It’s been 456 days or so since my last drink. I spoke about my trip home, and the one thing I didn’t mention was my mothers struggle with alcoholism. Actually, to her, it’s not a struggle at all—she openly admits that she loves drinking.
I love my mom very much—but it’s clear to see that my family is in denial that my mother is an alcoholic. It’s also apparent that we give my mom a pass because she uses alcohol as a method to address her feelings and emotions about the problems my older sister has created. She drinks to numb the pain, to sleep better and to momentarily escape from the sadness.
I worry about my mom. My grandfather was an alcoholic (see a trend here?) and he developed Type 2 diabetes, which of course greatly impacted his health. My grandfather ended up living until the age of 84—but not all alcoholics with diabetes live that long.
I know it’s not my place to judge my mom, or try to convince her to quit. She needs to make that decision herself—or eventually deal with the consequences of heavy drinking.
The drinking routine of my mother mirrors that of mine when I was an alcoholic. She gets up, works hard and around early afternoon the inevitable craving to drink begins to emerge. You can tell yourself the day before or morning of, “I’m not going to drink tomorrow/today,” but you end up stopping by the market to get alcohol anyway.
It’s like a magnetic force pulling you to that drink.
Eventually you accept that you’re a drunk and keep drinking—or you feel weak and commit to seeing how strong you really are.
I didn’t want to be weak anymore. I didn’t want to push my feelings aside. I didn’t want to be a shadow of my former self—and I became unwilling to lose anyone else that I love so dearly. Damn, I still miss Katie with all of my heart. I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose my baby Lila.
If I accepted that I was an active drunk and kept drinking—I was giving up on my daughter, myself and any chance of a healthy future. In April 2014—I asked myself for the last time “who have you become?”