I want to share with you guys about a time when I started believing in a Power greater than myself. If you have read any of my other posts you know I am a recovering addict, who lost custody of my two oldest children while in the midst of my addiction.
When I first got clean I had a lot of anger, guilt, and self-hatred because I found recovery and got clean “too late”. I didn’t get clean when I “needed” to, I got clean after I had lost my children. At times in my early recovery I struggled because I was trying to build my life back up, but without the people who meant the most to me.
The day I decided to stop using drugs was the day I found out I was pregnant with mine and my husbands oldest daughter. I had a doctor’s appointment where my pregnancy was confirmed, and instead of joy I felt fear. My heart couldn’t take the pain of losing another baby because of my addiction. That night in tears, I hit my knees and begged The Universe to show me how to get clean, I promised I would do whatever it took, as long as The Universe showed me a way out. (I have been clean from that moment forward.) A few days after my prayer I was introduced to a program that has ultimately saved my life, and I am still very active in that program today. It’s scary to write these words because they are such intimate details of my life. But in the very beginning of my recovery I made a commitment to be transparent with who I am, because transparency gives hope, feeds connection, and saves lives.
The first seven months of my recovery were spent trying to navigate my intense feelings of regret, grief, and guilt over the loss of my two oldest children. Each night I would fall asleep praying to my Higher Power to take away the pain in my heart and let me sleep in peace. My grief was manageable during the day, as long as I kept myself busy. But inevitably, each night I would lay down, and the emotions would start flooding in. Years of wreckage, and stuffed emotions all wanting recognition. During those nights I prayed with every fiber of my body, it felt like I was praying more than I was breathing. I didn’t know what I was praying to, and it didn’t matter. All I know is it worked. I didn’t bow my head and say the words I had heard used as a child, I didn’t kneel and ask my father in heaven for help, like I’d seen in the movies. I laid curled in the fetal position on my bed, snot and tears mixing on my pillow, begging something greater than myself to help me make it through the night.
During this time I had fully committed myself to my recovery and my new life. I was taking suggestions from other recovering addicts around me, and I was putting in some intense internal work. One night it happened, I fell asleep without begging for relief. I fell asleep without a mixture of snot and tears on my pillow. My heart and soul were healing. It didn’t happen every night, but it happened with enough frequency that I had faith I would be ok. I began to feel relief from the intense emotions that had been crushing me for years, I began to see the positive outweighed the negative, and mostly I began to look towards my future with hope. There came a point where I had the desire to start defining what I was praying to, to start defining what my faith looked like. I began praying in different ways, and forming new ideas about my spiritual connection to those around me. I began talking with people about their beliefs and spirituality. Eventually I realized I didn’t need to define anything, I just needed to keep doing what I was doing and just BE.
I finally understood and fully believed something greater than myself existed: the power of Love. Through love I had found a way out of my darkness, through love I had found worth within myself, and through love I had a second chance at being a mother and a wife. I didn’t need to define anything, I just needed to BE love, and pray hard.
Tonight after years of peace I found myself curled in the fetal position, snot and tears mixing on my pillow, grieving the loss of my son who celebrates his birthday tomorrow. An old sense of panic washed over me, because although I am familiar with grief and pain- I am also traumatized by their intensity. Moments later in the midst of a prayer calmness washed over me as well, because I am loved and my soul knows this. I know I am not alone on this journey, I know there is a Power greater than me working in my life, and ultimately I know I am ok. I lived in such a deep tunnel of darkness for so long that sometimes its a bit scary when my emotions feel so intense. Sometimes I have to remind myself its ok to feel those emotions that traumatized me, because today I don’t live in them the way I once did. Tonight I am grateful for the power of prayer and connectivity. The power of recovery, and the gift of being present in the moment, even when its intense and scary. Most of all I am grateful for the second chance I have at being a mother, and for the women who are holding my two oldest babies and loving them while I can’t. Women save the world day after day, and we save one another while doing it.
And as always I am grateful for you guys. Thanks for being here and reading my words. I love you…