Mother’s Day and the Road to Self-Forgiveness

For me, Mother’s day is a roller coaster ride filled with different emotions. The good, the bad and the ugly of “remember when…” It is easy to feel guilt as a mother when you think back at the years where you were by far the best mother that you could be.

When I was under the influence, I was sure, or actually I had convinced myself, that I was the best mother I could be and that my children had no idea how sick I was, that my addiction was in no way affecting them, they did not even know right?!

Suzanne - Renascent Alumna

True, I tried my best to be a good mother while being sick with my addiction and dealing with mental health illnesses, trying to stay sane and take care of my children at the same time was no easy task. I pretended for years that everything was okay. And of course, I realized later that my children did know and were affected in a big way. Insert guilt here…

This has been one of the most difficult aspects of my recovery, coming to terms with the reality that I psychologically damaged my children and I cannot go back to fix it. At the beginning of my sobriety, once my brain was cleared from the fog and grasped how I affected them, how it changed who they were and the consequences of my actions, it really hurt and still does. I struggle a lot with these memories of bad behaviors. “Remember when…” has always been difficult for me, but so necessary to my recovery. The awful memories help me to stay sober as I do not want under any circumstances to be that person again.

I am so lucky though, because my children had enough kindness in their heart to understand what I had been through, and they understood the disease. They were able to have compassion and love and forgave me. I promised them and myself that I would do my best to become the mother I should have been all those years ago.

I have been clean and sober for almost 13 years now, and every day I make sure I am the mother they need and deserved from the beginning. I gain back my pride and I can say today, without a doubt, that I am a good mother. I still have to work on self-forgiveness, but that’s okay. It is part of my journey. I know it will come one day.

On this Mother’s Day, I am so grateful for my children, my sobriety and my wonderful grandson, who will never see his grandmother under the influence of anything. This is such a great feeling and it fills my heart with gratitude, love and hope.

I know that being a mother is a privilege, I cherish being one. On this Mother’s Day, I will allow myself to get one step closer to self-forgiveness and that’s a good thing.

I wish you all a great day, one step at a time.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email