You might remember my story. Last year, I wrote about my life as an alcoholic mum. About waking up in the spare room, on sheets soaked with my own urine, unable to lift my head or open my eyes. About drinking myself into oblivion on a near daily basis, about letting my family down. About finally deciding, enough was enough, that I needed to get help for the sake of my two beautiful children.
Today, I am three years sober.
I’m still shocked that for over two decades, the life I was leading had become my ‘normal’. Drunk, hungover, sick, slowly dying. How did that become acceptable? Nobody ever said anything to me because nobody really knew. My ex lived with it but said nothing because, he says, he didn’t want me to resent him.
Instead, he was watching me kill myself. Sooner rather than later, our two beautiful children would be without a mother or at the very least, see their mum suffer with an alcohol related illness that would probably, eventually end her life.
These three years haven’t been easy for me. There have been days, hours and minutes where I would have killed for a drink.
The day I had to tell my kids their dad and I were separating, I wanted a drink. The time I found my birth father and his family, I wanted to celebrate with alcohol. When my dad had a heart attack and I was stressed, I wanted something to take the edge off.
And all the times I was so desperately depressed that I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I wanted to drink and drink and drink.
But I didn’t. In those moments, I had to grit my teeth and I held on.
I did that using the tools I’d been given by my Alcohol and Other Drugs Worker and I used the information I’d gathered from my Alcoholic’s Anonymous meetings.
I had to remind myself of the life I wanted for myself and for my children, who deserved far more than they had been getting from me. I had to remind myself of the disaster that had become my normality and how desperately I didn’t want to go back to that hell.