My daughter was an alcoholic.

I think I was in denial for the longest time. There was no way that my daughter was an alcoholic.

At first, I thought Michelle was just being a typical teenager, drinking with friends whenever they could get their hands on some liquor. I didn’t like that she drank but I couldn’t get really mad at her. After all, I think we’ve all done it at that age.

But then I started finding empty liquor bottles hidden around her room – little mickey and pint bottles. I’d ask her about them and she’d accuse me of snooping and invading her privacy, never really answering my questions. She’d accuse me of being a hypocrite, since I enjoy a drink now and then, and I’d feel guilty enough to stop arguing.

Then I started smelling liquor on her breath when we were home in the evening. She’d end up slurring her words and getting emotional over the smallest things. I’d ask her about it and she’d get defensive again. I don’t know how many times we’d end up yelling at one another until she stormed off to her room.

Things finally reached a point where we started getting calls from her school. Michelle was often late getting to class or sometimes not getting to class at all. Her grades were falling and she would rarely complete homework assignments. The final straw came when I got a call explaining that she was drunk in class – I brought her home in silence, too angry and hurt to say anything.

The next day, we had a talk. And the truth came out. She was drinking – a lot. I really had no idea that alcohol had taken over her life until she told me. I consider us lucky that she understood she had a problem and wanted to get help.

I’m slowly getting my little girl back. We still have our arguments but I think they’re over typical mother-daughter things, not her drinking. There’s a long road ahead of us but at least my daughter is getting better.

Disclaimer: The character in this story is not real but we all know someone who is similarly affected by addiction.