Forgive Moms- part one

17 01 2009

The mother of a young AA member is still drinking alcoholically. She often calls him when she is drunk. He usually does not answer after a certain hour in the evening because he knows she will be on a drunken rant. Sober alkies just know that it is fruitless to talk to someone who is in their cups. They don’t remember and we just get frustrated. I think it is wise to avoid such calls.

One night, he just wasn’t thinking and he answered the phone to hear his drunken Mom slurring that she was going to kill herself. He tried to talk to her but had to hang up in frustration. He asked me how it is possible to forgive someone who continues to do this crazy stuff. My answer is that you continually forgive them. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I have been thinking about it for over a week now. Any knowledge I have is based on my own personal experience with life.

I spent a lot of time angry at my Mom. I believed it was all her fault that I was an emotional mess. It was true that she had done a lot of irrational things during her drinking days and she did truly break my heart on more than one occasion. Her behavior was completely dysfunctional and after I got sober, I had, like this young man, made a decision that it was healthier for me not to answer her calls after a certain hour. I could not afford to go into the tailspins that her drunken conversations spiraled me into. I also could not afford to remain angry with her. 

At the suggestion of my sponsors, I began to pray for her every day. It took great restraint not to pray for what I wanted for my mother, which was, of course, for her to get sober. I had to pray that God would simply bless her.  My will for her was not wrong or bad. I learned that I needed to let go of MY will and trust God”s will for her. So, my prayer was something like this:

God, Please bless my Mom. Help me to forgive her and to let go of my anger towards her. Your will be done. Amen

Keep it simple. The odd thing is that you can not remain angry at a person that you ask God to bless. It is a mystery to me how the heart softens when you pray for another individual. As I was able to let go of the resentment our relationship began to grow into something healthy even though she was still drinking. I was learning how to love her where she was at. I still couldn’t hang out with her when she was drinking but I loved her from a distance. In alanon, they call it “detaching with love”. I really did love her.

One afternoon, in my fifth year of sobriety, my Mom called me. As soon as I heard her voice I knew she was completely shattered. It was the middle of the day. She had recently retired and no longer had a job to help her control her drinking, she was out of control. She kept mumbling, “I need help.” I talked to her for a short time and told her I would come by and see her in the morning.

The next morning, I showed up at her place bright and early. She was hurting with a horrid hangover. I told her to get dressed so we could get going. She asked where we were going and I said to an AA meeting. She recoiled at the thought and began to argue with me. She was not going to any blankety-blank meeting. So, I lied to her.

Will you check back tomorrow to see what happened?



2 responses

17 01 2009
Bryan McGee

I will be waiting by the Google Reader tomorrow.

I love reading the story of God’s hand leading you. The most appropriate way to finish reading these posts may very well be, “Thank you, Jesus.”


22 01 2009

You bet!


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