Mother's Day in Recovery

My husband asked what I would like for Mother’s Day and I kindly replied, “I would like to be left alone”. Mean? …Maybe, but if you are a mom you probably understand. Being a mom is the hardest job there is. You have so many responsibilities and you’re always worried you’re doing the wrong thing or feel guilty when you spend too much time to yourself. But even with all of the pressure and energy it takes to be a good parent, I don’t regret it for a minute. I think back to where I was in my twenties and can’t believe how much things have changed for me.

Fifteen years ago, I never thought I would be a mother. I told myself I didn’t want kids, but in reality, I was terrified to have kids. I was afraid that if I did get pregnant, I wouldn’t be able to stop using alcohol. Even worse, if I did get through the pregnancy, my child would be witness to the crazy, chaotic mess I became when I was using. I felt that I had absolutely no control over my addiction to alcohol. No matter how hard I tried to eliminate it from my life, I just couldn’t do it. I had no idea how to cope without it. So rather than face my substance use problem, I told myself children were not something that I wanted.

Fast forward to today, I am married and have two young children. These are simple things that most people take for granted. But if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol you know how impossible it feels to ever have these things or to maintain these things if you do have a family. Every once in a while, when I think a drink might be enjoyable, I think about my children and how quickly my life could spiral out of control. They help me stay grounded and remind me of the life I want to keep.

So on this mother’s day, I am thinking about all that I have to be thankful for. I have children that keep me busy (even if I want to be “left alone” sometimes). I was able to find the courage to make changes in my life. And I am so grateful that I get to use my experience to help others believe that they can achieve whatever they want.

Happy Mother’s Day!