My Mum Loves Alcohol More Than Me

At the grand old age of 42, I have finally realized the truth.

My mum loves alcohol more than me.

And she always will, even though she is now in a locked psychiatric ward. Yet her locked-up state has allowed my until-now locked emotional state to leak out. It seeps through my consciousness, colouring my every day.

For years I made excuses. I could not have sleepovers. I could not pop home with friends. I could not leave her alone. She ruined Christmases. She embarrassed herself at family get togethers. She was inappropriate. In short, she was unmanageable.

I loved her beyond measure. I forgave her every single mishap. I excused it, I re-fashioned them, reworked them until I couldn’t any longer.

I was diagnosed with a serious illness at 37. The same one my father had, and ultimately died of. She chose not to come with me on the day I was diagnosed. She had a prior appointment. Nothing important, just a regular chiro appointment.

I sought her out, driving through tears then collapsing into her arms. She told me to meet her back at her house after her appointment. Those 40 minutes sitting on her step will haunt me forever.

She did not abandon that appointment. I realise now she was on a roll in her non-alcoholic state. She would do this. She would go to the appointment no matter what. She was out the house.