May 13: Mothers and Sobriety

Mothers and Sobriety

This is Mothers’ Day, and I have been trying to come up with a topic that fits. The truth is that I am not a mother. Never have been and never will be. The fact that I don’t have children has been a sensitive spot in my heart – to the point that I sometimes become annoyed with the self-congratulations I see mothers give each other. That is my truth.

I do have a mother, but she is not on my list of favorite people. In fact, she was the first on my list of resentments. My part of the resentment – I wanted a loving mother. I got a hyper-critical cold fish that I couldn’t or wouldn’t accept. In fact, I think she did much to instill my low self-esteem and the resultant lifetime of self-medication.

But it was not her fault. She did the best she could with what she was given – a very self-centered, self-seeking mother and an absent father. She also has a congenital birth defect that is becoming an increasingly difficult problem as she ages.

So how does this fit with alcoholism and sobriety? In just about every way. My mother is both the cause and part of the cure. Repaying her for her lack of emotional depth, I spent my adult life as far away from her as I could get. When we were together a few times a year, it always ended in tears (mine) and anger (hers). We just didn’t click.

But I moved to Texas this year because of my mother. After years of asking my HP about his will for me and how I could serve him, it became clear. I was to be here to help care for my mother in her “golden” years (believe me, they are not golden for her). She has a lot of pain, and her mind is failing. After 62 years with my dad, she is a widow. There is no one there to cater to her every whim. Dad spoiled her rotten. And I do mean rotten.

But that isn’t what matters. What matters is what I do. Tomorrow I will take her a special dinner and spend Mothers’ Day with her. I will bite my tongue when she gets nasty (which she will) and smile when I don’t want to. No matter how I feel about her, she will feel loved. That is my HP’s will for me. That is my amends. Right now, it is the biggest part of my sobriety – learning to do for others without wanting for myself. HP has a sense of humor, no?

So, it is Mothers’ Day. My question to you is: how does being a mother play into your sobriety? Or . what role does your mother play in your sobriety? But please share on anything you need to.