In 2012 my mother went to jail for the first time and got a DWI for blowing over the legal limit to drive while having consumed alcohol. The following month she went to Rehab for the first time. I was 15 years old.
My father was not in my life, my grandmother could only help out so much, and I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone besides a select few about what was going on in my life. I was 15 with no parental guidance or a decent support system. I was on my own with very little guidance. I was homeless nearly 4 separate times in my life, almost died because of it once, and had my own money stolen from me more times than I count.
My whole world was falling apart, and I was isolating my emotions by putting on a show. I cried myself to sleep for months and couldn't sleep longer than 4 hours. I had no one to turn to and I was not myself. I was beginning to lose my innocence and there was no way I could regain it. I was becoming an adult as a 15-year-old girl who had no idea what to do.
Have you ever met someone like this? It could be your friend, family member, or even that one person you don't like that much. Either way, we're all out there. Screaming for someone to help us, to save us, to just BE THERE for us.
I could tell you my sob story, or about every single time I had to pick her up from the side of the road from drinking too much or those couple times I was homeless and had nowhere to call home. No, this is not that story. This is how I became a better person.
I've thought for days about what I could do to change my life and I tried screaming into the abyss, writing incredibly kitschy and cringe-worthy poems so that maybe I could finally become the Tumblr girl I always wanted to be, and none of that helped. It's been nearly 7 years since this incident and I have just now stopped trying to survive.
Most of us kids of alcoholics don't like to wear what our parents do on our sleeve or post about it on social media because who wants their parents' choices to be their life? Certainly not me.
I don't have the answer to the age-old question of, "why did this have to happen to me?" All I know is what it did for me, and hopefully, this will help you as it helped me.
I just want to say that for one, I am incredibly proud of you. Being the child of an addict, in general, is stressful and causes you to lose your childhood at a young age and it breaks my heart that you had to go through that. I applaud you for not giving up and for moving forward.
I'm sorry that you had to lose part of who you are and that you didn't get to be a teenager. I'm sorry that whenever you went to college you had the fear of getting drunk with your friends, and that your emotions were so invested into your past. I'm just so incredibly sorry for your loss.
I am happy for your future and you are going to do well.
Hold on to the people that are there for you, and to the people that were there for me, I thank you in more ways than I know how to. Find the little things that make you happy and hold on to them. A support system is important despite what you might think. Having a support system has changed me and made me more trustworthy about life again.
If you can bring yourself out of that darkness and become a better person even though you have been through something that altered you, then I am so fucking proud of you. You deserve that gold medal because you are WORTHY of success and WORTHY of happiness and emotions. You are going to be okay.
It's okay to cry and scream into the void and curse just so that you can feel better. It's okay to react and to feel and to not know what to do next. If you leave with anything today, leave with this, "Don't lose hope." Hope is what is keeping me going and changed me into the woman I am today.
Being the daughter of an alcoholic not only changed me, but changed me into a hardworking, college going, compassionate, and empathetic woman. It turned me into the person who will hold on to her success, who pays her own rent, and who will never give up her freedom.
Don't allow the hard times to win.