Thoughts on Mother’s Day
Now there is an emotionally charged topic – for almost everyone! Popular culture would have us believe that all mothers should be, or have been, nurturing, loving and sweet, dishing out wisdom, unconditional love, and healthy delicious meals. Well, that would be nice, and in some cases this is true. Unfortunately however, especially in homes affected by addiction, there are often big helpings of dysfunction served as the main course, if not also the side dishes and dessert.
If you grew up in an alcoholic home, your mom may have been either the alcoholic or the co-dependent enabler, or both. Your mom may still be drinking, or making excuses for your father’s or sibling’s addict behaviour. Your mom may be trying to keep you, or pull you back into the toxic family dynamic where you got sick. Moms, like any other family member suffering from the disease of alcoholism, may have a large arsenal of behaviors that attempt to engage or snag you back into the family dramas.
Recovery can be, but is not always about reconciliation with family. Recovery and healthy behavior often means detaching and distancing yourself from toxic situations, even if those situations include your mother and other close family members.
This Mother’s Day, my hope for you is authenticity, and the courage to change the things you can. This can be painful and you will not likely find many cheerleaders for lovingly detaching yourself from your family. Most family members may still be caught up in participating in the chaos. But if you continue to work your own program without compromise, not only will you continue to heal and grow, but you will also become a role model and beacon of tranquility for others in the program, and perhaps even some members of your family.
Remember: the best gift you can give your loved ones is a healthy you! So, give the best possible gift this Mother’s Day: do whatever you have to do to be a healthy you! And go ahead and have a second helping.
Let someone else take on the world. In recovery we believe in keeping our own side of the street clean and know that “what other people think about us in not our business”.