A letter I never sent.




A letter I wrote months ago but felt I could never send…

I know that no matter how much I beg and plead and wish for you to see that your life is valuable, that it is worth living and that despite all, you are the narrator of your story – I can’t make you see that. I can’t make you see that you are not helpless – I can’t make you hope.

Mummy, you are ill and you have an illness.
But you are also strong, capable, kind, empathetic and so loved by your 4 children.

Every time I watch you drink to excess, or when I find you passed out on the kitchen floor, or in such a blind rage – it genuinely feels like my heart is being ripped out of me.

I would not be the person I want to be or the daughter you deserve or a good sister if I did not tell you this: when you poison yourself, you poison our entire family. You are not a victim, you are a survivor, but it’s time to live and thrive now.

You can not keep expecting us to keep watching you declare your death wish. I would be lying if I said I wanted you to get better just for you. I want you to get better because Every time that you choose to hurt yourself, you tear our relationship, and destroy our happiness and memories.

You killed the child in me and you kill the image we had of you as our supermum, our hero, our angel. I have given you all of the excuses, and all of the justifications I can possibly come up with because I don’t want to believe that you don’t want to live any longer, that I am not enough to live for, that you don’t want to be my mum, that you don’t want to be the grandmother to my children.
But also I want you to get better for you, to know that you aren’t your disease, and that you are capable of saving yourself.

I have always imagined that one day I will pull you out of the water you’re drowning in but I can’t just throw you a life buoy and save you – you have to want to grab it and hold on, try to swim and fight to breath. 

Please do not give up on yourself, please don’t give up on us, and most of all, please don’t give up on the life you deserve to live.

I love you with my entire being, I am so grateful for everything you do – which I know you do because you love, feel and hurt so much. I wish you knew how loved you are, how wanted you are and how much I want you to be happy.
I feel like I can’t be happy if I know how deeply unhappy you are – but I also can’t sacrifice my happiness for you anymore. I’m choosing to fight for the life I deserve and I hope you do too and I will be there always to fight the fight with you.

Find the help you so need and deserve, the help which will empower and free you

  • listener

    Dear Dreamcatcher,
    Thank you for sharing these powerful words, both the love and heartbreak written between each line is so clear. I’m sure others will read and relate to aspects of what you’ve said. You mentioned you felt you couldn’t send this letter; how did it feel to share it here? Your voice is important. Your feelings are important. You are important.

    It can be difficult to separate our parents hurt and unhappiness from our own but it’s so vital to remember that you are your own individual. An often painful but freeing truth is that just because a parent can’t recover right now does not mean we can’t recover from our own wounds. You can feel better, whilst still grieving and acknowledging that child that was lost.

    ‘I’m choosing to fight for the life I deserve, and I hope you do too, and I will be there always to fight the fight with you,’ what a strong sentence. Please try and hold onto this. From what you’ve written it sounds as though you already are shifting and changing to find the life you have always deserved. And you do deserve that life, that happiness and that peace.

    Remember too that the Nacoa helpline is here for you. You can always email or call them. They’re happy to listen and support you in whatever way you need.

    With gentle wishes
    – Listener

    • here2help

      Hi dreamcatcher,

      I’m glad you shared this here and that you were able to write down the things you want to say to your mum even if you feel you can’t say them right now. Finding ways to express how we feel is really important so we aren’t keeping it bottled up inside. It is so difficult to see a parent struggle with a drinking problem, especially when we have seen glimpses of how wonderful they can be and then that person we love becomes hidden under the effects of alcohol. It is ok to feel angry, hurt and frustrated, to grieve, to be sad, to miss them and the relationship we used to have or wish we could have. Sadly people get so lost in addiction that it no longer feels like a choice to them and it becomes hard to find their way out. I hope you have a good support network around you and are able to take time for yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and reach out to the Nacoa helpline if you want to talk to someone.

      Take care,

    • feelinglost

      Hi Dreamcatcher.

      Thank you so much for sharing these words. I feel I can really relate to what you felt when you needed to express them. I feel as though I am going through a similar experience currently and reading your letter has helped me put some of my own thoughts into words instead of keeping it bottled up.

      Thank you again for sharing and remember you are not alone.

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