I love my mother, heart and soul.
She was an alcoholic who left recovery after ten years of sobriety to return home and do it on her own. That was the biggest mistake she ever made in my opinion.She never took another drink, but I wouldn’t call what she lived, sobriety.
Mom suffered from severe depression on and off for most of her life. This blog post is not intended to tarnish her memory. Nor is it intended to trash AA, it’s a wonderful program. Mom was an amazing women. A force to behold most days.
She is my beloved. The bravest women I know.
I will always be thankful for her.
I spent three months with her before she passed and as crazy hard as those days were, I am eternally grateful for that time.
Nothing was left unsaid.
Our last words to each other were “I love you.” and “I love you too.”
I have peace knowing that my mother loved me and knowing that she knew she was forgiven by me and that I loved her as well. Not many people have that. What a gift.
Mom was laid to rest on August 22, 2015 after a long 15 year battle with COPD and severe depression and anxiety.
May she finally be at peace.
I grieved for three years as she died piece by piece. And I grieve now, not so much always for what we had, but for what we missed.
When she was happy she was a screaming riot, full of life and humor. Manic almost in her pursuit of joy, gardening and art. She would work around the clock creating beauty. I loved those moments as a child, even if I couldn’t keep up. Those were the best moments really. Baking cookies in the middle of the night. Painting ornaments. Creating jelly. Mom on a manic was fun, if not exhausting.
In those moments she was wildly creative and wildly beautiful.
But when she wasn’t happy, she was a force to be reckoned with, a storm with no warning and no chance of surviving. She was brutal, cutting, and fierce to anyone and every one.
She was, in those moments, my greatest source of pain.
There was a lot of anger in her depression and those closest to her were her best targets; a sister, a daughter, a niece, a nephew, a friend, it really didn’t matter. She became cold, uncaring almost. Her body would clench up and her eyes would fill with tears as she spoke of those who had inflicted wounds in her life.
Were they real or perceived?
I’ll never know.
It was too much to bear really.
For me anyway.
The suicide attempts or threats.
The threats of abandonment.
There were countless times I’d speak to her on the phone or visit during one of her “moods” and I’d wind up in the hospital or back in therapy sifting for the truth.
One time, my doctor told me to either have her committed or walk away to save my own life.
I was willing to do neither and chose rather to weather the storm, come what may and find a way to love her in a way that she could recognize. I eventually did towards the end and I have no regrets.
Someone in AA told her that she could not take meds and be “sober.” They said Bipolar disorder was a “lie and an excuse.”
What a load of BS. AA itself does not have opinions on outside issues, but people do and she listened to the wrong ones.
That little pill would have changed both of our worlds for the better, but she wouldn’t take it because AA told her not to.
So who do I be mad at?
A 12 step program that saved my life and sanity through Alanon? That’s not fair.
Should I be mad at her? After all it was her choice not to take meds.
The doctors who didn’t tell her the truth?
No one I guess.
I can’t afford it.
If I spend my days finding someone to be mad at, I’ll never heal.
I’ll spend my life like she did.
She’s at peace now.
It’s time for me to be the same.
Breathe Darlin’. It’s going to be okay. And if it’s not okay – hold my hand. Let’s walk this together.