Did you know…
Growing up with an alcoholic mother was not the highlight of my childhood. I was actually quite embarrassed by the whole situation so I never revealed it to even my closest friends. I was afraid of being looked down upon.
It wasn't my fault but I have a big complex about being judged (even to this day). When you are cursed at, told how worthless you are, and occasionally hit by random objects thrown at you from someone who is supposed to love you it doesn't give you the best self-esteem in the world. I know you loved me but your alcoholism just pushed me away.
Did you know my favorite time with you was in the mornings before school?
This was the time that you shined in my eyes because I knew by the time I got out of school you would be that alcoholic mother I hated (although occasionally you were still drunk from the night before).
You were so funny and smart. I wish I had your charisma and humor. I always loved that about you. You could talk to anyone (being an alcoholic mother may have helped with that though).
Your personality was contagious. It's too bad that you squashed my self-worth in the process of fueling your addiction. To this day I have self-esteem and trust issues.
I know you had a disease. You tried so many times to stop but over the years I learned to not believe anything until I actually see it. After a while, I hated when you would try to stop trying to be an alcoholic mother.
You would try different substance abuse treatment centers and be okay for a bit. Soon enough though you would be making up for the lost time and be 10 times worse than before.
Did you know those were not very fun times for me?
Most of the time I would talk back to you because you were a drunk alcoholic mother and in my eyes, I didn't have to listen to you. Why should I listen to someone that can barely even walk straight?
You weren't very nice to me when you were drunk and maybe I took advantage but I didn't feel you deserved to be treated nicely if you couldn't be nice yourself. Tit for tat.
Most of the time we fought about you being an alcoholic mother. I hated it when you were drunk and you were drunk ALL of the time.
Did you know sometimes I took sleeping pills just so I didn't have to listen to you?
Sleeping was one of my favorite hobbies. It was so much more peaceful than reality.
Sometimes I would hide your alcohol or water it down just to try to slow you down a bit. I give you credit though. You were very determined.
I remember if you didn't have alcohol money you would hunt for change or pawn things. If the car needed gas and you had 10 bucks you would spend 2 dollars on gas and the rest would go toward some kind of alcohol.
Did you know I was always scared to drive with you?
You must have been a pro drunk driver though because that's how you drove (drunk).
Did you know sometimes you being an alcoholic mother had its perks?
I could get away with a lot more because I knew you wouldn't remember anything the next day. You were more lenient with things then other mothers would be.
I could just ask to stay home from school and you would let me. You knew I was a good student and graduated with over a 3.0 but since I dealt with so much home stress sometimes I didn't want to go to school.
It may sound odd. You wanted to stay home with your alcoholic mother? No. I just wanted to be with you before you morphed into my enemy.
Did you know I moved out of the house when I was 18 just to get away from you?
I didn't even tell you I was leaving.
You know I still visited and called you but lord knows I never wanted to live with you again. I had about all I could take in those 18 years.
Did you know you being an alcoholic mother did catch up with you eventually?
When I was pregnant with my first son (I was almost 23) you started to show signs of liver cirrhosis. You got pretty sick. Your liver was barely functioning and the toxins would go to your brain.
At times you didn't even know who I was or anything about me really. It was sort of an alternate universe.
Did you know you had a time you were retaining so much water you looked more pregnant than I was?
Eventually, all the medications you were taking (a pharmacies worth) got you out of the fog and you were able to think more clearly again.
In fact, you were thinking SO clearly that you had one thing on your mind, your friend mister alcohol. You'd been chums for years. I knew you could never forget him.
Whether it was the alcohol or the billion medications you were taking nine years ago you accidentally overdosed. You didn't even last 3 years after being diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.
We think some time during an alcohol bender you forgot to take your medications which caused your brain toxins to return making you lose your memory. You forgot you'd already taken your medications at some point and kept taking them.
Did you know you passed away at 50 years old – 3 months before I became pregnant with your second grandson?
You could have lived so much longer if that burden (being an alcoholic mother) hadn't been placed upon you. You could have babysat your grandchildren and we could have been closer.
I wish this disease never took hold of you and you hadn't been an alcoholic mother.
Did you know you were so amazing when that demon wasn't inside of you?
As a child, I swore I would never be like you (in terms of drinking). I know alcoholism can be hereditary but if it is in me that's something else you squashed (thankfully).
Your actions cause me to do the exact opposite of yours. I could have easily been lead down the same road as you. When I was a teenager you would offer me drinks and such (What were you thinking!?) but I refused. I had seen its damage and wanted to stay clear. These days I know to watch my drinking and my husband hates alcohol (maybe one of the subconscious reasons I chose him).
Did you know despite everything I do miss you?
I miss your spunk. Your good side. Your amazing smile.
You used to say you'd haunt me when you passed, playing tricks on me. I could so see you doing that. Maybe you are and maybe you aren't but wherever you are I hope you have been released from the evil hold of alcohol and are just free.
–Love you, mom
P.S. The quote at the beginning of this letter reminds me of you. You are one of several reasons I chose that quote for the poster. The great quote poster was made by a wonderful woman named Susan of the blog Finding Our Way Now. She has a wonderful way of looking at life. I think you would have liked her.
Have you ever know someone who has dealt with an alcohol problem?