We Don’t Have To Hide
Death in general is a really hard thing to talk about sometimes. When we lose a loved one, it somehow becomes even more difficult. I am too often afraid to speak about the death of my mother, as I never believed it to be a death that was “worthy” enough for empathy or connection from the people around me.
My mother was an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. I vividly remember Jack and Cokes for the road whenever we went anywhere, and my parent’s marriage fell apart long before they actually separated and got divorced. When my mom moved out, I decided to live with my dad, and that is when things got worse. I never saw her again. She was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver a few months after she left, and died less than a year later.
I was 15 and a freshman in high school. My brother was a senior and really popular, but I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t want anyone to know I was broken, let alone that my mother had succumbed to her addiction. No one wants to face that reality…But I grew up. I went to college and got a Marketing degree, fell in love with fitness and became a yoga instructor. I’m a Masters student now and I feel as if I’ve just started grieving. There isn’t a lot out there for children of alcoholics. I think we are all a little hesitant to speak up…I wanted to share my story because it’s been hard to connect with others who have experienced these things, but I’m living proof that we can make it and break the cycle. Life is a beautiful gift, and I wish I could share it with her now.
Story submitted by Sara.
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