When you meet Cynthia, you would never think she’s only four months sober. A wise woman and single mother, she started drinking at just 13 years old. Her recovery has allowed her to rebuild the relationships which are most important to her, with herself and her children.

“At the time I knew that what I was doing wasn’t the best situation. I told myself that as long as you’re doing X, Y, and Z, you don’t have child protective services at your door, they’re getting fed, you’re not driving drunk with them, you’re getting up when they wake up, that’s your business. You’re an adult, and you can drink when you want.

Now that I have reflection and hindsight’s 20/20 I was not the mom I could have been. I feel guilty. I did manipulate them. I haven’t made amends with them on that yet, and I’m sure that they’re well aware that I was doing that. Even though they were young. So, it’s going to be an interesting conversation because I’m sure I’m going to get that confirmation. It’s shameful, but I’m learning to forgive myself for it. At the time I did the best I could with the tools that I had. I wasn’t acknowledging at the time that I needed help.

I’m very close with my children now. I’m very fortunate that if any resentment they did have they seem to have put that in the past. All they ever wanted was for me to be well. The damage I did was making them worry about me. Things still got taken care of. I put my daughters through college; my son is finishing high school. They’ve had everything they’ve ever wanted except for a healthy mom. Now that I’m taking care of myself and doing what I’m supposed to do that washes a lot of that resentment away. As long as I continue to do what’s right for myself, for our relationships, and for the family.

I certainly didn’t want to risk not having a relationship with my soon to be grandaughter. I know my daughter is going to be a fantastic mom and a part of that would be not including me in her daughters life if I continued to drink and bring that kind of influence around. I’m very fortunate that they’re all incredibly supportive. They just want the best for me.”

Listen to the whole episode here: 

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