I'm getting lazy...guest blogs are great! I like sharing everyone's stories, but this one is special because it's the first account from someone in addiction. I want to make sure that I include that side of the relationship in recovery as well, because I think I might come off as being hard on the addicts at times. It's unfortunate, because through this process I've become extremely compassionate towards all addicts EXCEPT my own...
I thought this woman's story was exceptional in that she is being so very honest with herself. One of the most insidious aspects of addiction is the way that addicts adapt to the necessities that their using requries by lying to themselves. It becomes a natural reaction, and I see my husband adapting his world view to suit his needs even now that he's not using. This story is tough and honest, and I have a lot of respect for the courage it must have taken her to do what she did.
Here it is:
In my experience, the right choices have never been the easy ones. As I sat on the bus today on my way to a meeting with DHS my mind raced with fear at what was going to be said. I am a thirty-four year old mother of four. Two of my children grown and out of the house, one in foster care, and one being adopted. It was time to make the right decision for my youngest. My only son. Here I am just starting to grow up and learn what life is really about. I love my children with all of my heart, but to take on full responsibility for any of them right now would be an injustice to them. You see, I am new to recovery and have so much of myself to work on still. I've been running amuck off and on for twenty years now. I've been a drug addicted alcoholic that lived a criminal lifestyle for most of my life. And the twelve-step programs will tell you "You didn't become addicted in one day, so easy does it." and "Give yourself a break." That's what I had been thinking about for weeks. I need time to get better. To heal my past hurts. To learn to live life on life's terms. That doesn't happen over night for anyone. It takes time and a lot of hard work. Society tells us that in order to be good parent's when our children are taken from us we should want them back and want to be a full time parent. For me the choice wasn't that simple or easy. I don't want to be the kind of parent my parents were. My parents did the best they could, but they really messed me up. I wanted better than that for my children. And how was I going to tell DHS and the man in my life(The love of my life, mind you.) that I wasn't ready for that kind of pressure and responsibility? What would they think of me if I was completely honest and told them what I needed for myself in order to continue to stay clean and sober? As the bus neared my stop I had to make the decision to tell the truth. To be completely honest about where I was in my life and my recovery process. Once inside, sitting in the room with these people I realized that the soul reason for some of them being there was to support me and help me with my recovery from my addiction and the damage I had done to myself and that life had done to me. As I started to explain myself and where I was at with all of it, the tears started to flow. "I don't want to give up my son completely. But I am not capable of being a full time mom right now." I heard myself say after they told me what they were seeing from me in my behaviors and actions. There. It was out in the open now. I couldn't take it back or hide how I felt anymore. "I don't want people to think I'm a bad mom. It's because I love him so much that I can say this to you now." I wept. As soon as they heard the words they were all in agreement that by saying this, I was not a bad mom. Just a mom who loved her son enough to know her own limitations. And enough to overcome the fear that they would judge her harshly and never allow her to see her son again. I was rather surprised to hear them talk to me about a visitation agreement that would allow me the time to heal and live up to my full potential and still be a significant part of his life. As I left the office today I felt a great calm come over me around doing the right thing. I know my son will have the best of both world's now. The last fear I was carrying would soon be allayed. The last fear I had was with the man in my life. His name is Shawn. And I love him with all that I am. He is my best friend in the world. He shows me unconditional love and teaches me on a regular basis to love and trust in myself. My fear was having him judge me for what I had just done. I'm still not use to someone being supportive and loving around the decisions I make in my life. As I got on the bus to head home he called me to see how things had gone. I answered and asked for him to hear me out. After I spewed it all out really fast I stopped and waited for the worst. Trembling inside, I heard him start to speak. I can't remember his exact words because I was to terrified at the time. But what I do remember was his soothing voice, and the encouraging words of acceptance instead of judgement that I was making the right decision. He said something about it being the best for Wesley until I get myself together. Knowing that he didn't hate me or judge me lifted the last of the weight from my heart. It is going to take a lot of time and hard work, but in the end it will make me the best mom, significant other, and me that I am capable of being. For once in my life I feel like I will make something of myself and for myself. I thank GOD, my support system through DHS, and Shawn for giving me the courage to do the right thing and make it through another day clean and sober and a little less damaged.