The toughest thing about recovery is looking at yourself. Don’t get me wrong. It is the most freeing thing about recovery as well. Shining light in the darkness can bring up some really ugly cracks.
I did some pretty horrendous things. Things that still make me want to hide. Things that, even though I am sitting by myself and no one can tell what I am thinking, I just want to bury my head in shame.
This is so hard to write. I am not even sure how to write it, so I’ll just tell a few stories that I remember.
Once, I had my daughter and my cousin’s daughter. I was taking them to softball practice. They had to be 12 I think. I left the house with the girls after consuming a bottle of wine. I remember swerving on the highway and thinking “knock it off” to myself. Got to practice. I got them out, threw up and slept in my car during the entire practice. Told the other coach I was sick.
Around that time there was a story out of New York. A woman had been involved in a terrible accident and killed herself, her daughter and 3 nieces and 3 people in other vehicles. Her son was the only survivor. She was very drunk at 1:30 pm and drove on the wrong side of the road. Her family to this day still claims that was not possible and that she didn’t have a drinking problem. I remember thinking that could have been me. I remember thinking I should stop drinking. Heck, I tried to stop. I did stop driving so much, but I was a stay at home mom. I drove a lot.
This story still makes me sick to my stomach. “There but for the grace of God”. Really though? I mean, why? Why her and not me? What kept me from being her? To think that God protected me and my family and not hers? I call bullshit. I just got lucky. On that day I had my daughter and my cousin, I had no business being behind the wheel of a car. There were other days. More kids. One incident that haunted me for years.
So, what am I doing with my luck? Trying my hardest to continue shining the light on addiction. Addiction, depression. They grow in the dark. They fester and bloom and spread like a horrible contagion. In. The. Dark. They can’t thrive if the light is shining. So, my goal is to get the biggest beacon of light I can and shine the heck out of that thing.
In my darkest times, I hated myself. I hated what I was doing, what I was becoming. Yet, I couldn’t ask for help. I couldn’t stop. The worse I got, the more I wanted to drink to hide how bad I was. If I was drinking, I wasn’t aware. I could keep it all buried from me.