I Won’t Love You to Death!

Sobriety is a life changing experience no matter where you are. Still, you’re told to get as many sober supports as you can. They help you deal with the emotional up’s and down’s that occur in early sobriety. So, when I found myself states away from my family, I questioned if I would make it. If I did make it, I questioned how our relationship would be affected. My relationship with my family was affected, but in a way I NEVER could have imagined!

Before I made the decision to get sober, I was with my family daily. They’ve always been supportive of me, even through the tornado of my active alcoholism. I knew they were always there for me, but I wasn’t capable of being there for them. My alcoholism hindered my ability to be a daughter and a sister. I wasn’t able to support my father when his brother, my uncle and godfather, passed away. I wasn’t able to support my father while he battled cancer. I wasn’t there for my mother through the death of her mother. I have more examples of selfishness than fingers on my hands.

Probably the scariest part is that I truly believed I was supporting my family through all these events. In sobriety, I learned that simply being physically present isn’t enough. Alcoholism blinded me from the pain I caused others. Pain through my actions and inactions. Pain through my constant screw ups. When I finally hit enough pain in my own life, I agreed to make a change and seek help. This decision wasn’t easy. My parents say me down and my mother said the words that changed my life forever. I won’t love you to death. This was the first time I realized how my actions affect other people.

Getting Better Far Away

I moved many states away from my family, to go to treatment, and now live thousands of miles away. This change was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! I wanted my family to be there and support me, just like they always did. I went through so much it seemed like a phone call was never enough.

I missed major events in their lives! My sister gave birth to two children. I missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, deaths, and the small, daily struggles my family went through. Here’s the thing, even though I wasn’t there for any of these major events, I was present. I was supportive. For the first time, I helped my family.

Today, through maintaining physical and emotional sobriety, I’m able to be the daughter and sister my family deserves. I can have actual conversations with my family. I can give back the support they’ve shown me my entire life. Although it’s hard to be so far away from them, I’m in their lives more today than I ever was.

I was promised that if I continue to do what I’m supposed to do, I’ll be able to mend my broken relationships. This promise came true in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Being able to support my family gives me more gratitude than anything else. We’ve never been closer than we are now and we live thousands of miles apart! Sobriety’s give me my family back, no distance can ever change that!

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