I used to say my daughter – my only child – is my anchor to life.
In my darkest, suicidal moments she is what kept me from “doing it.” I believed and actually told my therapist and doctor that if anything “happened” to her – as in death – I would be “out of here”" – as in suicide.
That is no longer true. I realized this on Mother’s Day. I truly love my daughter more than I ever dreamed I was capable of loving anyone. I would lay down my life for her without a second-thought. But I could – and would – go on if anything “happened” to her. She is not my only reason for living and I do not want to place that burden upon her.
I consider this progress. My life has evolved beyond the lonely, self-absorbed nights shared with a couple of bottles of chardonnay and the despair of depression to living with the knowledge that I have the power to control my alcoholism and depression. It is work and most of it goes on between my ears – unseen by my daughter or anyone else. But progress is not only my willingness to do the work but actually doing it. Just do it. Take the meds. Go to therapy. Make and take that phone call. Attend meetings. Ask for help. Pray.
Young woman in the city image available from Shutterstock.