I am the mother of two [young] children…. I am an alcoholic. My mother has drunk alcoholic beverages all of her life…. I have never made a home with anyone, not even the father of my children. I don’t want commitments with anyone — only with my mother and my children. The problem is that my mother drinks every day… and I do too….

I want to change my life, but it’s very hard…. My children suffer because of this. I was confined to a psychiatric hospital one month last year and one month this year. What should I do? I can’t stand it anymore; I want to die!

Dear Friend,

You mention that your children suffer because of your alcoholism. Yes, this is true. But they not only suffer now; they will also suffer for the rest of their lives. When you and your mother are under the influence of alcohol, you do and say things that hurt your children. But beyond that, your drinking causes your children to lack the stability and security that children need to be emotionally healthy. Would you say that you are an alcoholic today largely because of your mother’s drinking when you were small? Is that the legacy you plan to leave to your children?

I remember the helpless feelings I had when my mother was under the influence of alcohol. I would beg her not to drink. I would try to pour the contents of the bottles down the drain. I constantly tried to figure out what I could do to make it stop. But nothing worked. She wouldn’t listen. Because I was the oldest child, I learned that I had to take care of my younger sister and brother, because she was so inebriated that she no longer even knew we were there. And then I had to try and cover up her behavior so that everyone wouldn’t know.

Even worse were the mornings after. She would not remember what she had done the night before, and she didn’t want to talk about it. She never apologized for how she treated us or for how she embarrassed us. She didn’t even believe that she had done the things she had done or said the things she had said. So we learned that we had to act like it never happened — and then it happened again, and again, and again — my whole childhood spent in a vicious circle, helpless to get out or make it stop. Just writing about it today makes my stomach tie up in knots, even though decades have passed.

You say you want to die. Why would you say that? It’s because dying is the easy way out. By dying, you wouldn’t have to do the extremely hard work of getting sober. Instead, for your children’s sake, I implore you to find an Alcoholics Anonymous today. Call them and arrange to meet with them. They will know how to help you.

Did you know that you can also get supernatural help? There is Someone who wants to be invited into your situation. God is ready to come into your life and give you the strength that you need. If you are serious about changing your life and the life of your children, ask your Heavenly Father to help you. He can’t wait to hear from you!