I am a sober mom in recovery. I got sober in 1999, seven years before my son was born. I do not take that fact for granted. I got sober because I had to save my life and it greatly benefited all of my family. I know what addiction does to the person afflicted with it and I also know how it destroys families.
I am extremely grateful that my son does not know how I appear, think or act under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. Yes, he sees me mentally challanged on days, but he has never seen me drunk or high. Even if that is the best I can do as his mother, it is better than what happens to the many children who are neglected, abused, beaten and abandoned.
My heart also goes out to the mothers who struggle with addiction and to still other women who had addicted mothers who didn't know how to nurture them. No child asks to be born in a family of pain, chaos and uncertainty. When mothers in early recovery wonder whether they are doing the right thing by being away from their children for extended periods of time (treatment centers are often away from home), I gladly assure them that they have to help themselves before they can help their children.
I have seen many mothers give up on recovery because they can't handle being away from their children. When they don't take the time they need to build a foundation for themselves, they usually falter, return to drugs and their children suffer over and over again. On Mother's Day, or any day for that matter, there is no greater gift an addict can offer than a commitment to self-love.
If it wasn't for my recovery program, which includes a program of action, a fellowship, service, prayer and gratitude, I couldn't be the mother or daughter I am today. Sobriety has given me the ability to get out of my own way and enjoy all the gifts in my life. Sobriety has enabled me to see the gifts and sobriety has enabled me to be a gift to others.
I know many a wonderful woman who has shared nightmarish stories about the way they failed as mothers due to their addiction. Before recovery, these women lived to drink and cared little if they left their kids alone, neglected, abused or harmed. After recovery, these women had the courage to face the truth, change their actions and demonstate to their children they care to live better. Their families welcome them back and often these same women become pillars of society. Those unfamiliar with their addicted histories would be utterly surprised to learn that the same awful woman in the newspaper who drove her kids drunk is the same woman running their PTA!
It can and does happen! If you are a mother with addiciton, don't give up before the miracle. There is a way out and we are here to help you. Your life depends on it and so do your children.