This picture is not new, but the memories are as fresh as the snow itself. My son and I had an incredibly special and fun day as we slid down the snowy hills on a big plastic disk. We laughed and laughed till our bellies hurt. One more time I am reminded that laughter is the best medicine.
In my son’s young life, we talked of many things. I knew the importance of fully explaining things to him. To teach. When Tyler was young I taught him about riding a bike, planting seeds in soil, swimming in the ocean and reading the waves and how to spot rip currents. I also taught him about our family disease of alcoholism and how there was a strong chance that the gene could be passed on to him and the choice to try to drink or not was his own to make. I wanted him to be educated. I wanted him to know about the allergy of the body and obsession of the mind. The thing is – one never knows if they are allergic mentally and bodily to alcohol until after they have been drinking for a time. And the amount of time and the amount of alcohol is different for every one.
Half of the 18 million alcoholics in the U.S. are considered high functioning. Not all alcoholics fit a stereo type. They can spend years and years maintaining and controlling their drinking – until the day something catastrophic happens – such as a drunk driving car crash. (I do not call this an “accident”.)
With that being said. I’ve been conducting a bit of an experiment with my style, content and type of blog writing for the past couple months. Yes – I am an alcoholic with 23 years since my last drink. As I’ve said, I quit drinking when my son was only two years old. Being a good mother and being available for my son was more important than anything to me. I knew the best mother I could be was to be a sober mother. However, as I was writing for a few months on my blog, I started to feel that I did not want “being an alcoholic” to define who I was. Everyone struggles with something. No one goes unscathed. So as I began to write my posts and not talk so much of the family disease of alcoholism something interesting happened. The hits and traffic and comments on my blog became less and less. Which means to me that the people looking for tags and posts on “parenting, family and alcoholism” are greater than people looking and searching the internet for posts and blogs on “parenting and family” only. There are many people who are seeking information and similar experiences to their own. I am so far detached from the woman I was 23 years ago that she no longer defines who I am today. However, I am the woman I am today because I stopped putting poison in my body years ago. The fact that I did stay sober while I raised my son is something I do not take lightly. God did it – but I asked for God’s help every single day all day until I fell into bed and then started the whole thing over again the next day. I never woke up in the morning and wished I had a drink the night before. I persevered.
While I do believe in anonymity and I do not just blurt out to people who I meet and say, “Hey, guess what, I’m an alkie!” But if someone, for example, notices me at a party and having a great time and I’m happy and they notice that I have not had a drink all night and they ask me about it, then I will discuss it.
So, back to my little experiment. It turns out, that more people are searching blogs and the internet about topics of family in recovery than I originally thought.
My son and I have had many experiences and run-ins with the “not drinking” choice. And I am looking forward to writing and sharing more openly about how we did it. I might be one of the lucky ones – but I’ve worked hard daily at not losing my luck.
Please feel free to ask any questions or write me any comments.
I am not going to drink today, no matter how good my life gets!