From Hope for Today, April 1:
“Growing up in an alcoholic home gave me ample preparation to become a perfectionist. Almost nothing I did as a youth was ever right. Inside I felt rage at never meeting my parents’ expectations. I promised myself I would do things differently. By the time I reached my thirties, however, I could hear my parents’ critical voices speaking through me. I knew I was using the same words spoken to me.”
I could have written that myself. And I’m so grateful for the awareness I’ve picked up from my years of recovery. In the early years of my daughter Angie’s addiction, I was oppressive in my attempts to get her to “buckle under and shape up.” What? Would I use those words if she had cancer or any other disease?
I got quite an education in the rooms of recovery, first of all in accepting that drug addiction is a brain disease. The American Medical Association has been saying that since the 1950’s, but who was listening? With that awareness, there was no room in my heart for judgment or criticism. Only compassion, understanding, and love.
Now, if I have any interaction with Angie, all that I say or do springs from the heart of a mother. I love my child. Some things are beautiful in their simplicity.