When my son was born, and I saw his face, I knew he was the one I was supposed to meet. You know what I mean? His eyes were open. They were stone-colored, and he looked hard at me. I was absolutely flattened by love. I swore to myself I’d do my best. My best turned out to be 6 more months of addiction.
I never fully understood my problem with alcohol until I became a parent. As an addict, I only liked to believe that my behaviors only damaged me and nobody else. What I did was nobody else’s business. But that was a delusion crafted by the disease of addiction. In reality, my behaviors affected friends, relatives, co-workers and everyone I came into contact with. With addiction, no one suffers more than those we most want to protect, our children.
I know that many people are able to drink and parent and have no problems. I am not one of those people. Having two children, I cannot imagine tying one off while my kids are in bed and then trying to parent hung-over in the morning. Or what if one of my kids got sick in the middle of the night and I was too drunk to do anything about it? It is these types of things that help me put into perspective why I cannot drink. Some of you may read this and think that I sound like an asshole or that these statements sound ignorant to you because you can drink and parent just fine. High five! I am not you.
While getting sober has been a major milestone for me, it doesn’t mean that as a parent I have a clue on how to prevent my children from facing the same obstacles that I did. Sometimes I feel like I really have no clue what I am doing when it comes to parenting. I think that I still hinder myself by the fact that I was an active alcoholic for a good portion of my adult life and I feel like the life lessons that I was supposed to learn, I just didn’t. But I have to quickly remember that all of these “problems” are also my gifts of sobriety and that I would never have all this to complain about if I was not sober today.
When my daughter was born, and I saw her face, I knew that this time around my best was going to be better, right from the start.