This is my story of addiction and recovery.
I have been working on a few things to turn in for my first post. Because of my hectic life I keep getting sidetracked. Not that I don’t want to turn something in, things just always seem to be going on always getting in the way of my goals. I see writing as a good outlet for myself. It brings a sense of meaning to my life, making me feel worthy in a season of my life where I’m desperately needed, yet I feel greatly unappreciated. So is the life of a mother/wife/housemanager/insertyourpositionhere. When things like the death of a famed actor occur, it rocks my world. I can’t exactly explain why; maybe because I am just very sensitive to death, or just sensitive in general. But when it is the death of a famed actor caused by addiction, a la Philip Seymour Hoffman, it hits straight home. I have been sober for almost eight years. I started drinking and smoking when I was 12 years old. I remember my older sister, older cousin and myself sneaking an uncles beer. we quickly chugged it, each taking long swigs of this cold, weird tasting stuff. I hated the taste, always have, but it’s what came later that I loved. That numbing, dazed feeling that seemed to overtake my whole body. I was 12 years old, suffering from all types of abuse at every angle. I had found my God. I soon found myself scouring the streets for old beer cans. It’s at this time that I also discovered old discarded cigarette butts, I picked those up too. The hot stale beer at the bottom of old crushed cans became my escape, followed by struggled puffs of little nubs of nicotine.
If I had known then that I was opening Pandora’s box to the next 15 years of my life, I would have stopped dead in my tracks. But I didn’t, so I kept on. By the time I was 16 years old I was a full-fledged drunk. I went to school drunk, I went to work drunk, I woke up drunk, went to bed drunk and tried to fit in as much as I could in between. I did not care who I was hurting in the process, I just knew that I had to drink. It was the only way I had learned to survive.
Until the age of 27 my life was a drunken haze. Barely making it alive, long nights alone in a hotel room with my only companion, a bottle that didn’t respond but I felt held all the answers. It wasn’t until I looked at my family and realized that I was going to kill myself, literally kill myself, that I realized I had to stop. Our lives are hard, mothering is hard, being a parent to little minds and bodies that we are completely responsible and accountable is hard and down right scary.
Though we are mothers, we are still individuals. Some of us have addictions, terrible, life-threatening addictions; Addictions that can kill us, whether it is alcohol, prescription medication, street medication, etc. Please do not allow your role as a mother to get in the way of taking care of yourself. I know it is hard, we are always on the go, kids, school, church, mommy groups, date-nights, or any of the countless other things that seem to take over our lives.
Addiction is real. It is ugly. It is dangerous, and it can kill you. I have been there firsthand, and I have also lost friends to it. What addiction is not is shameful. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help. There is no shame in stepping up and saying that you want out. Please, I plead with you, even though I don’t know you, I feel you…. talk to someone if you need to. Call someone. Reach out. Heck, reach me straight through this site if you need to. YOU WILL NOT BE IGNORED. The first step is always reaching out. It’s not fast, it’s not easy, but I can honestly say it is the best decision.
This post was not the fun type of way that I usually write, but my heart was moved to get this out. I feel it is also a good introduction of who I am. I’m an addict. I’m also a survivor. My addictions no longer define me, I define who I am and where I am going.
Becky Martinez Morton