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How Rekindling My Relationship with My Mom Saved My Life
By Benny Emerling
Do you know who has the hardest job in the world? Is it a lawyer, a brain surgeon or an astronaut? Those jobs do require a lot of hard work, years of education and dedication. However, I don’t believe those jobs are the most difficult. The hardest job on the planet is one that women don’t get paid to do — being a mother. But when a good job is done, the benefits are priceless, so I’ve heard from many mothers out there.
Our mother is the first person we have human contact with. Like it or not, it is the first person with whom we have a relationship. You can pick your friends and your lovers, but you can’t pick your family members. This bond we have with our mothers is supposed to be stronger than Super Glue according to societal rules. But what happens when something gets in the way of that bond or something dramatic happens to change the relationship? Every teenager has fights with their parents, but my story is deeper than that. It goes beyond an everyday argument.
Growing up in split family where my parents were divorced and separated at a young age, I didn't have the most normal upbringing. My dad was quickly remarried and I suddenly had a stepmom and two stepsisters. My mom stayed single but dated a few guys here and there. She had my brother when I was five years old and basically had her hands full every other weekend with me, my sister and my brother. My mother is a loving and caring woman who was always able to provide all of us with everything we needed. However, as the middle child I started to defy rules and rebel against authority.
When I was 13 I quickly started ripping and running with the so-called bad kids. I started getting high regularly and binge drinking on the weekends. I stopped trying to have a healthy relationship with anyone in my life, including my mom. Things rapidly fell apart. I gave up on after-school activities and maintained friendships based on our mutual desire to get high. My entire group of friends changed and so did my behavior. I lied, I stole, I cheated, and I tried to control every situation. I even went to the extent of selling all of the prescription pills in my house to get high.
My relationship with my family was in constant turmoil, especially with mom. There were countless times where I was kicked out of the house. During that time, I swore I would never speak to my mother again. I made a choice to attend a couple outpatient drug rehabs for my substance abuse, but never actually stayed sober.
By the time I was in college I had developed a full-blown addiction. I refused to be in contact with any of my family members and would only call them if I knew I could get money out of them. I had no friends whatsoever, and the only people I was in contact with were drug dealers. My life was in shambles and everyone knew it.
Although I was a major asshole to my mother and my family, she always stuck by my side and I knew that. I treated her like a doormat. I broke all of her rules and even stole money from her. While I continued to get high, I would constantly think to myself, “I am the worst son in history.”
It took six years for me to end up in a drug rehab where I actually cared to change my ways and make a difference. This is when I realized how important it is to have mother who loves me and would sacrifice everything to save me from my addiction. Despite the way I treated her, she never stopped trying. She was always there for me and even if she wasn't, I knew she had my back. My mother was the first person I called when I knew I needed help and she did not hesitate to pick up the phone.
While I was in treatment, she too received help so she could better understand how to help me. Slowly, we rekindled our bond that nothing or nobody can sever now. Now that I am in sobriety, I can honestly say if it wasn't for my mother, I would have died. She is my number one fan as I am hers. We do not have blowout fights like we did when I was a teenager, and she is a monumental part of my recovery. I can turn to her for any advice and sometimes she turns to me for the same.
It’s hard to believe I swore off all communication with her when I talk with her now on a regular basis. I cannot thank my mother enough for what she has been through raising a kid like me. My actions were utterly insane and it doesn’t seem like I will ever be able to pay her back all the money I stole. I owe a lot of my success to her, which had to be the hardest job in the world for her to facilitate. She has found it in her heart to forgive me and that taught me how to forgive myself.
#Real #PersonalEssay #Addiction #Mothers #Thankful
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