Archive for the ‘addictions’ Category

memory of my mom

December 10, 2011

I just had a memory/vision of my mom which made me briefly break down crying.

My mother was very child-like. She accepted whatever her pastor told her. She accepted what other women in her own Bible study told her, as if they knew more than her. In reality, her faith was larger than most of them in her later weeks, months, years of life. Her best friend once told her, “Marti, we won’t know each other when we die — we’ll be ANGELS!” And my poor mother accepted that. I personally think her friend was “dead wrong”.   🙂 

My mother was also a recovering alcoholic. She learned that term in treatment. She almost died that week that my brother & sister drove her in. She learned that an alcoholic is always “recovering” and not “recovered”, and, like a child, she believed them when they told her, “If you take ONE DRINK, you’ll be RIGHT BACK WHERE YOU WERE when you came in here.”  She was technically dead when she came in there. She knew that too, and believed that if she ever took ONE DRINK, she’d be right back at death’s doorstep. And so she never did take another drink and lived 22 years after leaving the facility.

She went to a live-in, residential treatment facility, without which I believe she never would have quit. It took her body a week to get sober. Then she started in on “treatment”. In the facility, they focused on acceptance and love. Acceptance for the condition they were in and their addiction, and complete forgiveness and love for the self. Addicts are inherently self-centered. The world revolves around their addiction and their next drink, and all else is secondary. Recovering addicts are the same. They have to be! The world revolves around their staying sober and all else is secondary. It is my belief that this self-centeredness carries over into every other aspect of their lives, which makes them damn hard to live with. But it makes them possible to have a relationship with. My kids would not have known their grandma if she had not quit drinking. When she stopped, they were just barely old enough to start seeing the alcohol, and I would have stopped taking them there. They would not know their grandma drunk. But she stopped, and that made a relationship possible, and is one that they cherish to this day.

In a hallway in the treatment facility, they had a little bell. Any time anyone wanted a hug, they could ring that little bell and stand there, and someone would come and give them a hug. Many times, visits with family members are restricted while they learn to deal with themselves and their addiction. My memory/vision of my mother is of her standing there in that hallway, by that little bell, and ringing it. She would do that. She told me about it. It just breaks my heart right now to think of her standing there in need of a hug. Sometimes I really miss my mom.