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Sparing a Motherless Daughter

I did not go to my first 12-step meeting to stop drinking. I did not go because I wanted a better life. I didn’t even go for me.

I’m an alcoholic. I was good at drinking. If you could pour it, I could drink it. And if I could drink it, I could justify it.

The problem was I couldn’t figure out how to manage life between drinks. I thought the concept of a better life a hoax. It was the snake oil I had been sold as a child so I would stay in school and eat my vegetables. It was as real as a Lifetime movie, or a prince with a foot fetish who marries a servant girl because she wears glass stilettos.

You would have assumed I loved myself. After all, I was always on my mind. I had the talent of Maya Angelou, the mind of Bill Gates, and the legs of Tina Turner… at least I thought so when I had a drink in my hand.

If it had been up to me, I might have let myself slip away.

I hated me. I hated my life.

It all looked like Chernobyl. Everything had been laid to waste… except my child. Doctors told me I would never conceive. She was my miracle. At the time, she was my only proof that God did not hate me. I refused to be responsible for her motherless childhood.

I knew what it felt like to watch your mother slowly die. When I was 16, my mother lost her three-year battle with breast cancer. Twenty-two years later it was happening again – a merciless disease devouring a mother – the possibility of a child left behind.

I was certain I was on Death’s door. It was as close as a shadow caught out of the corner of your eye. It was so heavy and tangible to me. Every day my eyes opened was a surprise.

When I lost my mother I was helpless, but this time I had a choice. This time I had a say in how the story would end. She did not deserve to grow up without a mother.

I did not love myself enough to try and save my life, but I loved her enough to try.

I took my last drink the night before her 5th birthday. The next day, I gave her the only present that really ever mattered. I gave her a sober mother (okay… a “not drunk” mother; since SOBER took some time).

I went to my first 12-step meeting for my daughter.

She deserves a sober mom who is safe. She deserves a loving mother. She deserves a mother who is actually living; who is not simply “not dying.” Along the way I’ve discovered that I deserve to be these things.

I got sober for my daughter, but I stay sober for me.

 

 

 

photo credit: 06.KSRobinson.DCS.WDC.21jul06 via photopin (license)

5 thoughts on “Sparing a Motherless Daughter

  1. This story is so empowering and reminds me of my journey in a lot of ways! I could have never made this journey without the inspiration of my family and their tough love that put me in the right course that saved my life ultimately! Love it <3

    1. Hi Lindsay,

      I shutter to think where I would be if my little girl was not there to motivate me. I am a firm believer that it takes what it takes for us to start the journey and by walking we begin to desire it for ourselves. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. – Denitra

  2. Thank you for your beautiful story Denitra. I wept throughout it.
    What a beautiful gift you are giving your daughter.
    It’s hard hard hard work to change… and you’re doing it!

    1. Blanca,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. This month, my daughter and I both get to celebrate a birthday! It actually helps, when I get frustrated about what I can do and provide for her to remember as long as I stay sober, I am giving her the best gift that money could never buy. – Denitra

  3. I’m so glad we are getting to know you through Sober Mommies. God gave you three amazing gifts. 1) that beautiful little girl, 2) a message to save yourself through that child and 3) your sobriety. You must have a special purpose in his plan. You are beautiful and blessed.

    Can I ask… You have a milestone coming up (you’re 3mknths older than me). Do you find yourself feeling a little “squirrelly” or anxious when you get close to your birthday?

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