Y’all know how I live to over-share. Today is no different than any other day. Excerpt it’s totally different. But not for me. Today was a typical Monday for me. Got to work, excited to start my day. Around 11:00, fall into a hole of self-deprecation. 11:15, feel sad. 11:30, beat myself up a little more. You know, the usual. Oh and by the way, I left my laptop at work so I’m typing this whole thing from my phone. Winning!
You’re probably wondering what in the heck my point is. Y’all know I like to keep you guessing!
It’s about my mom.
This Thanksgiving day, was the first time I have seen her in over a year. If you don’t know the story behind us, I’ll share some of it with you. And YES I ASKED HER FOR PERMISSION. I’m not yelling at you. I’m just making sure you’re paying attention.
My mom is an addict. I never realized it growing up. It was just the life I had become accustomed to. Drugs were never a big deal because they were always around. She would try to “protect” me by lying about it or trying to hide it from me, in true addict-behavior. But I always knew. Even when I wasn’t sure, I didn’t trust her enough to believe her when she said she was sober. Her drug of choice? Anything. I’ve seen her on cocaine. Crack. Pills. Alcohol. LSD. Ecstasy. All of it.
Stop. Don’t start making judgements. We all handle trauma in different ways. And she’s been through a lot. This post isn’t to paint her as the bad guy. It’s to give you insight. And hope.
I had given up hope. I waved my white flag and decided my life would be better without her. I held onto anger, bitterness and resentment towards her for as long as I can remember. When people would speak fondly of their mothers, I would turn up my nose in disgust. I wasn’t familiar with the feelings that came along with having a close relationship with your mom. I was also totally ok with that. Until recently.
My grandfather committed suicide this year. I was blindsided. We were never super close. He was always emotionally unavailable. But he was physically present. When my sister told me this news, my first instinct should have been to call my mom. But instead, I allowed my hurt and confusion to build up and eventually implode. Along with some exploding.
I promise I’m sane.
When he passed, it triggered something on the inside of me. Very slowly, mind you, but it happened. My heart started to feel compassion for my mom again, however, I fought it for a little while. My trust in her was so far removed and all it left behind was emptiness. Something I had gotten so comfortable with feeling that I didn’t even realize it was there until a few weeks ago.
Lori (that’s her name) had moved away this time last year, to a rehabilitation and sober living facility. Not before staying in a homeless shelter and in the hospital for week because she tried to take her own life. You see, she smoked flakka (I had to look it up too). That was what triggered this spiral. But also what saved her life.
Today, I’m so happy and proud to share with you that she’s been clean and sober for a year now. 365 of facing her demons head-on. I can’t think of a day, since I was 15, that she’s been sober an entire day. Let alone a year.
Mom. You are loved. You are strong. Funny. Brave. I’m so proud of you. There are a lot of things about me that I get from you. Some I love. Some I hate. Thank you for giving me strength. Thank you for showing me how painful and ugly life can be. I’m cheering for you every single day. Happy One Year of Sobriety. I love you.