Dear Momma :: How Your Addiction Shaped Me

Dear Momma,

Let me start by saying: I love you. I love the you that painstakingly created tiny little rubber-band designs in my curly hair so I’d be the talk of my second-grade classroom. I love the you that got me a puppy in middle school and even indulged me when I decided she needed to eat human food off of a fork while I ate my meals. I love the you that laid in my bed next to me when I was an angsty, sensitive teenager to watch endless movies starring other angsty, sensitive teenagers. I love that you.

I do not, however, love the you that drugs and alcohol have caused you to become.

Momma, I know that you’ve struggled with an addictive personality for longer than I’ve been alive. It’s been the talk of quite a few solemn conversations amongst the family. I know that you have not always had an easy road. I know this because, for the majority of my young life, I was riding shotgun right next to you down that bumpy and painful path. However, I also know that I never asked for the front row seat that gives me a prime view of your life imploding in on itself.

You chose this road. I did not.

I never asked for the slurred-voiced, drunken phone calls that did not come late at night but rather, gut-wrenchingly early in the morning. I never asked to call you an ambulance at 15 years old, because you took too many prescription narcotics that were not even prescribed to you. I never asked to grow up in an abusive home (where money was tight, but the fridge was always stocked with beer), because you would rather be drunk with a man that beats you than sober somewhere safe. I never asked to have to good-naturedly be the butt of all my high school friends’ jokes because my mom was the town train wreck.

I never asked for it, Momma, but here we are.

Your life is coming apart at the seams. You have lost your home, your significant other, your job, and your relationship with my sisters and myself (not to mention your grandkids). You have lost everything and yet you still can not see far enough beyond the bottle of booze or the handful of pills to the glaring, ugly truth.

You need help, Momma.

This is me begging for you to get help, because (as selfish as it may seem) I am not ready to bury my mother. I want my kids to know you and love all the good parts of you because there really are so many good parts. I want you to, maybe for the first time, care more about me than you do about a buzz. I want you to smile and for it to reach your eyes. I want you to take the steps you know you need to take to get well, because you are just like the apricots that would fall from the tree in our yard, Momma. They were so beautiful and bright, but they grew too heavy for the weak branches they clung to. They dropped to the grass where they were doomed to be forgotten and spoil. I fear that your spirit is growing too heavy for your already weak resolve to get well. But please, Momma, don’t drop.

I love you “all the way around,”

Your Daughter


  1. I lost my father & brother (+ countless other family) due to drugs & alcohol. We didn’t have much of a relationship before they passed. They were great people when they were sober. They were raging monsters when not sober. My kids only met them a few times. I’d love for them to have a relationship. But that’s not to be whether they’re alive or not because of their Demons. I had to protect my children & myself. They’re hopefully at peace now.


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