11/9/10

there is something past the sickness

My addict mind has often told me that it wasn't that bad, that maybe I don't even really have a problem. And then something happens like the night with the wine for the cooking of the food. The way I was suddenly crying over that smell, suddenly frozen with fear and regret.

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.

Grace.

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

28 clicked right here to comment:

audra. said...

Your words are amazing. thank you for sharing!!

Kelly Sauer said...

I did not realize you were expecting - I rearranged my Reader today, and found you again, buried in hundreds of posts. Omigoodness, I am so happy for you!

Kori said...

One of the things I am constantly reminded of in meetings and in the outside world is that when I feel those feelings, they are there to REMIND me-and when I feel the pseudo-hangover, when a smell triggers a feeling, when I have a drinking or drugging dream-and also mean I am doing something right. I don't ever WANT to forget, just as I know YOU don't ever want to forget-because then it gets awfully easy to tell ourselves we weren't that bad.

It IS bravery. and I haven't commented forever but have been reading all the time, and want to tell you congratulations on ALL the great things happening in your lfe; you are so worthy, so deserving, and I have loved watching your journey. Though will admit to feeling that Terrible Green Monster jealousy, only because I WANT TO BE PREGNANT TOO! :) I send hugs to all of you.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Wow. I am blown away by this post. While I certainly don't wish nausea on you, I am so happy that this experience is one associated with joy instead of pain. Grace indeed.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. xo

Corinne said...

Oh Heather... I cried all the way through this. I had a stomach thing recently, and it brought back all of the hung over mornings and wine stained lips and oh my word it was awful and wonderful at the same time (and there wasn't even a baby involved, so I can't imagine how blessed you are feeling!!) :)

"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. "
You have no idea how much I needed to read that today. Well... because we have the same brain... you probably do :) xoxo

Sabrina said...

Heather you are brave and it will always be with you! Miles is right!

Sorry about your all day sickness! That is no fun, mine is almost gone now! But it always does remind me that my body is not my own and I have something very special brewing in me!

I keep seeing your story clip on the news! Tonight is the night!!!! I can't wait! Are you nervous to watch it? It will be beautiful.

Michelle said...

Love this post, Heather. Oh, the reminders can come fast and hard, and that's why we need to be prepared. GRACE is amazing.... hugs ((()))

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Oh my goodness, I love LOVE what Miles said. Love! He's got his mother's gift for words, that's for sure. <3

Kim said...

This is too beautiful for words my love. I love it, and I love you and your absolute bravery.

Ann Imig said...

Amazing post. On so many levels. Absolutely amazing.

Love and strength and saltines.

Elaine A. said...

How serendipitous is it that you got pregnant exactly 9 months later? Is that the right word? even if not, I'm still using it. ;) You know what I mean... God has fabulous timing, no? And yes, that Grace is pretty rockin' too...

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

I kiss you on top of your gorgeous head.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I pretty much never post here, but this was amazing. Miles is right on! Bravery...
Jen

Mary Nevin said...

my addict brain was too active today, what a beautiful surprise to come home and read this entry. grace indeed :)
thank you for being you

Katherine at Postpartum Progress said...

Every now and then, God (or your higher power, whichever or both) sends us a message through our children. I've gotten one or two of those. I will remember them FOREVER. The message from Miles was right on and perfect and clear as day. Just awesome.

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

I also always read, but hardly comment, but this brought me to tears. I love that it was your child that could shine the light this time. Your vivid description about peeling back the layers has left me sitting in this comment box thinking about my own life and my own addictions and I am glad that this post can be the light shining on my own issues today. Absolutely awe-inspiring.

Laura said...

I love your son's words. Grace...it's incredible when it's there. I need it desperately now. I'm fighting my layers, but they are quite thick and deep. Mine hurts my children, but in different ways. My problem is food, so I can't go cold turkey, but I need to find some grace, some inspiration to stop. To stop when I don't need it. To stop stuffing things down. To not run from the emotions. To try to make sense of it, because there's no real reason for it. I'm saving this post to pray for inspiration. Thank You for sharing it. Praying for you & Acorn!

Pamela said...

Thank you for this.

L.T. Elliot said...

What a beautiful boy Miles is. What a beautiful person you are. So happy for you, for grace, for new life.

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

body and sensory memories are intense. we can try with all our might to forget something with our mind, but the body brings it back, doesn't it?

that's a wise little man you've got there.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Definitely the best defense of morning sickness I've ever read. Love that little Miles. He's a wonder. Hope you are feeling better soon - but so glad to hear that you are surrounded by so much love and support.

The Three 22nds said...

My phone rang last night and it was my mom- "I am watching the news right now" she told me. "Heather of the EO is on- is that the same Heather from your sidebar?" I verified that it was and managed to catch the tail end of the interview (I had forgotten it was last night). Thank you for doing the interview- I pray it will be helpful for many women.

Elizabeth Harty said...

Obviously Miles is wise beyond his years. "Your bravery will always be with you." Thank you for sharing some of it with us.

Mackenzie said...

Great post...I have found God reminding me in silly ways of how sick I was, and I believe it is good to have this happen, but I also agree it is hard...it brings the grief of the disease and the shame right back to me. But I never want to shut the door on it because it is part of who I am, I don't want to go back there, and it reminds me of what I've been so blessed with through God's Grace :) Awesome job with Fox 9 News!!!

Mackenzie said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EbdSwL4wNo

Link to Heather's News Interview

moosh in indy. said...

I'm so happy we as a society have you to tell your story. And that I get you as a friend. I'm pretty lucky.

JCK said...

So beautiful. And brave. Absolutely. Grace. Huge congrats on your pregnancy!

angie on maui said...

First time commenting, though (admittedly) I'm not exactly new to your blog. I have been reading along quietly for about a month now and tonight just felt like the right time to say hello.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here on your blog. It is so refreshing to read such open and honest dialogue and I appreciate that about your posts. I admire your bravery as well as your eloquence.

And congratulations on your pregnancy! I loved the post with the acorn-family photo. :)

Aloha,
Angie

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs