Mother’s Day has always been the most important day of the year to me.
No, it is not Christmas. It is not Easter. Or my birthday. Or an anniversary of something special. It is not any one of several really special days throughout the year.
The most important day for me is, has always been and will be for all of my life, Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day while being the most important day is very often a day Mom’s suffer in silence.
We all wear many “hats” throughout our lives, daughters, sisters, friends, co-workers, coaches, teammates, helpers and carers but absolutely none is as important as the role we play as a Mother.
To all the Moms who wish they could have just one more hug. Who very often find themselves hugging that photograph.
Or to the Moms who have not given up. Have not lost hope.
To the Mothers who are helping in their adult child’s recovery. Is being that support when everyone else has walked away.
To the Moms who are themselves in recovery. Trying desperately to regain their own power. And to those women who have stepped up to mother a child in need of that support.
To all of us who have lost our Mothers. Whether that be too aging, to illness or to the disease of addiction.
To all Mothers who are holding on tightly to the memories of the past. Those memories mean absolutely everything. They are that connection that cannot be broken. Those memories are part of your beating heart.
Mother’s Day can bring up such an array of emotions. And each of those emotions are important to acknowledge. We should never deny our feelings. To do so is to deny our truth. And that helps no one.
You may be struggling deeply because the one you loved so deeply lost the battle with addiction and is no longer here. You may feel disappointment or anger or fear. You may feel let down by those around you, you thought would be there to support you.
You may feel hopeful. You may be seeing an effort and commitment not previously seen.
Your feelings are real and they matter. Don’t feel you ever have to deny what you are feeling. Always be real with yourself and make no apologies for how you are feeling.
So often when we tragically learn of another loved one lost to the disease of addiction, we hear “they were a ray of sunshine” or “they lit up every room they walked into”. And that is so important that those are the memories we have tucked deep within our hearts. Because that is truly who they were without their minds altered. Those are the memories you should keep. That is who they truly were deep inside.
But – our reality is that no one struggling with the disease of addiction is “a ray of sunshine” or that they “lit up every room they walked into”. The truth is that our loved ones addiction has caused immense pain, suffering and heartbreak. Each and every person touched is affected differently. And each person is feeling pain.
The truth is very often our loved one lied, stole, manipulated, instilled fear and caused absolute kayos and trauma. Very often families become very divided when one we love is struggling with addiction. One side wants to give all. One side wants to walk away. And the ones in the middle struggle not knowing what to do to help. And very often Mothers carry the load alone.
Many people struggling with the disease of addiction are also struggling with other mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, past trauma never addressed, bipolar, any number of conditions that affect the brain and therefore affect behaviours. They are self-medicating trying to quiet their thoughts.
Don’t ever feel that whatever you are dealing with, whatever you are feeling at that time is wrong. Feel how you are feeling. Be real in that moment. Addiction affects every single one of us differently. Every Mom is dealing with the very unique situation that is their loved ones. No two people struggling are the same.
We love our child. We hate the disease of addiction.
We love our child. We do not like their behaviour.
We love our child. That does not change.
We can love them and not like them at the same time. That love is deep. It is profound. It is real and never quits. But we can honestly say that sometimes we do not particularly like them. We do not like that they lie. We do not like that we cannot trust them to be in the house alone. We do not like that we cannot leave our purse visible. That is the reality and no one has to feel the need to quantify those feelings.
I hope that each of you is able to find peace in today. Peace in knowing you did the very best you could with what you knew at any given time. We Moms put a heavy load on ourselves – we expect ourselves to have all the answers. And that is an impossible load to carry.
Ask yourself – did I do my best with what I was capable of doing regardless of whatever the outcome was? If your answer if yes, then rest gently – you did the best you could. No one can do better than that.
Wishing all of you a peaceful Mother’s Day of reflection, of good memories from the past, and hope for all the tomorrows. Nothing is more important than the role of a Mother. Along with that role comes a huge responsibility. Congratulations for doing the best you are able to do. And know you are not alone.