Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When our loved one gets sober...

The latest photo my sober daughter posted on facebook
We seldom get what we thought we would.  We spend years dreaming of the magical moment when our beloved will stop behaving like a hurtful jackass and be the person we dream they truly are... underneath all of that.

I am not much of an al-anon member.  I went during my awful marriage and I have always said that I believe al-anon saved my life.  I went again when my daughter was a teenage meth addict runaway.  I believe al-anon saved my life again.  I bought the literature and read it.  And I still have it and read it from time to time.

But I am an alcoholic.  I think it is a dangerous thing for an alcoholic to decide that the alcoholism is in the past tense and whatever current problem is the problem now.  If I had plenty of time, I would go to both programs, but I don't.  So I go to AA and live by spiritual principles and I believe that helps me to live well in spite of whatever may be going on.

We have both lived through the agony of her periods of sobriety followed by relapse.  She had two years of sobriety between her 16th and 18th years.  She went to many rehabs where she seemed to have gotten something, but went right back to her old ways the moment the structure was gone.  One day she had enough and by herself scraped together the bus fare to get to an AA meeting.  She has been sober since then.

I thought if my daughter got sober she would be someone different.  I think if I carefully examine who I thought she would be, it was a mini-me that I envisioned.  She is not a mini-me.  And really that is a good thing.  She has gone off in directions I could never have anticipated.  Like her sudden penchant for Harley Davidsons and the men who ride them.  Her continuing to get tattoos, she is nearly covered with them now.  Her piercing her face and having a little tear drop looking thing on her cheek.   Her marriage to a man she only knew for 6 weeks.  The insane x-rated things she posts on facebook.  Et cetera.

I have been a bad mom a hundred times and asked her "Are you sober?"  "Really?"  I never saw a sober person act like you.  You need to.......   bla bla bla.  And bless her heart, she has listened to me.  Sometimes she has even taken my unsolicited advice.  She does respect my sobriety and I am grateful for that because she has seen the most unflattering views of me over the years.

And then, she started college and has a 4.0 GPA.  She is a real sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.  She is the member of a couple of other fellowships that she qualifies for as well.  She practices the principles in all of her affairs, trusts God and cleans house.   She is now sober 34 months.

But it just doesn't look like I thought it would.

God is always teaching me something new.  I certainly have learned a lot from this.  And I think my lessons are not over.  I pray he will give me the grace to appreciate the blessings in our lives, no matter what they look like.


Debbi said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt, enlightening post, so full of acceptance and tolerance. Those two qualities are the foundation of AA, in my opinion, and you are such a wonderful example, for those who know you, for those who read your blog and, especially, for your daughter. Thank you.

Annette said...

Oh my gosh MC, I loved this post. I could so relate to it, and am so grateful you shared this today.

Lou said...

I like the surprises, the heartaches, all the ups and downs of life. I'm glad for individuality. I
believe there is a purpose to our journey here, and the more differences I'm exposed to..the more I learn.

awesome post. You have been inspired lately..I mean, more so than usual..!

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

Al-Anon made me slow down and see that what other people are doing isn't necessarily my business.

I was always quick to think I knew what was best for everyone. Now I know everyone has to find their own way sometimes even without my help. This leaves me with a lot of free time.

dAAve said...

It seems the lessons will never stop. At least, not while I'm sober and alive.

shadow0301 said...

I don't know how to write the words of how I feel. So I'll just say Thank You and keep coming back to read what you have to say. I love this post,blog site.

Melissa said...

"But it just doesn't look like I thought it would."

Our children never do.

She is sober. She is successful. Congratulations to you for your mothering job. A tough road, yes, but "YAH"

Syd said...

I think of what you wrote about loved ones who get sober as "taking what I like and leaving the rest". I am different from my wife. But I don't want her to be like me. I love her the way that she is.

I like the honesty of what you wrote. She is her own person. And that's okay.

Now I want to know what that dark hairy thing is on her leg.

Mary LA said...

I have a friend sober a year or two who has just had elongated brass bars inserted into her nipples. Her breasts are tattooed in a floral blue and yellow so they look like twin chrysanthemums flopping from curtain rods.

She posts these pics all over the Internet so I keep finding her breasts on unlikely sites.

But she is sober at 55 years of age and living life her way. I love her to bits. It is never too late to have a happy adolescence.

KarenArtist said...

This was a good post! I do both fellowships and Al-anon taught me to take care of myself without worrying about others. It's still a struggle for me and I'm single for the time being following a rebound relationship after my divorce from my alcoholic husband. I feel liberated to just be working on myself for the time being and having the time to do both fellowships between part time work and school. Thanks again for sharing.

Pammie said...

Oh girl....I hear you loud and clear.

Mary Christine said...

That dark hairy thing on her leg is apparently a leg warmer. Don't ask me... I don't know.


atomic momma said...

This was a fantastic post! I am a homeschooling mom to a 7 year old son so I really loved it. Thanks for your brutal honesty.

Christy in Texas said...

Loved it!