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Confessions Of A Sober Mommy

Sober Mommies Confessions Of A Sober MommyMy name is Lindsay, and I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for two years now, and have faced my past mistakes and screw-ups as the opportunities have arisen. In active addiction, I ran from every bad decision I made and blamed everyone and anyone. The shit I started or the people I hurt were never my fault. I was in such a haze of chaos and dishonesty, I wouldn’t have known the truth if it had slapped me in the face.

Two years into my addiction, Social Services intervened and removed my two oldest children from my care. I wasn’t being a parent, and they weren’t being taken care of emotionally like they should have been. The only thing that mattered to me at that point was my addiction; from the moment I opened my eyes till the time I drank myself into a stupor.

A fire occurred in the house I was living in with my boys and we lost everything. I was told to take them to the hospital to get checked for smoke inhalation, but I didn’t because I thinking only of myself. I was on probation, and had been drinking that morning before the fire started. I knew if I went to the hospital and they smelled booze on my breath, they would have called the cops and charged me with violating my probation. I instead took them to a friend’s house and continued drinking there for the next three days. The police came to the door on the third night with Social Services and took them away. I was devastated, but still didn’t put the bottle away for seven more years. I lived in denial for seven years about what really happened the day of the fire.

The memory of what happened that day never left me, but the story I told others was a complete lie. I couldn’t bring myself to admit the truth, and for those seven years I stayed drunk because I couldn’t deal with the truth about my reckless decisions. I told everybody that my boys’ father started the fire because he was trying to hurt us, but that was nowhere near what happened.

The truth is I had gotten up really early that morning and was drinking like I did everyday. By noon, I was shit-faced and needed a nap. I put the boys in their room and closed the door. My then three-year-old son started playing with my lighter and lit the clothes in his dresser on fire. It took him and his one-year-old brother a while to wake me up, and by the time they did, we had just enough time to get out, but lost everything. I left that fucking lighter lying around, and he was just copying Mommy; “monkey see monkey do.”

Social Services told me what I would have to do to get them back, but I wouldn’t put the bottle away. I finally realized that I would never be able to give them any kind of life until I could do something about my addiction. I agreed to an open adoption, and met the family that would be adopting them many times. They were amazing people and promised that they would talk to my boys about me, and how much I loved them. For the next seven years (after the adoption), I always knew where they were, but I never bothered them. Thank God! That was the only rational and smart decision I made in those seven years. Once I got sober, my heart was wanting to reach out them so badly, but I didn’t feel I had the right too. Just because I had finally straightened my life out, didn’t give me the right to intrude in theirs. I sent birthday cards sporadically and pictures but that was all. I was too ashamed of what happened and too chicken-shit to admit the truth.

Seven months ago, I couldn’t get the fire out of mind. I had to apologize to them, even if I couldn’t speak to them directly. I had to try to reach out to their adopted parents. Once again, I couldn’t bring myself to do it…chicken-shit! Then out of the blue I got a phone call from their adopted mom saying the boys really wanted to talk to me; that they loved me, and were so happy that I had gotten sober and was on the right path.

We talked every week for six months, and their adoptive parents agreed to a visit so they could meet their two little brothers and my husband. I was very excited, but nervous at the same time. When I began speaking to the boys again, I promised them they could ask me anything and that I would always tell them the truth no matter how ashamed I was. My oldest son asked me once if I remembered the fire. I said, “Yes.” He didn’t say anything more, and it really scared me. I had nightmares for a while about it. That was it…he never mentioned it again, but I knew I had to make it right. I was the only one who could tell him the truth about that day, and that’s exactly what I had to do.

During our visit I sat him down and asked, “Son, what do you remember about the fire?” I didn’t know if I had told him the bullshit story I had lied to everyone else about so I needed him to tell me. He said, “Mom I started it by playing with your lighter and you lost everything.” Until that moment, I had no idea what I was going to tell him, but I knew it had to be the truth. I told him that his starting that fire that day, as scary as it was, saved our lives. If that fire had not happened, who knows what could have happened to him and his younger brother. We could have all been killed in a different kind of situation because I wasn’t being a good parent. I told him that God had begun working his miracles in our lives that very moment with that fire. I saw the burden lift from his shoulders after we talked, and my nightmares have since gone away.

