THIS is why I quit drinking…

So we all know I’ve got four years of sobriety under my belt.  Four years ago my kids were 38, 27, 19, 16 and 14 (x’s 2).  Essentially, I still had a full house.  The first three were gone but I still had three, very needy and growing boys at home.  They still needed me for a roof, sustanance, guidance, hugs, kisses, some entertainment and a good laugh from time to time.

But I knew…

I knew the day was coming when they’d be gone and I’d be left staring at their empty bedrooms wondering where the time went and drinking myself into a coma.  I could see it!

I was right.

Thank GOD I listened to my gut (and my husband).

We took my youngest (by 21 minutes his brother will tell you proudly) to school this weekend.  He’s living on campus.  Now…it’s only 20 minutes up the road and I expect to see him frequently (at least to do his laundry) so it’s not like he’s 3000 miles away (how DO parents do that?) but this one is hard because I know he’s the one that will never really be “back”.  He’ll come home over break and to get a hot meal, but he’s chomping at the bit to get on with his life.  He wants to spread his wings. 

His father and I were discussing this the other day on the way to work.  He and I both were out of the house at his age.  Married (not to each other – when the hubs was 18, I was in kindergarten…ewwwwww) and running our own lives.  I left home and got married to get the hell away from the dysfunction that was my home.  He left because that’s what you did in 1966.  You got a job, got married and, for him, went to Vietnam.  Regardless of why, we were ready.

When I compare how I felt then to my own kids and how they must be feeling, I shudder.  Because time has taught me that I wasn’t ready, that the world was big and ugly and was going to hurt me.  That actually, I didn’t know shit even though I thought I was the shit.  But it was also exciting and new and…well…fun.

They’re leaving…and they are the last.  But’s that is what they are supposed to do…right?  I’ve always said that my job as their parent was not to be their friend but to raise good people who would be assets to the world.  People of integrity with a loving heart who cultivate goodness and light.

I did my job.  They are great humans.  In fact, they’re awesome.  For now.  I don’t know what will happen out there and what’s more I CAN’T CONTROL IT.  My job as I knew it is over.  I have children with the addictive gene that I’m turning out into the world and just praying. 

I’ve being reassigned.  My job now is only to support, guide and love them…more and more, only when asked.  They will, one day in the future (way, way future I hope) have families of their own that will be their first priority.  That’s how it should be.  They need to complete the cycle.

Have I mentioned that I don’t like change?  That I hate not knowing what I’m doing?  This job is new and unfamiliar and it makes me nostalgic for a different time.  And. It. Sucks. Ass.  Because I’m scared.  Scared = fear.  Fear = alcoholic out of control. 

No thanks.

I am SO glad that I don’t drink any longer.  This could have been VERY ugly indeed.


7 thoughts on “THIS is why I quit drinking…

  1. They sometimes come back, you know. Mine did. They're both married now but my son had some rough unemployment issues a few years ago. So, you know how it goes, we couldn't let him sink. And all's well that ends well. Job, marriage, house, baby. But they do sometimes come home again! Your job may not be entirely over.

  2. i too am goi

    i am also dealing with the empty nest. i got a puppy to alleviate some of the pain . I am soo nostalgic for the time my kids were little that sometimes i actually physically hurt deep down inside. Unfortunately, I am drinking again. Just signed up for the 100 day sober challenge so hopefully that will get my sober car up and running again.

  3. You know I'm staring down the barrel of this to.

    We have two 23 and 18 currently… btw you deserve to be appointed a Dame and visit the Queen and all that jazz having that many kids – we threw the towel in at 2!

    Anyway – 23 year old, he was the one that would always leave. From teenage years onwards he didn't see his life with Mum and Dad or even where we live – he had different dreams. When he went to uni – it was about as far as you could get from us – we live just East of London – he went to farthest West Wales – Edinburgh would have been considerably easier and quicker to get to! Then he went to Svalbard for his last half of his masters year – trust me, that is so far north you can barely find it on my projections! Now he is gone to the West Midlands – honestly only 3 hours on a train but he is gone.

    The youngest is teetering on the edge – she has signed up to a uni about 2 hours away and 120 miles or so – not that bad. But she is more of the homely girl – she doesn't like the fact we turn her brothers room into more of a guest room – mostly for him and his partner but still it is change … it isn't how home was.

    My wife struggles more with it – she cries when the lad sets off back now. She used to cry when I went to the USA for a week on business … until that wore off and she was often glad to see the back of me I think. But for me… it is a change I'd rather not have. What is my purpose? For so long it has been look after and provide for the kids and help them. Now I'm no longer needed for that.

  4. Jump start that motherfucker and get it running again! You and I both have a lot of things left to do even if one of them isn't mothering little ones. Plus…to be blunt…we're not as young as we used to be. We can't be wasting any more time.

    You can do thus thing!

  5. I was only half kidding when I said that was why we had little one. LOL When I was reading this, I thought, “Awww she's afraid.” But you came to that conclusion all on your own and you are looking at it head on and acknowledging it and dealing with it….how freaking healthy is that?! Scary stuff to turn them loose in the world….but somehow we all grow from the process.

  6. Great post. Now that I'm almost 1.5 years without alcohol, I'm finally considering the fact that I want children. This has reinforced the idea that I don't want to drink ever again, because I can't imagine a situation where I'd feel comfortable being intoxicated around children.

    Thanks for the post!

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