Recovery Stories

Suzie W.

Farmer’s Daughter

I’m a farmer’s daughter from cow country—from my dad’s dairy farm, to college Cowtown USA, to the home of the Strolling of the Heifers.

I’m a farmer’s daughter from a loving family, gregarious and celebratory, but who often tipped back too many and toasted too much.

I’m a farmer’s daughter from voracious reading stock, where we passed books from grandparent to parent to child, talked about big ideas, and felt deep feelings.

I’m a farmer’s daughter, caught between wholesome and naughty, as the various limericks and traveling salesmen stories go. Innocent as Ellie May Clampett or as sassy as a Hee-Haw Honey.

I’m from a farmhouse where we kept more beer than milk, and we thought neverending 12 packs were a staple of life everywhere, where the bulk tank in my dad’s milkhouse held gallons of fresh, frothy milk while the milkhouse fridge held a quarter-keg of its own foamy beverage.

I’m from a family where loved ones gathered at parties and reunions became strangers as the booze flowed freely and the day wore on, where I tried not to get caught in the sloshy swirl of the drunken chatter.

I’m from a family where the white mustache smile is beer foam not milk, but we learned to wipe the foam away.

I’m from a family who said “Enough!” and cut off the flow, embracing recovery, from my mom, to my siblings, to me.

I’m a farmer’s daughter, who discovered that I’m enough and learned when to say when.

(Written from a seven-minute prompt for Writers for Recovery program.)