The year he was in Iraq - which is blessedly now over a year ago - was one of the most challenging ones I have faced. I had to fight to let go. Let go of the nights where I would wake up panic stricken, just sure something had happened. Let go of the nightmares. Let go of feeling sorry for myself. Let go of projecting into some horrible fate for him and for our family. So I would pray. And I would turn my thoughts to others. And when you are busy thinking of others, you don't have time to go nuts. I am so grateful that I was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for that experience.
We were recently talking about someone he knows. His mother was a porn star. We were thinking about what that must have been like for a young man. My son said to me that guys say stuff about your mother... but it never bothered him because he knew it wasn't true. But for the other guy, he doesn't know how that would feel.
I can assure you that if I were still drinking, he could never have said anything that nice about me. He probably doesn't even know that was a nice thing to say to me, because to him, he just knows that his mom is a person who doesn't drink or do nutty stuff. But I know the person who could be unleashed with a sip of alcohol... and believe me, my son would not be sure of anything about his mom if she had booze in her.
I have been sober for every birthday, and every other day since a little bit before his eighth birthday. And for that I am truly grateful.
Happy Birthday to my wonderful son.