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Can I drink around my son?

Can I drink around my son?

Often I am asked if I drink around my son.

It’s a question that comes up frequently in support groups trying to help those with an addiction to alcohol.

Professionals typically suggest cleaning out the house when a loved one comes home from rehab, or at least locking up any alcohol.

But that doesn’t answer the question: what to do at a family gathering or restaurant?

My son recently told me, “It is helpful to do anything we can to protect the alcoholic/addict until he or she can experience the psychic change that results from working the Twelve Steps.”

When Jacob first came out of rehab years ago, neither my husband nor I would drink around him.  It wasn’t just the nagging worry that I’d be putting a temptation or “trigger” in front of him.  It was more a show of support.  You can’t drink.  So I won’t, either.

But it wasn’t long into his sobriety before Jacob was staring at me across the table after the waiter left.  “Ma, it’s okay.  You can order a glass of wine.’

When I didn’t, time after time, there came a moment when he said this…

“Mom, go ahead.  It’s ok.  I  wish you would.  That way I’ll know you know I am okay, and you can trust me.  You can trust my sobriety.”

Today, bearing witness to the “psychic change” he’s worked so hard to achieve, I do occasionally sip a glass of wine in his presence.

Because I have faith in my son’s recovery, and in my own.

And I am learning to trust, again.

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