Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Mother of a Sober Member of Alcoholics Anonymous

I have had many roles in my life.  This may be one of the most challenging.  

It seems I have finally allowed my hopes to get the better of me.  My daughter has been going to meetings.  She has a home group.  She has a sponsor.  She is doing the deal.  She missed her noon meeting on Monday because she went to the funeral of her boyfriend's grandmother.  She said she got a bunch of text messages asking her where she was.  That made me want to cry with joy.  I told her "that is a good group."  

But from years of sitting around meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, I know that frequently a new  person will miss one meeting for a perfectly good reason, and then miss the next day for a less good reason, and then miss the next meeting for no good reason, and then just miss the rest of the meetings because, well, just because.  And then they are drunk.  

So today, I texted her "doingah?"  This is our own special language.  It means "what and how are you doing?"  I didn't hear back.  I sent another, I didn't hear back.  I freaked out.  I utterly freaked out.  I wanted to cry.  The world was ending, my baby was drinking or using again... etc.  I called her former b.f., who is also sober, and asked him if he knew where she was.  He said she had gone to a noon meeting, and was meeting with her sponsor and doing some step work and probably had her phone turned off.  And was going to a meeting tonight.  

She called and told me all that stuff a few minutes later.  I told her that I have my hopes up for the first time in years.  She told me not to worry.  

I had gotten good at having no hope for her.  I had gotten good at loving her and accepting that she was one very sick individual.  I had gotten good at letting go of the bad things.  Now I have to learn to let go of the good things.  I have to get OK with the fact that she may stay sober and she may not.  I really believe her odds are good at this point, but I also know that can change on a daily basis, just like it can for me.  It really is a daily reprieve.  

No one needs to tell me that I need to go to Alanon.  This is becoming abundantly clear to me.  I went when she was young and I was struggling to come to grips with the fact that my daughter was a 15 year old meth addict.  I have often said that Alanon saved my life.  I will be forever grateful for that.  But now I need to go back.  

Each morning now, I thank God for her homegroup.  I have never thanked God for MY homegroup (well, maybe I have, but not on a daily basis).  Words cannot begin to convey how grateful I am that she is in a good group.  The fact that I know a lot of them because I got sober with them really helps me to know that she is in good hands.  Not my hands.  

I seldom write at night because I have little energy at night.  I have also found that the quality of my writing is very different at night.  It is a bit more dark.  My view is a tad less cheery after the sun goes down.  I am a morning person.  I just wanted to write this while it is on my mind.

I am off to a 6:30 meeting tomorrow morning to meet a sponsee.  Just think, maybe there is a mother somewhere whose life is better because HER daughter is going to meetings and has a sponsor.  I will honor that relationship knowing how very sacred it is.  

There are precious lives and loved ones who need our loving help.  God help us all to do our best with that.  


steveroni said...

Mary, bless you for sharing your most private thoughts with us. "Four bells, and all is well!"

Hope said...

You are a gift.

Syd said...

I hear those fears a lot in my meetings. It is gut wrenching. I always tell myself ODAT. Thanks for sharing this MC. I didn't find this post dark, just honest.

Pam said...

Over the weekend I told "oldest daughter" that "youngest daughter" picked up her 18 month chip.
She got soooo upset. "why does she keep doing this to us? getting our hopes up?"
I knew what she meant exactly. It's so very hard to ride that roller coaster.

Scott W said...

I have this sneaking feeling that many people across the globe are grateful their alcoholic is regularly attending meetings. But not all know the value of letting go.

Trailboss said...

Mary, you are an amazing woman. I am privilaged to know you.

Laura H. said...

i watched my first sponsor (i call her noni) cry tears of joy on several occasions knowing that her daughter was in meetings, had a solid home group, and was working with a sponsor. i got sober with her daughter and it's been a huge blessing to watch not only noni watch her daughter, but to watch her daughter grow up... right next to me.

Lou said...

AlAnon gave me priceless hope (for free). There were newcomers, but there were plenty of people whose qualifier was long sober. For the first time I began to believe that the chaos might not be forever. On some blogs there is anger and anguish from parents who think it is endless. You have to surround yourself with recovery, not just misery, to believe it possible.

Banana Girl said...

Thank you for sharing this most personal and most inspiring message. You are a part of my mornings and my nights. I undertand the dark. I too am a morning person and today this was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you thank you thank you J.

Kathy Lynne said...

this is a beautiful post..I pray I will never have to write it