How I Became a More Present Parent After Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

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I had always been a great parent or so I thought. Two partially potty trained toddlers with full diapers and a wicked hangover had changed my mind. I realized at this point it might be time to get sober. I tried telling my friends that I just couldn’t hang out as much anymore. I decided to stop buying alcohol and would just drink what was left in the house on the weekend. I’d be able to get a babysitter then and wouldn’t have to wake up until I was good and ready. My mother had agreed to take the kids for the weekend and get them some new clothes. I had been working like crazy just to make ends meet since I had gotten divorced earlier in the year. It was a well-deserved break and I was going to make the most of it. 

I went out with my girlfriends and got loose. I had so much fun I couldn’t even remember half of the night. Skipping ahead to the next month, I hadn’t had my cycle and was starting to get worried. I panicked and called my friend Trisha. She wasn’t shocked when she heard that I had missed my period. In disbelief, I asked her why she wasn’t surprised. She informed me that my last time going out was probably a bit more fun than I had remembered. Apparently, I was with someone that night and had forgotten all about it. I was already at the realization that working and taking care of my kids was wearing thin on me. I started to realize that maybe just not hanging out wasn’t all there was to resolving my weekend warrior mentality. 

I decided to check out the local meeting scene. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting and I mean that in a bad way. These people were hardened alcoholics that seemed to just be repeating the same thing over and over. The brainwashed robots just weren’t for me. I decided to just lay low and not drink at home or even on the weekends. Mind you by this point I was about three months pregnant but hadn’t been officially “diagnosed.” I decided that a baby just wasn’t meant to be at the moment. Taking great care to make sure that my secret didn’t get out didn’t prove to be the best idea. Trisha had already started blabbing that I was pregnant. I decided to just cut ties with everyone. Being lonely and tired of life, I decided to take up drinking at home again. 

I decided one morning after dealing with the screaming kids and having yet another hangover to talk to my mother about my problem. She and I had a deep conversation and both agreed that I should seek professional help. She researched programs online for me. I finally found one that used more than just a 12 step approach and it might also be able to help with my depression. My mother took care of the kids while I was away. She was so supportive and even made sure that I’d be able to attend an aftercare program. 

After I completed the program and aftercare it’s as if a weight had been released from my soul. I still had all the same struggles as before but I was able to handle them in a way that doesn’t involve alcohol or anything else that was shoved in front of me. I began teaching the kids more in a week than I’d done in their short lives. I enjoyed taking care of them and even going to work. All the things that I’d enjoyed before I started becoming dependent on alcohol became fun again. It was surreal and almost like a rebirth of sorts. 

Since I’ve gotten sober I’ve made sure to keep up with my program sponsor and became one of the brainwashed robots myself. I was indeed just like them. The only difference was they were indeed the happy ones, not I. I’m now enjoying my life with kids even more. I still don’t care for them throwing temper tantrums. I do love them and have since found time to potty train them, completely.

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