a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence More
the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation
I am realizing that being in recovery is something that can look very different from person to person. My recovery is my own and something that is very personal to me. Just like above in the definition says “returning to a normal state of health, mind, and strength.” That word “returning” gives me a sense of heartache. I know what that entails. It sounds like such a simple word, but the act of returning is anything BUT simple. It’s grueling and painful. It’s scary and emotional. Returning to a healthy state is so challenging, that so many people go right back to the lifestyle they have tried sprinting away from to begin with. It’s a song and dance cycle that can take years off of people’s lives. Not just the addict, but the loved ones that stand by and are affected so deeply. I attempted this cycle numerous times. I think all addicts go through something similar to this to an extent. After the cat and mouse game of using begins to take it’s toll and you want or hope for a change. You try to do it yourself by cutting back all on your own. Obviously, there is denial all through this phase. After you fail repetitively, looking in the mirror and feeling defeated- you know it’s finally time to be vulnerable and ask for help. Getting help is different for everyone. Also, some people don’t go down this avenue, they get pushed into getting help through getting arrested and going to jail. But somehow someway, we all get to the point where we can’t lie to ourselves anymore and it’s time to return to health; sobriety. If you are really lucky and among the very small percentage you can get the help you need the first chance you get. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. We all have different paths and reasons we get to this point.
After a few different bouts of sobriety and returning to health as stated in the definition above first I have had to experience a new low. I have felt deeper pain then the time before. I’ve seen darker days. I’ve cried more, pushed my family away more, lived with depression on a level I didn’t even know was possible. Everything was magnified. I couldn’t live another day like that. Getting to the place and state of recovery that I am currently has been harder than the time before. It’s a lot of work and will continue to be. There were many dark days but with my hard work has come happiness. The weight that I have been carrying for years has been lifted. The cloud following me has disappeared. The sun is shining brighter. My kids laughter is louder. Food smells better. I run faster. Colors are brighter. My smile is bigger. Movies are more entertaining. I love harder. Sugar tastes sweeter. Recovery is a daily choice and very different for everyone, but recovery for me has made my life worth living again and with that, I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s worth it. To whom is still struggling, I get it. It’s not easy, but don’t give up. Keep up that fight. Take one step in front of the other and take baby steps. You are worth it. Your life is worth it.
On Friday I got the same semi- annual phone call from my ex. Whenever he doesn’t get right to the point, I know he is trying to tell me something. After trying to butter me up with discussing how great our kids were, he threw it out. He was back together with the same girl that broke up my marriage. The same girl that caused so many problems in my life. It’s as almost as if they are addicted to one another. They have broke up and got back together going on 9 times. As much as it shouldn’t hurt me, it does. I can’t lie. The pain is still there and real. It’s as almost as if it takes away my breath when he tells me they are making it work again. What goes through my mind is dropping off my kids to them. Watching them play house with MY kids. Her taking over. I think about my son walking in on them having sex on the kitchen counter during the middle of dinner time. I think about all the photos that get posted on social media of them in their swimsuits with her perfect 5 star body, with her arms around my kids as if she gave birth to them. I think about all the weekends that will go out of town to fun places to wow my kids while I am sitting at home alone and feeling inadequate worrying about bills to pay on my apartment. I think about the kids coming home after being with them for the weekend, with bags of new clothes and shoes, and my kids telling me all about their fun filled weekend and what all they did. This is why it takes my breath away. A lot of it is selfish, but some of it is because I know my sweethearts are being used as toys and pawns. Also because I know the things they are seeing during those times are unhealthy. That they aren’t given the attention they deserve. And they get close to this girl and the next month, she is gone.
It makes me wonder when it’s my turn. After losing my hair from getting Diffuse Alopecia, I put on some weight and luckily my hair is coming back, but it has completely changed how I look and most of all, how I feel about myself. I’ve been given many trials and have been overcoming them one by one, but I feel like in some ways they are SO far ahead of me. When will I find some happiness where my ex looks at me and starts to ask himself, “did I make a mistake?” I know that isn’t healthy and I shouldn’t care about that, but truth is, I do. I want him to miss me and wonder what he could have done differently to save our family.
He is a narcissist and more than likely he will never feel those ways, but I want it to happen. I want to at least feel like I am confident enough that I know he wishes it even without having proof. I want to look thin and feel beautiful. I want a man to want me and think I am a catch. All these things are ridiculous but it’s my feelings right now.
I feel like he looks at me and pitty’s me. Thinks, “thank god I didn’t stay with her.” He looks at his girlfriend now and thinks how lucky he is. I couldn’t handle anymore of his abuse and I KNOW that, but why do I still have these feelings? Is it from not being healthy emotionally?
These are the things I do know… I am sober. I have cleaned up my life so much. I put my kiddos first before anything. I do the best I can to be a better person every single day. I am lucky to have a second chance. I am lucky to be coming out from the dark past I had. But these are feelings that follow me. What keeps me going is reminding myself of all the changes I’ve made and where I have come from. I guess that will keep me going till something changes for the better. So next time when I get the phone call from my ex, it won’t take my breath away. It won’t hurt. It will not affect me, because it won’t matter.
I was reading an article about not feeling adequate and came across this passage:
Make peace with your past and present so you can have a bright future
Making peace with your past and embracing your present is sometimes a difficult thing to do, yet they are very important. You can never be fully satisfied when there are still negative feelings from the past lingering around you. If you make peace with your past and embrace your present, your journey towards your goal will be more satisfying and peaceful.
