This is an ongoing series and if you missed any of the previous parts, they can be found here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Now let’s continue.
Am I A Horrible Mom?
Many times when I was fighting hard in the midst of my addiction, I would break down and cry because I would feel deep down inside that I was a horrible mom. I, at times, would choose the drugs over being a good mom and I knew that made me the worse mom. But yet I would and still to this day, do anything and everything for my kids. They mean the world to me and I never wanted them to feel like drugs came first.
When you are in trying to deal with an addiction, you need to become selfish a little. You actually have to take time out in the day to take care of yourself. No matter how hard that is, you have to put yourself first to get a hold of the addiction. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop living life and not take care of things in your life. But you do have to put yourself first a little.
Making Myself Number 1
Fighting an addiction, be it drugs, food, or whatever can take a lot out of you. If you don’t put yourself 100% into controlling it, it won’t work. You need to be able to focus on it fully to understand why you have this addiction. And how to keep the addiction at a bay.
There is no cure for addiction. But one can definitely control the addiction so that you aren’t in the throes of it all the time. So being a mother, it’s easy to worry that the children are not receiving the amount of care that they deserve. I was very concerned not only because my kids were younger but also because my daughter is autistic. I was afraid that I was neglecting her needs because I was/am an addict. There were times that I felt that her needs were greater than what I could give, so that would throw me back into using.
Staying Sober For My Children?
Until I would get off the rollercoaster of life and realize that I wanted to be sober, I would continuously go down this path. When I finally wanted to become sober, I realized that I needed to do it for me. It wouldn’t matter as much if it was for someone else. That may seem a little selfish or a lot selfish, but it’s the only way to become sober. It doesn’t matter if there are kids involved. They will be so much better off if you do it for yourself and not them. It may seem like that is backward and doing it for someone would make it a little more special. But it means more if you become sober for yourself.
The children, no matter what were my number 1 priority. Until I knew that and knew I was a good mother, my sobriety didn’t work. I would blame myself. I would think that I needed to be on the drugs to be super mom. And I wouldn’t allow myself time for rest and relaxation because a good mother wouldn’t take care of herself. A good mother wouldn’t have a great amount of back pain on a daily basis. And a good mother would fight through the pain and not let it stop her.
Giving Myself A Break
I was very wrong. I was/am a great mother. And my kids knew that. But they also needed to know that mom needed breaks. It was okay for them to see that their mother suffered/suffers every day from a great amount of back pain. And it is ok not to be Superwomen or Wonder Women. Once I took myself off the pedestal that I thought I needed to be on, working on sobriety was a little easier. I gave myself a break and I believe in doing so, I became a better mom.
Once I got my addiction from pain medications under control, I knew that my kids got a better mom. I wasn’t a bad mom, to begin with, but I needed to pay more attention to them and put their needs first. Once I realized that I was doing that I gave myself the ability to work on my sobriety.
My children are and always will be the world to me. I adore my children and I believe without them or my husband, I wouldn’t have gotten sober. But it’s important to know the true reason for becoming sober. You have to pick yourself for the reason and stick with it. Make the sobriety the most important thing in your life, and fight for yourself. Then everything else will fall into the correct places. And life will become so much better. Your relationships will matter more and be more important to you. And those in your life will know this. Life will become so much more. All you need to do is take those steps towards sobriety and make your life matter.
To start your journey towards sobriety, contact U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration here.