I knew parenting wasn’t going to be the easiest thing I have done but I thought hey…I’ve been through the ringer with drugs and alcohol how hard can it be?
Before I get any further one thing I must make clear, I am not an expert in parenting and cannot even begin to give advice but can only speak to my experience. I started my parenting journey over 8 years ago and what a ride it has been with three kids in tow. This journey has been by far one of my most satisfying, gratifying and comical but not without its ups and downs. It’s funny how when I look back I don’t really remember the bad times only the good but with my using days I remember only the bad and deaths door. For me when I do the comparison from my using days to kids I think to myself if there were good times during those days I would remember them and I don’t. I remind myself when I think a glass of wine would be a great substitute for my anxiety of life with crazy schedules I know there were no good times (using)…the good times are with my kids even if I am stressed out and want to scream in my pillow.
I won’t lie, there have been days that I have felt sucked dry…dead inside because the kids have taken all my “go get em’” for that day. I can barely get out of bed and I just don’t have anything left for anyone. Alas I pour my cup of coffee and put my happy face on and keep going for my family because they need me. As a mom we are on call 24/7 and the go to for everything in the home and outside. The anxiety and the demand can get to you when the demand becomes the mundane of your everyday life.
This is where I get to tell you how blessed and grateful I am for a recovery program, my treatment centers and meetings taught me something…STOP, take care of yourself because if you aren’t taking care of yourself you aren’t able to take care of anyone else. Just like in an airplane when the oxygen masks come down they tell you to apply yours first before you do your children or anyone else, for good reason. The reason is so simple but so hard to do when you are busy taking care of others all the time, if I am emotionally sound and healthy I am the best version of me to take care of others.
When I first stepped into the recovery world I wasn’t sure how things were going to end up but God blessed me with the will to keep going and I am so grateful I continue this journey every day. My meetings, sponsor and friends in recovery have taught me to be raw and vulnerable with what is going on inside my head. I am able to talk about when I have a bad day and not have any shame in that! I am not God, I can pretend to even stand on that platform but I feel like sometimes as mom’s we are asked to play that role and keep up the facade that everything is just fine!! My sponsor once told me “fine” is just another term for Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional, I know if that is how I’m describing myself I need to talk to someone.
Recovery has helped me with my parenting and I see that more and more as I watch my friends struggle quietly with emotional rock bottoms and they don’t know how to use the tools that were given to me in recovery. I have had multiple moms say they wish they had a recovery program to go to so they could go vent for free in a room of others who get it. I laugh because once it was to get me from one day to the next free from drugs and alcohol and now it gets me through day to day life as a parent. While my meetings aren’t exactly what they were at first, I repurposed them to help whatever is trying to get me down at this phase in my life…isn’t that what is trending, take what it is old and repurpose it, remake what is old and make it new!! I get to be made new every time I go to a meeting or talk with others in recovery, my heart is full of gratitude. Recovery was a blessing and continues to prove that it will be for the rest of my life!
A Grateful Heart – Volunteer Blogger for Myrecovery
About me: I just want to spread hope to other mom’s out there trying to make it in this world who may be dealing with drugs or alcohol…it works it really does, I’m living proof! Keep coming back!