Published On: Fri, Mar 21st, 2014

One Day At A Time: One Woman’s Journey

By Tanya Hazelwood

No place like home

I have been back home for a week now. Spending 46 days in the hospital with my daughter and granddaughter in what was probably the most humbling experience of my life.

During my stay there, I achieved my eight and nine month sobriety anniversaries. Neither seemed that important to me, as everything at that time was taking a backseat to my daughter fighting for her life and me begging God to spare her. She came back to me. She is strong and such a fighter. People tell me that I am strong but I am nothing compared to that tiny girl that knocked on death’s door and fought with the last drop of whatever it is she has inside of her.

She is absolutely my hero and everything I am not. I pray that there will never come a day that she struggles with an addiction. I can’t fathom wasting a second chance for a wonderful life on some sort of substance abuse.

Now that we are home, I am finding that we are being recognized out in public. Everyone is so smitten with Madison and Violet and their story of survival. I often wonder if most of the people that come up to us in public and tell us how happy they are for us and how strong of a person I am, know that I am nothing more than a sober drunk and all of the hell I put my family through when I was drinking? Would it matter to them if they knew? I dwelled on that a lot while my daughter was near death. I couldn’t shake the wrongs I did to her and was scared I could never make them up. Alcoholism, whether active or sober, will always put one on a serious guilt trip. My heart tells me to let it go, I’ve apologized, got sober and made changes, but my brain tells me that I am still that worthless drunk mother that wronged her family and will never, ever be forgiven.

There isn’t a day that goes by, even now, that I don’t think I have this thing whooped and I could probably have a drink here and there and everything would be OK. But then I look at this tiny human that I am in charge of keeping alive, that’s totally helpless and if I were to have a drink, could I actually stop? And how on Earth would I be capable of feeding, changing diapers or basic care or God forbid get to the hospital should something happen, if I were “buzzed” or drunk. All the times I’ve passed out and had no clue what happened, I couldn’t even imagine what would happen now.

So for now, I keep myself busy, not with liquor bottles but baby bottles and diapers and cuddling and cleaning and helping my daughter with her bandages and her care. So with all of that going on, I have no idle hands for that old devil to find work for. This time is a whole new chapter in my book of life.  I am going to enjoy every second that I have with my daughter and granddaughter and remain humble and thankful that I found the courage to become and stay sober. One day at a time.