Making peace with my past is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Is this hard for anyone else? Anything that is a reminder of my choices that really screwed up my life, is like a kick in my sensitive gut. It helps if I am in the process of making some much better choices and actually feeling the benefits of doing so, but what about the days where I am struggling to just finish the day? Looking back to my past at all is what murders my spirit or my smile for the day. Then I stop and ask myself, “are you still in that place? Are you making better choices? ” The answers to those questions, help me to keep going but the pain still is under there somewhere. It’s still roaming around in my brain. I am a pretty forgiving person, but for some reason when it comes to forgiving myself, it doesn’t happen very easily. As compassionate I am with everyone else, I am pretty sure self compassion is the most important thing we need to keep on staying sober and healthy.
Embracing the present comes with making peace with your past. I deserve to finish the chapter of my past and move on to the next with a clear conscience and positive outlook. It is hard to start a new day with that heartache following you around from yesterday. There’s got to be a reason we lay down to rest and the sun comes back up in the morning. Maybe every night that we watch the sun set, we should let go of the pain and the mistakes we made, and as the sun rises start fresh and start new. Breath in, breath out. We are worth it. We are not our past, we are not our mistakes. Embrace who you are today in this moment.
One of the major things that comes with getting healthy physically, is getting healthy emotionally which comes with learning boundaries. I had a hell of a time physically but I am doing pretty good and solid at the moment with that. But emotionally is another ball game. Wait, not just another ball game, a completely different sport all together! It makes so much sense as to why I got to the low places because of how unhealthy I was with myself. I am so forgiving of others and no matter how much it hurts my life at the moment, no way in hell will I ever turn down someone if they ask me for a favor because I can’t imagine doing something like that. I want everyone to like me. Ya this is a total illness in itself and a battle I will be working on for the rest of my natural life. I get SO frustrated with people complaining about their lives, yet do nothing to change it– but here I am doing the same thing.
This week was a clear reminder of why I need to change. My children are what keeps me going, as most mothers say. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. I was taken to court numerous times during my divorce to fight over custody. At the end of this long very exhausting “I want to kill myself” battle, we agreed on 50/50. At the time, I had the guilt from knowing that I wasn’t completely clean at the time which made me cave a bit to my ex. But at the time, my experience with him was that he was a great dad, just not a great husband. Little did I know the direction it would go afterwards. Since I’ve gotten my shit together and started really making some drastic changes, he has slowly reversed and switched me spots. I never thought I would see the day that he would not only start drinking, but becoming an alcoholic. I really believed that women and sex were his addiction and drug, but he chose to add onto that with alcohol (I guess that only makes sense). He is a true narcissist in every way. I love the man for many reasons, but being a selfish pig wasn’t one of them. Him being a narcissist is definitely why I wanted a divorce. Not even so much the affairs, but the criticizing and demeaning behavior on a daily basis. The reason I am explaining this is because of these things, he will never admit to his own issues, just focus on mine. So he keeps up with the perfect dad persona, but it doesn’t work after the many nights he has asked to switch nights but never really ended up taking him the nights we switched for. Or the early morning calls to drop off the kids so I could get them ready for school. Also I think it works in his favor that after he got 50/50 custody, his child support became minimal. So every time he makes that call, I agree to take my kids. I am their mother, why would I say no? Regardless what I have going, they come first and I can’t imagine them around anyone else. However, after a while I realize I am being completely taken advantage of. On his days during the week I realize that I have them every day, feed them breakfast, lunch, dinner- then all he does is take them home to bed. My bank account, time, energy, and dignity is out the window by Sunday. He scares the hell out of me, so I continue to do it but then complain all day. Who do I sound like now? Those people I talked about earlier that bug me because they don’t do anything to change their situation, right? So getting clean isn’t just about being physically clean. It means honoring yourself, standing up for yourself, loving yourself enough to make sure you are taken care of. If I don’t, who will? My ex? Ya I don’t think so. lol I think we all do this to a degree…. not saying no to our neighbors, maybe to the guys that take advantage of us because we want love so much, or to our kids just taking so much and we aren’t willing to say enough, it’s time for me now. There is boundaries in all things, and this is definitely one of them.
My dreams are being haunted. They are being haunted by what was my reality a few years ago. Yes, there is a sense of relief when I wake up and realize I am not in that place anymore, however I really hurt my life and everything and everyone involved in it. I wish it was just a bad dream but it’s not. I really did hurt people that I love and care about. I changed everything about my life. Yes I need to be forgiven and forgive myself, but that pain was real and still is. There isn’t a damn thing I can do about it now besides continue living a good and authentic life now. Be a better mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, co-worker, employee, ex-wife, and law abiding citizen. Will that ever make up for it? Is that enough? Will I be able to sleep peacefully without being haunted by this? I am ready to let it go but I am not sure if it will ever be forgotten. I have specific memories of getting caught. The look on my boss’s face when he let me go. The way I felt when I forgot to pick up my kids again from school. Lying when being caught red handed. Taking a drug test, knowing it was positive. Walking into court fighting for custody. The look on my dad’s face when he asked me if I was still using. Disappointing my kids when I couldn’t spend time with them cause I was too busy not staying sick. The thoughts and memories don’t stop racing through my head while trying to sleep. Thank God when I wake up, I look over and see my precious kids lying next to me knowing it isn’t my reality anymore, but if it’s possible, how do I let it go- how many more nightmares do I have to wake from?