These last two weeks have been super tough. I’m walking through things I never thought possible in sobriety. When I got sober I always had these conditions. If this…then I’ll drink. I know I was told not too and I had always thought to myself, “How does anyone walk through the super tough stuff sober?” Then March came.
My oldest son has a mental health condition and tried to take his life this week. He’s hospitalized and doing better. I have written may times about the difficulty in moving into acceptance that I can do nothing to help him other then to hold a safe place of unconditional love. I have spent my time setting boundaries and asserting myself when necessary.
Then this week I found out my husband has yet another women in our marriage. This is the fourth time we’ve been through this. Not only is he in another relationship, I have found extra phones hidden with them as the screen saver and wads of money stuffed in boxes in our closet. The whole situation is so incredibly bizarre. I just didn’t realize that there are people willing to go to such great lengths to conceal the truth. I mean my gosh that sound exhausting. When confronted, I’m told he feels trapped, they’ve been together for almost a year, he wants out. Who is this person living in my house??
I thought about giving up a few times over the last 15 days. I thought that maybe there was no way to walk through this much pain all at once. I understand that fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth, however it feels like my world is imploding. It’s a small intense wave of fear and anxiety… up, up ,up, up then BOOM! Invariably I slowly come back down. I had thought that the point was to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t always “get solved”. They come together and then they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.
I have found quite a bit of freedom in surrendering to all the unknowns ahead of me. It’s almost like once I except it and let the fear in; It no longer consumes me. My minds stops racing and I’m able to start processing. I’m not trying to fix this or figure it out this time. I’m finally not trying to sweeten it up, smooth it over, or take a pill. I am walking slowly through the pain. I’m right in the middle. I see the beauty in everything falling apart right now. I’m new, fresh and finally get to start over and walk a new path for myself. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. Today I’m in a state of serenity and can’t quite tell if it’s the promises working in my life or if I’m still just in shock from the last two weeks.
I answered the phone and she said her name was Michelle and just like that I was done…..
Things have been off for awhile. Constant meltdowns; jealously and anger have come up in the most awkward and unsettling moments. All, I knew was this felt familiar, this was a situation I’ve been put in before.
I worried maybe it was my anxiety or my past trauma causing me to feel uneasy. But it wasn’t. My intuition over the last few years had just grown stronger.
It so hard to understand why someone would enter a marriage knowing they are not committed to being faithful. It’s also hard to let go of something you love so deeply.
These are the two things I’ve been faced with over the last two days. Like I said internally I’m done. I’m scared to walk away from something I thought was supposed to be forever. I’m also scared of all the unknowns. The only thing I know right now is besides not having honesty in my marriage and a supportive husband I do have a tribe of women who are willing to surround and support me as I walk through this.
Sixteen and a half years ago I had decided to have a baby. I had been living precariously over the last few years and this was the end. I had ended up pregnant with my semi drug dealer/boyfriends baby. The gig was up. I was going to be a mama.
It thought I would just be a single mom. I thought I would have to raise a baby by myself. I had no idea what that would exactly include, but I was young, naive and ready for a challenge. I had no clue what I was in store for.
My son’s birthday is today. Today he turns Sixteen. Sixteen doesn’t quite look the way I had thought it would. See my son has been diagnosed with Anti-social personality disorder. He has a few other diagnoses as well. They all seem to just mash into a huge mess of uncontrollable nonsense.
I’m overwhelmed with emotions today. I often find myself grieving the lost dreams that I had for his future. I find myself bursting into tears through-out the day and while I have an extreme sense of sadness in my heart today; I‘m also overwhelmed with gratitude to have the support and services available in our life to manage him.
I also realize that while it may feel like his life is over, he’s also just sixteen. That’s such a young age. He’s just a baby still. I have hope that things could change completely for him in the next sixteen years. I also fear prison or death as the worst possible outcome for this young man.
I had always worried about speaking up about what was going on in my home. I was afraid if I told people what was really going on they would take my child. The tragic thing is, I kept it all in. I pretended like everything was ok and eventually enough stuff happened that they took him anyway.
Life in our house was very scary and chaotic for quite some time. I often would hide my fear and anxiety with a pill or a drink. I don’t live that way anymore. Two years ago, I made a decision to live life a different way. Not to hid behind my feelings or drown out reality with substances. While I may have many tears run down my face today; I am still able to feel all the feelings and walk with dignity and grace. I woke up feeling incredibly broken today but maybe I’m not broken, maybe I’m just sad.
Some days are harder than most. There are mornings were I wake up and have a hard time figuring out where I am. It’s almost like a dream state. I’m consumed with an overwhelming sense of sadness. It feels a little like grief. Only I haven’t lost anyone recently.
Maybe it’s because my son no longer lives in my house. The state moved him to a therapeutic group home almost a year and a half ago. It could also be because he has court and a progress hearing soon and unfortunately he has not made any progress. It is increasingly hard to come to terms that maybe, just maybe, this will be my new “normal” life.
It could also be because my sister’s daughter just turned 15. 15 in their house looks so different from what we went through. There is talk of saving for a car, boyfriends and long term life goals. My heart aches for some sort of normalcy. A glimmer of what I see on the outside.
