As I write this letter, you are young girls. Your beautiful faces are like angels, and I love you more than anything. When I look at you sometimes though I worry you will be like me — an alcoholic.
As I grew up, I felt “less than,” insecure and as if I didn’t get the the manual to life. I traded my insecurities for entitlement, and with everything I did, I lived with an ”all or nothing” mentality. When I see that look on your face when you don’t know how to act with your friends, I worry. I was like that.
When you are acting entitled, when you lie or want more, more, more of something, I worry. I did that.
I know it might be that you are just being a child, but I still worry. I remember walking into a room and feeling like I was either the worst or best person there. I’ve heard it called an “egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” That was me; and sometimes I see that in you. And that scares me.
By the grace of God, I got sober as a young women. But when I was in my active addiction, I did many things I am not proud of and let so many people down. I turned into a person I never thought I’d be. Quite frankly I am lucky to be alive.
You see dear daughters, I am one of the lucky ones. I have been able to live two lives in my lifetime. One I am not proud of but have done a lot of work to to forgive myself for, and the other I get to live today. It is almost impossible to adequately describe the gratitude I have for my life today. I have a family that loves me and valuable friendships. Most importantly, I know who I am. I know what I want — my goals, dreams, values and boundaries. I have this life ONLY because I am sober and my God’s grace.
Unfortunately though, not everyone gets sober. There are millions of people living with alcoholism every day who are still suffering from this disease. Alcoholism is a cunning, baffling and powerful sickness that most people don’t understand. Many think it is a moral failure; it’s not. It is a disease. I want to protect you from this judgment, but I know I can’t.
If you have this disease, there is nothing I can do to change it. You will have to find your own way into recovery just like I did.This may be hard to read, but I have to say it — I hope you get everything you deserve sooner rather than later.
Every single time someone enabled me, it pushed me farther away from the rock bottom that I needed to get sober.
I have faced the despair and pitiful, incomprehensible, demoralization that an alcoholic of the hopeless variety must experience in order to truly understand how dark it is before the dawn.
As a mother, I would throw myself in front of a fast moving train if that meant to spare your life. But if I see that train heading toward you, I know there is nothing I can do. For, you must concede to your innermost selves that you are in fact powerless to your addiction, and your life is unmanageable. Even though that revelation is clear to everyone else, it will be one of the hardest for you to come to for yourself.
As I write this, I have not had a drink or done drugs in 12 years, and I pray as you read this you have never had to see me drink.
For now, I will try to stop worrying about what might happen and instead focus on the things I can control — being the best mom I can be by continuing to strengthen my recovery and my relationship with God. I only want you to thrive, love, laugh and to know peace. And I pray I have showed you what love, kindness, service and gratitude look like so that maybe one day, IF you are like me, sobriety will be an attraction to you.
As you read this, you may already know that I am a recovering alcoholic. I wanted to wait to tell you until the time felt right. It is important to tell you why I am who I am today — God and my recovery program. I know that knowledge of alcoholism will not deter you from going down this path but hopefully this knowledge will show you where to go if ever you were to need it.
I promise not to let my fear overshadow the joy of watching you grow and become beautiful young women. And God forbid, if you are “like me,” I promise to be there to love and support you, but I will also allow you find your rock bottom.
As you both read this letter, I only want you to know that there is nothing in this world you could do that would make me stop loving you, alcoholic or not. If something in your life didn’t go as you or I had ‘planned, just know that you are my sweet daughters, and I will love you always.