Last week I wrote about how February was a big month in my sobriety. Getting my 9-month chip was very important, but finding out that I was pregnant 25 years ago was such a huge gift. I very much wanted a child, and to have made strides in sobriety before getting pregnant meant that:
- I was feeling a bit steadier in the new sober life I was leading.
- My body was clean and sober, creating a safe place for a child to start life.
- Most importantly, if I could stay sober, my child would never know its mother as a drinker, a user or a drunk.
From my experience in A.A. and in therapy, I believe that, to be successful in sobering up, you have to do it for yourself, not for a partner, a child, a parent or a boss. People who care about you may encourage you, or threaten you, or give up on you, but it is only you who can decide to sober up and to accept the help you need to stay sober. I was the one who had to get there, had to see how I really needed to get sober, and be willing to try – I mean really try – to get the support that I needed through A.A.
Nonetheless, expecting and then raising a child was a huge incentive for me to stay sober. Every time I thought of having a drink when I was pregnant, I thought of the child growing inside me and how much harm alcohol would do if I took a drink or had a toke. And once she was born, being the best parent I could be meant breaking the cycle of alcoholism.
I am so grateful that to have raised my daughter – with the help of a loving partner – as a sober person. What a gift to me to be a parent, and to be able to be present and loving, instead of bringing my daughter up in a home with an alcoholic and addict and all the physical and emotional pain that comes along with that life for everyone in the family. My heartfelt and loving thanks to the Creator for gifting my life with a wonderful daughter, and helping me find and stay on the path to sobriety so I could be the parent I wanted to be.
In sobriety, I celebrate the lovely kind, sweet, creative young woman who I am proud to call “daughter.”