*How Quitting Drinking Made Me A More Present Mother. This is a guest post by Alice
Alcohol use to be a constant thing in my life. I would wake up thinking about drinking. I would drink throughout the day. I would also drink before I went to bed. Nothing could stop me from drinking. Many people tried to intervene, but nothing they did helped. It wasn’t until I realized how much I was hurting my children that I decided to stop drinking.
My children never verbally expressed how they felt about my drinking. However, I could tell that they were hurt by looking at them. That is why I decided to check myself into rehab. It wasn’t an easy process, but I finally got the help that I needed. I am now sober. It has been five months since I had any alcohol.
I have had an improvement in every aspect of my life ever since I have been sober. The thing that I am most proud of is that I am a better mother. There are several ways that quitting drinking has made me a more present mother.
I am More Involved with My Children
My children were neglected while I was addicted to alcohol. I cared more about drinking than I did about them. Because I no longer drink, I am more involved with their children. I go to all of their dance recitals and basketball games. Our relationship is better because I spend more time with them.
While I was an alcoholic, my children did not want to talk to me about anything. I knew they had problems, but they refused to talk to me. They thought that I would just add to their problems. Now, my children and I talk every day. They let me know if anything is bothering them, and I do what I can to help.
I Am Healthier
Alcoholism had a negative impact on my health. I would often spend days in the bed because I was too sick to do anything. I could barely take care of my own basic needs, so my children’s needs were also neglected.
I am a healthier person now. I don’t have to spend days laying in the bed because of my health. I am also able to play with my children. I dance with my kids and play basketball with them. This has also made our bond stronger.
I Have More Money
Money is not everything, and children couldn’t care less about how much money you have. However, money problems were making it hard for me to care for my children. I had money problems because I would spend all of it on alcohol. My money situation is steadily improving because I save hundreds of dollars a month.
I have been able to buy my children a lot of the things that they needed because money is less of a problem. My children deserve a better life than what I was giving them. I am determined to make up for everything that I did not give them.
I am Setting a Good Example
Other family members have told my children that they should not drink alcohol. However, I believe that one of the most important things that I can do as a parent is to set a good example. I cannot tell my children that alcohol is bad when I am using it myself.
I want to be someone my children can look up to. No one wants to look up to an alcoholic who can barely take care of themselves. That is who I was before I decided to get help. Now that I have gotten the help that I needed, I am a better mother and a better person.
While quitting drinking may be doable for some, others may need to seek professional treatment for alcohol use disorder. Others may need to seek support from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. There is no shame in asking for help.