A few days ago I had asked my mom if she would be a contributor to my blog. I left the invitation pretty open and instructions fairly vague. I just wanted her to write about what it was like to have someone close to her that struggled with alcohol. When I first read this, all of the old shame flooded back up into my throat. Some of the details she writes about were new to me and hurt me a little bit. While I struggled to decide if I wanted to share this publicly or not, my partner helped me realize that even though it is painful, it is all true. He reminded me one important truth of my journey, to own your story.
Today I share with you a very intimate recount of my mom’s perspective. This is unedited. It’s raw, honest, and she doesn’t hold anything back.
I’ve struggled the past few years, not knowing how to help my daughter Molly. I’ve witnessed drugs, alcohol, and erratic behavior that consumed my daughter’s life, and everyone else. I tried to support her, and get her help, as I watched her drinking spiral out of control. When I talked to Molly, I could hear the unhappiness and depression in her voice, and at the same time everyone around her was sinking into her spiral. I was at a loss of what to do; I’ve always heard that the alcoholic has to make the decision to get clean.
Molly could be very hurtful with her words to everyone around, when she was drinking. I wondered what we did to deserve the abuse. Molly’s boys witnessed many trying and disturbing moments with her. One minute she would be hysterically crying, the next she would be screaming….or just trying to sleep it off. Her mood swings were like a roller coaster. I explained to the boys they were doing nothing wrong, their mom had a disease and she needed help. I told them we all needed to support and be there for her, which is a lot for 2 young boys. I probably should have done more for her, to help. I came close to turning her in, but was so afraid of what would happen to the boys, they truly love their mom.
One of the brightest days in my life was when Molly called me and said “Mom, I need help, I want to quit drinking.” I caught the first flight out I could get on, to stay with her and the boys. Immediately she began her long hard journey with AA. We struggled through withdrawals…. shakes, headaches, depression, there was a lot to be done. Quite frankly- Total mayhem. Molly had totally let herself; her family and the house go. I went through Molly’s house, disposing of all alcohol, including cooking wine.
While the boys were in school, we began cleaning the house in between her meetings. We became very creative in busy time….yardwork, cooking, etc. Actually this was a good thing; it kept her and her mind busy. Whenever we needed a break, or she was having a really bad time, we would get in the car and go to Sonic for a cherry lime-aide. This became her beverage of choice for quite some time….whatever works!! When the boys were home, we took the time to do things with them, quality time. We were frank with the boys throughout the entire process; they were so supportive of Molly.
This was a life changing event and learning process for all of us, but I’m so happy she decided to take the journey. The trip wasn’t easy, but Molly was very strong and had the support of family and great friends. I’m more than proud of her, and love her to the ends of the earth.
If you are lucky enough to have this smart and dedicated woman to be your life coach- “You are on your way…..you can do it!”