If You’re a Mother and an Addict, this One’s for You

I recently finished a substance abuse program (6 months) and returned home. During treatment I wrote a letter to my son that I will one day give him; this is the letter.

Lucas,

As a mother fresh in recovery, there are many thoughts that cross my mind in regards to what I want you to know. First and foremost, I want you to know you are loved by me in ways you will never fully understand until you have a child of your own. My love for you transcends all other thoughts.

To watch you breathe while you are sleeping. To count the freckles on your nose and cheeks (which you recently told me you don’t like, but by the way, I absolutely love them). To watch you grow in athleticism on the ball field. To do your homework with you and see you grow intellectually. To hear you tell me what you’re thankful for. To fix you a million cups of chocolate milk. To hear you talk about your day at school. To listen while you tell me about your thoughts and feelings toward life; these are things I miss most while away receiving treatment for my alcoholism.

I want you to know that in the ways I have hurt you, not a single one was ever done intentionally. And although you were always on my mind during my active addiction, my sickness made it impossible for me to make wise choices. Mostly, I want you to know that the ways drugs and alcohol have affected me are not unique to only me. Anyone who has this disease and abuses alcohol will do the things I did. They will have many of the same chapters in their book of life as I do.

Alcohol, I want you to know will lead to very scary places. One minute you might be drinking merrily in a fancy house with decent people, while the next you will find yourself being lured by demons into the dark and ever-so silent forests of despair. Places you never thought you would go will become your second home, and possibly even your only home. People, bad people Lucas, who you never thought you would associate with may become your primary companions. It is as if you will be dancing with the devil himself, following his every lead with no second thought of how you are being deceived.

The loneliness that I feel as a parent who is away receiving treatment is unfathomable. I imagine the only loneliness that compares is that of a parent who loses their child to death. I want you to know Lucas that a single drink is all it takes to activate the disease of alcoholism.

Lucas, I did not intend to have this disease. Mothers don’t wake up one morning and decide they want alcoholism to wreak havoc on their lives and the lives of their children. Mothers are usually just as distraught as their children are when the day comes that they are separated from each other because the mother wakes up in a jail cell or treatment center.

I think of you 24/7 Lucas, always using our wonderful memories as motivation to continue forward on this spiritual journey of recovery. The capacity to be a decent human being was stripped from me when I stepped outside of God’s will and decided to be the director of my own life, making alcohol and drugs my favorite companions. The same will likely happen to you if you ever drink alcohol because you are a child of two parents who have the disease of alcoholism.

Lucas, if you desire to grow into a Godly man, the one you were intended to be, you must never drink alcohol or try drugs. God told me he has special plans for you; a life full of extraordinary gifts and talents that he created just for you. Let him be the director of your life. He is the director and coordinator of mine, and I would love nothing more than for us to dance to the same song during our time here on earth.

Love you forever, love you for always. Forever and always, my baby you’ll be,

Mom