An Interview with Rachele Walters, Social Detox Alumna
Help a Mom Recover is a series that spotlights moms in Maggie’s Recovery Community. Please consider honoring the moms in your life with a gift to The Magdalen House this Mother’s Day. YOU can help a mom recover.
Has your experience of parenting (being a Mom) changed since you got sober?
Yes absolutely! I was often a missing mommy as a result of my drinking. When I was there, I was very unpredictable – they never knew what mom they were going to get from day to day. Today they know exactly where I am and who I am at all times. They know that they are the most important thing in my life aside from my relationship with God.
How have your children been affected by your recovery?
I have always said – my alcoholism IS a part of their story; however, so is my recovery. I feel like we all recovered as a family.
Are they actively engaged in helping some of their friends in the same situation as they were in?
My kids have such an amazing love for other kids with broken hearts as the result of a parent struggling with addiction. They bring kids home to stay with us if their house is not loving and safe and we had two extra teens living with us over the winter months. They both told me that they were happy for the first time in a long time. My two oldest, Blake and Brittany, travel the world helping kids their age find God and I know their love for others stems from recovery; my oldest son Blake told me that if I had not recovered that he would be out there tearing up the world instead of putting it together.
Is your family unit stronger since you got sober AND has it continued to grow as a result of participating in our Peer Recovery Program?
Oh yes! It is a running theme – people tell us all of the time that they wish they had a family bond like ours. That would have never been a thing a few years ago. Recovery has given us life.
How has alcoholism impacted you as a mother?
I never understood why women would say that they are grateful to be an alcoholic. Today, I do. I don’t think that I would appreciate life the way that I do or have the relationship with God that I have today. My recovery has allowed me to guide my children to a relationship with God as well. They know living the spiritual life is real because they have seen it work. Grace has been the number one thing that I have learned from my kids through my alcoholism. As a result of receiving grace, I can give grace to the women that I work with and other women who are suffering.
How do the principles you’ve learned through recovery help you be a better mommy?
Living an honest, open life with a solution to problems, instead of flipping out and having to control everything has changed our lives drastically. Today my kids trust me to have integrity, and they know they can come to me with anything. It is a real honor being their mom, and I thank God for trusting me with them.
What is it like balancing motherhood and recovery?
My kids go with the flow because they know it has worked in my life. If I have to miss events or work late with a protegee – they never complain. In fact, they love going with me to meetings and love to hear me speak about recovery. I have never heard a negative word from them about it.
What do you wish others knew about you as a mom and an alcoholic?
I get to be a momma because I choose to live these principals and seek a relationship with God. I would not be who I am today without the guidance and love that came from Maggie’s. My story was not pretty, and I did some horrible things as a parent, but I am a fighter, and I refuse to go back there. With the help of God – my kids get the parents that I needed when I was younger. That is what I live for.