There was no conversations, there was no hugging, there was not together. I ran around trying to get everything done so I could drink and drink more. Oh and those mornings… were just the worst. With the fuzzy hangover and probably still a bit buzzed, the focus was on just trying not to get busted. I scrubbed my body and lathered on the lotion to cover up the smell of alcohol. Then dropped my daughter off at the daycare door and ran!
When I look back, I know that I was unfit as a mother, although I sure thought that I was OK – I was managing. And all this was during the 2.5 years after my extended outpatient rehab stay, and before the time that I finally got sober. I guess I wasn’t quite done yet – I thought if I can just figure out how to drink without getting in trouble – that would be the best. I had rules. I didn’t drink more than a bottle a night, and I drank every other day, except on the weekends. But rules are hard to follow when you’re drinking. And nonetheless, even though I was kinda managing, it was a sloppy game of getting drunk, and trying not to get too drunk to function. Ugh, I sure do not miss those days one bit!
Then last night I went to my daughter’s first violin recital. As I sat next to her dad (my ex), and looked into the crowd of kids to locate mine, tears started flowing and they wouldn’t stop. No, the music wasn’t that great! Lol! Not at all! But I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude. Because for me to be at this recital, to be sober and not hungover, to see my little girl with a huge smile on her face, to be wearing a nice outfit, to see other parents who I have gotten to know, waiving hello to me, to sit next to my ex, who I now get along with, well, all that, it’s just beyond words! It’s a long way from laying face down on the kitchen floor, that’s for sure. (To read about my last drunk, see About Me page.)
These aren’t extravagant things, to a normal person they seem kinda, well, normal. But for me, to remember where I was and the life I used to lead, and to now, and to be present in the life I have today, well, this is an absolute miracle.
What is your #sober parenting miracle?
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