For those of you that know me - no.... I have NOT fallen off my little green wagon. Ah ha - bet you thought I would say "red wagon". Being Irish, my wagon is green. A beautiful deep Kelly green that mimics the rolling hills of my family's homeland, Ireland. With great fondness, I recall my tours of the Jameson distillery on my last trip home in 2007. The smell of the peat, the woody smell of the barrels holding the amber colored nectar of all things whiskey. It was grand. I can smell it in my memory right now. Alas, it can only be a memory, as sobriety is still front and center on my green wagon.
So, what's the chatter then about booze? I'm leading in to a book I had the privilege of reading about a week ago.
Now, before you get the preconceived idea from the title - click on the link and buy this book. It's fantastic! A must have for anyone, but most especially for people like me, who are alcoholics, and trying to battle our demons every single day.
I thought that drinking myself silly was hurting only me. Maybe a few of you got drunk dialing calls from me in the wee hours, or had to come and pick me up from where ever I was, or hold my hair out of my face, or just help raise another toast, to my oblivious path on the long road of a booze filled life. I never once stopped, and for a moment even considered what it did to my family.
My drinking did not get out of control until I was older. I might have dabbled in the binge drinking from time to time when I was younger. And of course, then came the solemn vow of " I will never do that again..." followed by a solid 24 hours of craving greasy McDonald's french fries, gallons of water and lots of Tylenol. My drinking started to get the better of me during my marriage to my son's father. I could point fingers all day long about who is to blame, but the bottom line is that I was so completely out of touch with reality, hated myself completely, and wanted to escape an abusive relationship. Sadly, I did not have the tools nor the self esteem to escape in a more positive way. I figured that the bottle was the best way to do it.
Along the way, I lost sight of not only myself, but the two most important people in my life. My children. I am sure they have their own memories of Mom and getting blitzed. I let them down, and also myself. I got married again, and once again, failed. Finally, I found a man who could tolerate me, be the ying to my yang, the calm in my chaos. John was the best thing to come along and save me. Actually, he did not save me so much as letting me feel love, safety, self-esteem, and acceptance. And here we are, 20 years later, and I have only been sober for 2.5 years. So, do the math - he's put up with a lot.
Anyways, back to my kids. I have 2 of the most awesome children in the world. Eryn is a smart and beautiful young lady, a new mother herself to Christopher Corry, and has spunk. Bryan is kind, considerate, forgiving, has a huge heart and loves his Mom. How GOD gave these kids to me, I will never know. I feel blessed, and sometimes, quite frankly, I don't even think I deserve them.
The last year has been rough. My daughter stopped speaking to me about 10 months ago. We said words to each other - and the damage was done. I have tried to make amends. In so many ways I want to reach out to her, and tell her that she is so loved, and that I failed terribly as a parent, but deep in my soul, I never stopped loving her. I just couldn't love myself. I have apologized for my problems which may have caused her to have turmoil in her life. I pray that time will ease the heart ache I have caused her, and she will open her heart to forgiveness.
Bryan is forgiving. I apologized to him (as I did my daughter) for being a lousy parent. I have had several long heart to hearts with my son over the past year. I have explained to him what my life was like when I was drinking, what I went through and how sorry I am that my selfish behavior may have crossed over into his life and that of his sister. Bryan tells me how proud he is of me for the 2.5 years of being sober. He tells me how proud he is of me. When he has every reason to run, he stands straight at me, tells me he loves me, he accepts my apology, and that I am a good mother.
CHRISTIAN'S STORY is just that. A story about how a kid sees an alcoholic parent. Kids want to forgive. It's not in their nature to hold grudges. Christian explains to people that his father has a disease, called alcoholism. And really, that's exactly what it is - a disease. If someone has cancer, or MS, or arthritis, society seems far more moved to have compassion. Yet, you mention the disease of addiction, and the compassion tends to go right out the door. The little boy in the story is real. His struggle with his Dad's addiction is true. Christian is lucky - he has family who love him, a father who loves him, a grandmother who is there to help not only her son, but grandson travel down the road of addiction. and then into recovery.
In the end, GOD helps Christian's father gain control over the devil of booze. As many alcoholic will tell you, we are never really cured, we just learn how to better control the urge to drink. After reading Christian's Story, I was better able to look back on my past and see how my disease, my addiction spilled over into the people around me.
You all know who you are - and again, I wish to convey a heart felt and sincere apology for the selfishness I had back then. I love you all.