Might my drinking have destroyed my children’s lives?

by Sylvain Roy
(Somewhere in Canada)

Write my story, they say. But what story is that?

The same old story I have been faking for a lifetime, that may turn out to be a lie, with most people in on it. Or the story I would write if I could see my life through a stranger’s eye? If I write my story the way I have played it, I will make myself look like a happy camper who just rolled with whatever life threw at me. I will look like a hero, who survived against the odds, with a smile on my face. A guy who may have a drink or two, from time to time. I will look like a adolescent who avoided responsabilities as long as I could, then did “my God damn best” when faced with reality. But as the cloud is dissipating in front of my mind’s eye, starting my 6th week of alcohol sobriety, It seems to invalidate all the above.

If I should write about my real life, I might have to wait for it to comme back to my memory, free from that casualy protective distortion . My recent life, the last 15 months, is quite clearly a wake up call. My addiction has gone from steady immoderate drinking, ranging anywhere from 30 to 50 drinks a week for 30 years, to absolute mental breakdown, with speed, pot, coke, and LSD on the day to day routine. I don’t struggle that much from my 35 days abstinence, given that I still use many other substances. But I fear if I get totally sober now, given what I’m beginning to realize, I may not be able to cope.

I just don’t know the extent of my failure. I wonder if my children have lived a life of deception, pain and sorrow because of my behaviour. I wonder if they just see life as I made it up to be, or if they wish it had been different. Will they hold me accountable for all the time I did not spend with them, or look ahead in the hope that better times will come? Can I make amends and be a positive presence for my children, after having been like I have, throughout their whole life? Should this be done loudly, in my face. Or should I be a hypocrite hiding in plain site. As positive as 5 weeks of partial sobriety may be, I feel like I’m digging out my own dead body to try and revive it. I’m so fucking alone. Sorry for my writing, this is not my native language.

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