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Kofi Carmichael

To the parents, I’ve heard in a lot of my 12 step meetings about parents being alcoholics and it being a big part of their own alcoholism. I completely understand that but fortunately I can’t relate. I grew up in a single mother household and my mother never got married or had random men coming into the house. I saw her get drunk but not on a regular basis. Usually it was around the holidays and sometimes she would have some brandy and milk before she went to bed. She’s from the old school so she believed that if you put a spot of brandy in a child’s baby bottle that it would help them go to bed faster. By no means can I ever blame her for my alcoholism though. Sometimes parents try to raise their kids to the best of their abilities but in the end of the day there is only so much they can do.

I started clubbing at 15 and that’s when I started drinking. She had no idea when it started getting out of control because I was hiding it as much as I could. Around the holidays I would go buy a 24 case of beer and drink more than half of it. It was the holidays so that was my excuse to be drunk without having to hide it. That was when I was allowed to drink rum and brandy with the family instead of by myself or with my friends. A lot of time has passed and a lot of things have happened and I am now in a position where I need to take care of my mother. She has been suffering with Alzheimer for the past 3 years maybe even more. I found out when I was incarcerated and it helped me to realize that I need to stay sober and responsible for her and myself. With all the bad news and stress that I have been through over the past 3 years the old me would’ve ran to the bottle. At this point I know that alcohol wouldn’t make things any better. Between her medical expenses, things for her home along with my own bills if I was still a drunk I would have totally messed it up by now. Every time that she shows serious blocks of her memory being gone it breaks my heart. She has looked at me a few times and didn’t know who I was. That just killed me but I need to stay sober for her and for my own sanity. To this day I still don’t know what made me an alcoholic but I know I can never drink again or everything in my life will fall apart.

My mother raised me well and I lived a lie in front of her to the point that she has always been in denial to all the wrong that I have done. She gave me everything she could and anything a child would ever want and it is my responsibility to make sure she knows I appreciate it and that I will give back and take care of her in her golden age. Anytime that I feel close to the edge the thought of her brings me back to earth, so essentially she is still raising me. I’m not a parent so I don’t feel like I have any authority to give advice. However from my own experience I can say that my mother did her best and it was me that made the decisions to be an alcoholic. If she was reading this right now I would let her know how sorry I am for the path I took. My mother is a great and strong woman and I am proud to be her son. Now that I see clearly I can soak in all that she has taught me to enrich her life and my own. Thank you mommy!