My Spectacular September: Day 1

Today I celebrate 5 whole months of sobriety. Not a drop has passed my lips ( apart from the mouthful of tiramisu but we won’t talk about that!). Saturday though I did have a wobbly moment. I understand what was happening. I was stressed, disappointed and angry. Why because I felt inadequate as a parent to deal with my sons stress, disappointment and anger. I do ask the question of what came first. His or my emotion? Each given situation needs to be dealt with in the moment if possible but I find it all too easy to lay blame for my mood on my nearest and dearest. Taking responsibility can be hard. In so many ways it’s easier to blame. I’m sure it comes from years of feeling the one to blame for most things that happened whether they be my doing or not. Nana had a certain knack of pointing the finger and laying fault at my doorstep equally claiming the praise herself for anything good. I always felt thwarted as a teenager. Like the villain in Scooby Doo.. ” I could have got away with it hadn’t been for you pesky kids!”

So when I was angry and frustrated and for a nano second desired to be drunk in response to those feelings I blamed Max for it. Probably because not taking responsibility for my own behaviour stopped me from looking at the reasons behind his. What was it he was doing that made me so incapable of coping ? Why did his fear tip me into anger? Why couldn’t I see the frustration at his inability at only 8 years old to articulate the confused feelings he was having? On a positive note ( because there is one here) I did. It might have taken me a few minutes but I did see it and acted accordingly. Calming the situation, opening up to him about my own feelings, apologising for my reaction to him. All my young life I was brought up to always be the first one to apologies even if I truly knew it wasn’t my fault. The guilt loaded on me forced my apology with my Mum or Nana accepting it in martyr like fashion. In my family the child was to show the love first and the adult accepted it. I do not want that for my children. They will learn how to love by being loved unconditionally. I am not saying for a minute that I wasn’t loved but the conditions that came with it were detrimental in my formative years and only since becoming a parent have I learned how to love and that with love comes great responsibility because it is the most precious of all things. When I used alcohol as a crutch I stopped myself from emotional responsibility. Rather than deal with the underlying feelings I chose to numb them. I now see that I can lay blame at the door of whoever but I am solely responsible for my own destiny and what emotional legacy I leave my children. Yes life isn’t always easy; it’s complicated, challenging and at times mundane and we lose sight of the good. When I drank life was very black and white to me now it’s one big grey area but I embrace the murky muddle because when the sun breaks through its beautiful, I see it and it’s good.

….think I was blind before I met you…
Conor Oberst

Nighty night x

Ps 154 days

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