What It’s Like to Parent in Recovery

Taking care of a child and treating a substance use disorder puts parents in recovery on double duty

Karli (left), a character introduced by Sesame Street in 2019, has a parent in recovery. Photo credit: Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop

Parenting and recovery are life-changing efforts made by people with a lot of responsibility and much to lose.

When I saw how alcohol ravaged the person I loved, and because I also had a fairly unhealthy relationship with booze, I decided to also quit drinking. I turned to others’ stories on sober parenting and wrote some of my own, exploring the social rejection that comes with sobriety. It’s tough to say no to a cocktail at a playdate punctuated with screeching, but it’s even harder to rebuild trust around fears of relapse, while juggling family schedules that include 12-step meetings and many doctor’s appointments.

Miami-bred writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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