Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The First Drink

The first drink I ever had was a strawberry margarita. It was wonderful. I think I was mostly fascinated with just the newness of the forbidden experience, rather than with the alcohol itself. But in that first teenage experience were clues about what was to come.

I think I had two or three drinks and was wildly enthusiastic about how it made me walk funny. I kept trying to demonstrate this to my friends. I eventually was in the bathroom throwing up, and beginning my very first blackout. I didn't learn until many years later that blacking out when you're drinking is not normal. Who knew? By the next morning I was more concerned about the fact that I had been unceremoniously dumped on the doorstep in front of my flabbergasted mother (by the mother of my friend who had found out where we were and what we were doing), than with whatever a blackout was. I knew nothing about alcoholism, except that my father was in recovery. Even that meant little to me, since I had no memory of his drinking.

I am keenly aware of the blessing that my children have in my sobriety. They will have no memory of their mother being a drunk, and I am obviously quite thankful for this. On the other hand, having come from a long line of not-so-distinguised Ukrainian alcoholics, I am not naive enough to think that my tales of woe will be enough to protect my children from this disease. It is something I have prayed about and I have asked God to end the 'line' of alcoholism at me. I know the story of the Prodigal daughter all too well, and if it were up to me, there would be no such story for my daughter or sons. Accepting the things I cannot change, or in this case, the things that I cannot prevent, is part of my own recovery.

When it comes to your own children, there is nothing you wouldn't do for them. Truly nothing. But I know that my children will make their own choices and live their own lives, and I will someday be an observer of what they do, with little to no say. Will I handle it with quiet eyes, the way my own parents did? Will I lecture them about doing as I say and not as I did? I suppose God is gently chuckling at my questions, as He already knows their future. I had an issue with my daughter a few years ago that I was very upset about, and I have not forgotten the Lord firmly telling me, "You're just going to have to trust Me." To this end, may I always strive.

1 comment:

Trish D said...

While I may not deal with this exact issue, I think this is a universal concern of parents. We've all done stupid things that led to heartache, and we don't want our children to do the same. So what can we actually do? My "best" falls short, and I must rely on my Heavenly Father. A lesson I continue to learn on a daily basis...