I had never viewed my mother as an “addict.”
I still have days where I struggle with simply existing.
The thing about getting clean is that once you get out of rehab, no one’s getting paid to take care of you anymore. That is when the real work starts.
Even when we don’t want to take another step. Even when our hearts hurt. Even when it feels like the phone never rings and no one cares, we are enough.
A year ago I was hopeless, broke, and I wanted to die. I believed that at the age of thirty-six it was too late to make a life worth living. I was so scared of myself because I had no idea who I really was without drugs or alcohol.
Come on decades of therapy, do your thing. Come on endless sessions in rehab, remind me that I am more than my rage.
During my second stay in rehab, there was a mantra that I clung to: You are worthy. You are enough. You are loved.
I realize now that my mom wasn’t choosing the pills over me, over her children, the addiction was choosing for her.
The NFL was knocking on the door, and I was becoming the patriarch of my family. I didn’t have time to deal with all the baggage I was carrying on my shoulders. Instead, I shoved my emotions down and repressed how I was feeling because that’s what men did, right?
I didn’t realize how many people were in my corner until I actually let them into my corner.
I love myself four drinks in. Four shots of vodka and I am a great mom. Four drinks in and I’m funny and likable. The anxiety disappears. My mind quiets.
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