Life Advice



Mother in recovery struggles with amends

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a recovering alcoholic and the mother of two beautiful adult daughters.

While I have been sober for seven years, my relationship with my oldest daughter, now 30, is nonexistent.

I continue to do the work I need to do through a 12-step program, but her estrangement puzzles me. She said she could not have a relationship with me unless I quit drinking. Well, I did quit drinking.

I have attempted to make amends for not being more present as her mother during those years when drinking took over my life.

I have continued to send random texts letting her know that I think about her. I've sent care packages, as well as birthday and Christmas gifts.

She always replies with a cordial text, thanking me and telling me it was thoughtful and kind of me to do so.


She left home before she turned 16. I've seen her maybe five times in 15 years. She is a virtual stranger to me, and I feel that my efforts are useless.

Some people tell me that "she'll come around," but others tell me to stop my efforts and move on.

Amy, I've carried sadness and regret over this broken relationship for 15 years.

I'm losing hope.


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