Lately these surprise attacks of a clear memory of what it was like come packaged in morning sickness. I'm feeling sick (all through the day) not because I drank too much the night before, but for a much less guilt-inducing reason. The Acorn. My pregnancy. I'm so grateful for the constant nausea since it's a good sign things are going well, growing and creating, cells and neurons zapping and popping and actual organs beginning to make their shapes. And all at the same time, even while I feel that joy, I'm frequently hit with this intense sense memory complete with every detail of a hangover, and it brings up something in me I can't quite name.
All I know is that something sinks in a little more deeply every day, while I sit with my head in my hands to stop the spinning, the churning in my heart and stomach. I can't help remembering. I can't escape it. And my hormonal emotions bring me to a place I need to be...grounded and humbled and reminded, and then grateful and in awe of how life has changed.
The addict mind is really hard to describe. It takes more than months to peel back the layers of denial and deception, to relearn, to change and to...know. I had so quickly and easily forgotten, or maybe even decided to not believe actual hangovers had been a part of my life. So now I sit with the woozy and heavy feelings of growing a person and I realize how often I was hungover. It felt just like this, and I can't deny it anymore. I can see it clearly now, the many days I carried the weight of the night before, behind my temples and at the base of my skull, causing hard work for my neck. How I slumped through those days with so much alcohol sunk low in my churning stomach and ruffling itself with my chills while it coursed through my veins. It was the sickness of my sickness and I thought I hadn't lived it very often. I thought I maybe had a tolerance that held up its fists to the morning after, when I looked at it after getting sober. And now I'm blasted with sense memory, brought to my knees by my sneaky weakness.
I don't know exactly why this brings up so much grief, but it does.
My name is Heather and I'm an alcoholic. I really am. It continues to be a hard reality, but there it is. It's really important to say it often, to be able to have the truth stand up, smack in the face of the denial and the forgetting that can creep in.
Yesterday, plain out of the blue, Miles said, Mama, I want you to know your bravery will always be with you. He worded it just like that. He used the word bravery, and I have no idea how he knew to say such a thing on such a hungover feeling kind of day. But he did.
How often can I say it here? Grace.
I don't feel brave all on my own, but he's right, the freedom I have, this power that comes through me but not from me, it is there. It will be there. It is my own.
And grace is this--I have not missed this: I got pregnant, after three years of pregnancy being a possibility and a desire for our family and it not happening, exactly nine months after I decided to stop drinking. The irony is not lost on me. Nine months. I love nine months.
So I sit here even as I type this and I feel the heaviness behind my eyes, the fatigue and the twisting stomach. I feel it from before and I feel it now. It's entirely different while it's the same. It's a mysterious gift of the many this baby is bringing. A gift that looks much the same as how our boys radiate life and joy in the midst of our messy and hard and sometimes churning daily life.
Life. Sobriety. Motherhood. All of it is always both hard and good, all mixed up with grace. Always.
Friend, there is something past the sickness, something far better than can be imagined. I hope your layers of denial and fear will keep slipping away by your turning the truth on them, so you know all of this, as fully as I am slowly coming to know it.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the meaning of the word serenity and we will know peace. - source