A Mother’s Day Gift of Sobriety and Recovery

Mother's Day card                                    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This Sunday, May 13, 2012, families across the United States will take the day or a few hours to honor Mothers. While Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, not all countries celebrate on the second Sunday in May. Mother’s Day, like most holidays, can be a wonderful time for families or it can bring stress, sadness, or depression. Holidays can trigger memories of our loved one, particularly if you are the child of an alcoholic (addicted) mother or the mother of an alcoholic child. Yes, it can be a two way street, affecting many generations.

This past week Leah Pells released her autobiography Not About the Medal. Leah is a former Olympic middle-distance runner having represented Canada in three Olympics. When asked, by the Canadian Press, what motivated her to write the book, Leah responded:

“I’d been carrying around a lot of these things that happened for a long time and I just felt I needed to release them,” she said of her motivation for writing the book.”

“So that was my first reason. The second reason is, I’m not satisfied with the way our society treats addicts. I just feel there needs to be much more compassion surrounding that particular illness. My mom was an alcoholic and the way society treats people with alcoholism and addiction is so negative, and I feel that it makes it even harder for the addict to seek recovery.”

Like most children of alcoholic parents, Leah strived to be perfect and to succeed, because she thought her success would relieve her mom’s stress and she would stop drinking. Conversely, many parents of alcoholics also strive to be perfect and to succeed, hoping that their behavior will somehow “reach” their alcoholic children and inspire them to find treatment and a lifelong program of recovery. 

So this Mother’s Day no matter where you are take just a bit of time to remember your Mother. And at the same time Mothers should take a bit of time to remember their children. If addiction is part of your family dynamic, then think about going to an Al-Anon meeting or an AA meeting.

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