As a former drinker, I have done things I am not proud of. And every once in a while, one of those memories comes into my brain unannounced, and out of nowhere. It is a punch to the gut, facing the crimes of my past. I think it the sane part of my brain reminding me to not go back there.
The most recent punch to the gut was the way I interacted and treated my kids, mostly my oldest. I was a drinker for her entire 13 years. I always provided for her, but then I would immediately leave her to go into my black out. I tucked her in every night, I just didn’t always remember it.
When she got older, and realized what was going on, she got mad. Looking back, that is completely reasonable. But at the time, her anger stirred up anger of my own. I deserved to drink. I put a roof over her head. I was the one person that was always there for her. I worked hard, at times holding two jobs. Always gave her what she needed. there was nothing wrong with me drinking and how dare she say a word about it. As if my child owed me something for being a parent, and a half-assed one at that.
I didn’t think how scary it must’ve been to see my completely change in front of her eyes, when she was far too young to understand. And I didn’t stop to think how frustrating it probably was to listen to me repeat myself over and over again. Or to have conversations with me to find out I don’t remember a thing. I never thought about how my drinking affected anyone.
One of my worst memories of my drinking days is my daughter sobbing. She didn’t want to say it was because I was drunk, but I knew it was. I had broke too many promises and been drunk too often. I tried to hug her. She wouldn’t let me. How could I comfort her when I was the source of her pain? In front of me, was a girl that I love more than anything. I would die and kill for her. The day she was born was the day that my world became better. And my demon was trying to ruin me for her. And it was winning. It was ripping me away from her.
So I chose to fight. For myself and for her. And for everything else that I love. I had to give up one thing. Simple. But not easy. But if I did not give up that one thing, I would eventually lose every single other thing I cared about.
So I stay sober. And humble. And I keep fighting everyday. And I am grateful for her, my life and my sobriety everyday.