I wish I’d been a better person back then. A nicer calmer compassionate spiritual likeable thoughtful person and an amazing mum.
But I wasn’t.
Self reflection, navel gazing, mindfulness etc are all very well and generally worthwhile but sometimes they simply suck. I’ve spent a good portion of today thinking backwards and not liking what I see.
Of course back then I didn’t like myself much if at all, couldn’t see what value I had to offer, what worth I could contribute, what possible purpose I had for even being here. I was good at nothing and never measured up. At least that was how I saw myself so the potential to be anything beyond that was always going to be a challenge.
The thing I am most truly sorry for is the kind of mother I was. I have two fantastic boys who are both in wonderful places in their lives, one of whom has a beautiful new son. One is doing very well at University and has a solid part time job and the other is a qualified engineer who recently changed jobs after being head hunted. They are both happy successful young men with wonderful partners.
I have always loved them. I have always believed in them. I have always seen their potential. And I have always only ever wanted their happiness. I did my best as a parent, but oh how I wish I had done so much better. Had been there for them more than I was and that I never ever yelled. But I did yell and I can’t take it back.
I didn’t always drink. They were a little older when I first started. And I didn’t start out drinking lots. Not that that matters because I did drink, I began to drink regularly and the quantity was on the increase. I wasn’t drinking when I decided I wasn’t a nice person so I can’t blame myself on the drink but definitely drinking didn’t help.
I can’t take back the past. Hell, I hate even revisiting a lot of it. And I know dwelling there serves no useful purpose. The guilt and regret it dredges up a waste of life. But I do have to at least face it and those feelings so I can really move past them into my now and my future and to loosen the grip they can have on me so that the power is mine.
I moved up the mountain a year ago now, I stopped working a little over a year ago [out in the workforce] and almost 6 months ago I stopped drinking alcohol.
Those 3 things have conspired to push me to where I am now and the who I am now. I do like me and I, most likely for the first time ever, fit my skin. I do get wobbly at times so I acknowledge I am a work in progress. But I feel more joy and happiness now than I ever have, it comes from a place deep within. And I hope it’s this that shines through and what people see and feel. I hope that those I love feel it and know that how much they mean to me.
I am a grandparent now so it is my hope that I will be a wonderful grandparent to this most loved little grandson.
It’s a season to be reflective and though that can be painful it’s a journey worth taking, if just to reclaim yourself back and to find forgiveness for yourself.
This of course will be my first Christmas without drinking. I have made it through all the work functions with mostly little fuss or trouble and so face forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas day with confidence and self belief.
Christmas will be all about my family and not about the wine. I will have energy to go about the day and interact with the family and not need a nap due to wine induced tiredness.
I didn’t like me much back then but I do like me now. I hope that is enough.