By Tanya Hazelwood
Rebuilding a Burned Bridge
I’ve written about my drinking destroying my relationship with my daughter. I would now like to write about how my sobriety has changed that. A couple of weekends ago I was upset about something. I was visiting with my daughter and although I didn’t really discuss it with her, she could tell I wasn’t happy. When I got home that night I received a text message out of the blue. It simply said “hope you feel better, ma.” Now to you reading this, it may not be that big of a deal, but to me, it was. We texted back and forth and she said things like “I like to see you happy” and “Alcohol causes trouble. I’ve been around it enough to figure that out.” We chatted for a while and I said to her “how did you get so smart?” she said, “my mommy,” and that’s when I lost it. I don’t think she has ever said such kind things to me. She is not one to show emotion. I was overwhelmed with emotion and I texted “thank you for loving me again.” And honestly I didn’t expect a reply, but it came and never in my life have I read words that affected me so. Her response: “Ma, I never stopped loving you. There was just a time when I didn’t like you. But I like you a lot now.”
I can’t express to you what those words mean to me. Those words make every single step I’ve struggled with, every tear I’ve cried, every admission of bad behavior in the last 7 months, worth it. We ended the conversation with me saying “I didn’t like me very much either, baby girl” and she said “I wouldn’t have changed it though. Everything happens for a reason.”
I truly believe you don’t know what true love is until you create a human inside of your and when they are born you hold them in your arms and you love them the instant you lay your eyes on them. I also believe that you don’t know real heartache until you know that same baby doesn’t like you.
I’ve been coming across a lot of silly things that remind me of my drinking. For instance, in my kitchen drawer is a bundle of drinking straws I used in my mixed drinks. Just seeing those straws, knowing what I bought them for, sends my brain in a tailspin and makes me want to drink. The same night I came across the straws at 10:30 p.m. I got a call that my daughter had locked her keys in her car and it was a cold, rainy night and she was stuck. Had that been the old selfish me, I would have either been sucking rum through one of those straws drunk off my tail or already passed out. Where would my sweet, pregnant daughter have been when she needed me?
I am so glad that I am sober, knowing that every single time my daughter needs me I can be there. And I am confident that she knows now that she can count on me.
This is a huge milestone in my sobriety. Knowing my daughter likes me again, is proud of me and depends on me. This, my friends, makes it all worth it.