My three grown children came out here to celebrate Mother’s Day with me. My daughter brought her baby girl, Phoenix. Yesterday marked my first grandchild’s very first Mommy’s Day. She was born March 3rd and is, of course, the cutest baby I’ve ever seen or, I could say, she is as cute as each of my children were. But enough fluff!
My children came bearing sandwiches and a beautiful hanging basket of flowers as well as a potted begonia. And my daughter gave me a gift from Phoenix, a mug that says “World’s Best Grandma”. I am truly blessed, but I wasn’t always.
When I think back on my behavior when my children were growing up I cringe. I wasn’t always there for them. I was a drunk – actually, I still am a drunk but the proper way to say it is: I’m a recovering drunk. I haven’t had a drink for 13 years and three months. And I no longer let my guard down. I did let my guard down once and allowed friends to bring wine to a shower I was hosting but I found myself walking around my own house with clenched fists. Having booze around was not okay. I’m glad I know that and can guard myself from future clenched fists.
I do know that, if I was still drinking, the Mother’s Day celebration could have easily ended up as a disaster or, they might not have bothered to come out here to my home. But, instead of me being sloppy drunk, we had a really wonderful afternoon. We sat around and laughed and chatted. My grandbaby entertained us too. I cringe at the thought of being around the baby drunk. How awful that would be! I was known to fall and I could have fallen with her in my arms or even worse, I could have dropped her! But I doubt if my daughter would have allowed me around her baby if I was drunk.
I recall that when I first sobered up, with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous, I didn’t know how to be happy without booze; I didn’t know how to be angry or sorrowful or anything without booze. And I wasn’t in touch with the fact that I should have been embarrassed by my behavior. It wasn’t until I sobered up that I saw how embarrassing my drunken behavior had been. Getting off booze allowed me to focus on what was the underlying cause of my behavior and that was bipolar disorder. I went to a psychiatric hospital four years after I sobered up. It was the fact that I was still manic and depressive, even though sober, that gave the doctor my diagnosis. In fact, I was told that I wouldn’t have been able to be diagnosed if I was still drinking; I had to sober up first.
Today, being able to invite my three children and my grandbaby into my home, with nothing to hide, is the most precious gift I have ever given to myself and to them. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my children. We have come through the fire of addiction and mental illness and we’ve come out on top. I say ‘we’ because family suffers from both addiction and mental illness. It’s a ‘we’ game. Just think if I’d not sobered up. I doubt if I would have had such a wonderful Mother’s Day and baby Phoenix wouldn’t have had such a wonderful Mommy’s Day with her mother and uncles and grandmother. I’m so very grateful and encourage any and all who are trapped in the prison of addiction to do something about it!