I couldn’t change my past mistakes; none of us can, but we sure as hell can own them. My whole addiction was about lying to everyone about everything and now I’ve made my recovery about being honest no matter how shameful I feel. By the grace of God, I’m still alive and have another chance with my family and children. I’m doing it 100% with honesty and humility.

I’m done running from the past.


This brave, honest, and inspirational post was submitted by Lindsay.



photo credit: Andalib. via photopin cc

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  1. Lindsay, you are a brave and absolute warrior. I read this and can feel the guilt (I carried my fair share, I remember the feeling) and then, I feel it lift. You are a miracle and I hope you believe that. I am happy you are able to have a relationship with your sons now. There is no doubt that the decision you made those years ago saved them. Thank you for sharing your story, Lindsay and keep coming back.

    1. Sandy,

      Thank you so much for commenting! I felt the same guilt that you discussed while reading this and then it was relieved just as yours was. We always do the best we can with the tools that we have. I really believe that. There have been times when I was extremely limited, and couldn’t show up in the ways I do today. What a gift it is to be able to look back at those days and not get stuck in morbid reflection!!


  2. Thank you so much for having the courage to share. I too am an alcoholic and changing my ways to be with my babies again. This is very inspiring for those moments when I will also have to be truthful to my children about my addiction and past.

    1. Welcome, Chantel!!

      I hope you are finding support and encouragement here!! You don’t have to do any of that alone!!


  3. Lindsay is my sister, and this is the first time I have ever read the truth about that day, and why she really lost the boys. There is nothing more for me to say except how proud I am of her, to accept humility and be brave enough to tell her story. Even though I am her older sister, she has taught me a lot. Good for you Lindsay.

    1. Your sister is such an amazing woman. Over the past few months, I have been granted the opportunity to meet and know her. She has quickly become one of my favorite women in the world.

      Thank you for posting here and for letting us all know how loved and supported she is. You two are so lucky to have each other!! <3

  4. Thank you everyone for your kind words! I hope and pray that maybe my story will be able to help someone in anyway. Admitting the truth and facing our past mistakes, even if were the only ones who know them, lifts such a burden that words just can’t describe it.

    After this story was posted I read it and cried, tears of pride and hope that maybe it will help someone else lift their burdens. My family had no idea what happened that day, nobody but me and the boys did, so after I read the post I shared the link with them right away. I did this because I will never heal and be complete with my family unless I give them the whole truth and they deserve that. I didn’t just lose my boys that day but they lost their nephews too and now they know why. If I could make a promise to my boys to always be honest with them no matter how ashamed I feel then the rest of my family deserves that commitment to.

    We have the boys back in our lives now and I don’t want any secrets when it comes to my addiction because I need them to see the reality of it and the consequences. Thank you very much Kerri for your support in my recovery and to the rest of my family as well:)

    Thank you Julie and all the other ladies who inspired me to let go of my fear of the truth! Couldn’t have done with out you ladies!! Love ya lots<3

    1. Your strength and courage in even writing this piece is astounding. Your willingness to submit it and place your trust in me and the girls touches my heart. I have cried more in the past two days because of this post than I have in months. I appreciate this story for so many reasons.

      So many of us do or don’t do things during our active addiction and sometimes even somewhat into sobriety that we’re not proud of. I personally imagined that no one would understand that the choices I made back then didn’t feel like choices. I had to drink. PERIOD.

      Today, because of the bravery of women like you and the support of sober mommies, I understand that I am not alone. I’m NOT a terrible mother. My active addiction doesn’t share me with anyone. I remember that when a drink looks good.

      I love you so much and am so grateful to have you in my life and a part of Sober Sisters. You amaze me every day. XOXO

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