It might be because he has a birthday coming up in a week and I’m not sure how to “show up” for him. This will be the second year that he’s been away over a Birthday, Christmas and thanksgiving to be exact. I will make a cake, show up, be present and morn all at the same time.
There are days that I wake up and think “Is this really my life?” Today was one of those days. I’m not sure how much longer I’m willing to participate in all that comes along with having a child with a serious mental illness.
Today I sit still with a profound sense of gratitude for my life.
When I first tried to get sober I started blogging and a blogger on here who started about six months before me friended me and we started chatting via email. She was amazing. I identified very much with her. She had figured it out and stayed sober. I relapsed over and over for the next two years and just couldn’t figure out why.
Often we would reach out to each other via email she would encourage me to stay strong, give me hope for realizing that it was time to change. She was a runner like me. She had depression like me. Her Marrige was like mine. We were warriors of anxiety.
Over the last couple of years we’ve stayed in touch here and there. I emailed a few weeks ago, just to see how she was doing and received an email back from her mother.
She told me that her daughter had ended her life. She had mentioned that she relapsed after four years and after picking up a 24 hour chip she ended her life three days later. She talked about her having a profound sense of grief for not being able to figure it out. She was just hopeful that she finally ended the pain and was in a better place.
I have this overwhelming sadness but also a profound sense of gratitude for the tiny tiny tiny sliver of grace that God has given me to stay sober and alive.
Through the emails from mothers who have lost their daughters. I am reminded today of where I came from and how lucky I am to still be alive.
When I first came into this whole sobriety thing I thought my problems were all centered around drugs and alcohol. I thought “If I could just figure out how to get rid of this stuff for good, everything else will be better.”
Little did I know my biggest problem was actually me. I am my biggest hurdle in life. Overtime I have learned the importance I put on myself, my self worth and my showmanship. The harder I work to prove myself, the farther I am from serenity. You know serenity was all I was ever looking for. As I look back.. every drink I took, every drug I put in my body was just a quest for that “Ahhh” moment. Trying to achieve true serenity over and over again only to find myself hopelessly lost and miserable.
So how do I find the balance of managing my inner drive to be the best and to prove myself, with my desire to be humble? Suppressing the ego, is what it comes down to for me.
I walk a fine line of grace, a very fine line. For me when my inner ego pops up. That voice that says “I’m better than that.” “I shouldn’t have to do this.” I pause, I pray and I listen to my heart. Often times my ego pops up and I forget who I am and where I came from. I’m constantly having to sit, connect, mediate and sort out what I really need or want.
Today was no different for me. I have a high stress job where I’m required to fix BIG problems. I want to be the best, I want to figure it all out. When things pop up and I can’t “Figure it out”, I start to lose it. I find myself more aware now of the amount of uncomfortableness that comes with my self awareness of wanting to be in control all the time. Practice the pause This is what comes to mind…
The question for me is always “Am I doing this for me or am I doing this to prove something for someone else?
If it’s not for me or my desire is not to help others without any expectations of praise or reward in return, than I’m acting out of ego driven fear.
Over the last year my heart has started to become louder than my head. My inner drive is more pure to help others without any returns or rewards. Life has stared to settle a bit and I have been able to start to define my true self. What do I like? What do I do for fun? What is my purpose?
How do you all deal with ego driven thoughts?
Just kidding…. I hate Target. I don’t get it. I feel like it’s full of eccentric home décor, lots of super cute moms with the perfect messy buns, expensive makeup and sweet little children all dressed in clean clothes with matching socks. That just has never been my life. Matching socks, cute kids or the perfect messy bun.
I’m at day 416 today and feeling as lost as when I walk into a Target. Maybe I’m not lost, maybe I’m just down. It could also totally be depression and because I’m aware of that, I have also made an appointment with a Therapist at the first of the month.
It’s just been so weird lately. I can start my mornings feeling UP UP UP and by the end of the day I’m in a funk. This has been happening to me for a few weeks now. It could be a holiday thing, since I do hate the holidays. Maybe it’s because my oldest is not living with me and is on his way to a mental institution long term. I have not talked or seen him in over four weeks.
I recognize that I’m his mother but I’m also codependent in my behavior and wanting to fix him. This at times can be absolutely exhausting.
I’m praying, mediating, helping others and reaching out, but this “feeling” is sticking right now.
I walked down the liquor isle last night at Walmart. It was not a short cut to anything I needed nor was there a purpose. I walked past the wine and my body cringed. Thank God for that. I’m not sure why I did that, I don’t want to drink, but it’s this little piece of me inside that says “Lets be dangerous, let’s be impulsive. It’ll make you feel better.”
I’m glad I can recognize that insanity in my head that I once use to listen to. I’ve just never been in a place in life with the self-awareness to realize how uncomfortable life can make me feel.
Sobriety is about transparency and honesty and I have to constantly stay on my toes. Everything takes time and everything will eventually become something that will pass. Today I am reminding myself, Just because I’m feeling bad, it doesn’t mean I’m doing bad.