Looking at the Past to Appreciate the Present

Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades -Timbuk 3

Today I am hustling and bustling getting ready for my son’s 10th birthday tomorrow (special requests include potato salad, chicken cutlets, and a pac man cake, thank God for the internet on that last one!).  First thing this morning, I came into some knowledge that had my character defect of self-righteousness on high alert… I believe I am a victim of some injustice, and nothing gets me more irate than when this happens.  To complicate this issue, I have no ability to find a resolution for about a week, which only heightens my angst.

As I began my food prep, I tried to focus on how I can maximize my son’s enjoyment of his special day.  And that’s when it hit me… what was happening exactly one year ago.  I wish I could say what I am about to describe was my final bottom; sadly, it was not…

One year ago today I was preparing to enter an inpatient rehab.  I convinced the family member instrumental in enforcing this decision that it would be best to wait until the day after my son’s birthday, so as to minimize the disruption to his life.  I had been “caught,” for what felt like the millionth time, violating my promise to stay clean and sober 5 days prior to his birthday, and the ultimatum had come in… get some help, or get out.  I chose the former, and we spent the next few days figuring out rehabs, insurance acceptance, and attempting normalcy around the children.  We had the extended family over for cake and ice cream, and no one was the wiser, which simply added to the stress of the situation.  You know what 4-5 days of waiting to go into rehab is like?  It is like a form of hell on Earth.  And trying to pretend to the world that all is well makes it that much harder.

Okay, that’s enough of the sad stuff.  Fast forward a year (thank the Good Lord I am able to do that!), and here I sit, typing a blog to family, old friends, and new ones I haven’t even met but who inspire me daily.  I am able to plan all sorts of neat ideas for my son to enjoy, and I am appreciating the opportunity I have to do so.  I am a week away from celebrating 9 months of continuous sobriety, something I had only accomplished in the past when I was pregnant.  I am actively involved in a 12-step program, getting ready to finish the steps, and looking forward to passing on the message to others.  I have begun the process of starting my own meeting, and am actively recruiting attendees.  I am involved in a legal program that will ultimately allow me to wipe my slate officially clean.

What in the hell do I have to complain about?

Posted on October 17, 2012, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You know what’s strange is I’ve had that “future’s so bright” line in my head since Sunday. I was driving along a road I hadn’t been on in many years and that triggered the memory of hearing it on the radio in my car after getting my first job offer out of college.

    Anyway, what a difference a year makes! I’m so happy to hear one of your my most pressing challenges today is figuring out how to make a pac-man cake. Which? Sounds pretty challenging, so my hat’s off to you.

    So happy to read this post. Hope your son has a wonderful birthday.


  2. Sometimes we forget how far we’ve come until we look back to where we were. We are always changing and evolving and hopefully growing, but sometimes progress can feel so damn slow. But then we look back and we see our entire lives have changed.

    So happy to read this!

    And yeah, there are Always going to be things we can complain about. But we can choose not to. We can choose to focus on the positive. We can choose to appreciate this moment.


  3. First….please tell my favorite almost 10 year old to have a great birthday from his two playdate buddies and Aunt Karen and Uncle D.
    And B…..so much to celebrate. Have TWO pieces of Pac Man cake (and make sure you take lots of pics so we can see).
    Continuously proud and happy for you! Love you!


  4. Your post today brings tears to my eyes and a tug to my heart. I am so happy for you. Happy cooking and baking and being there for your 10 year old. Lots of love


  5. @Lisa I agree, I got teary as well. As for this post – Miracles no matter how big or how small, they are miracles. This is what I get from this. It brought me back to Jan 23rd 1991. I was on my third day in detox and it was my son’s second birthday. The hospital staff allowed me to go supervised to the lawn of the hospital and have a mini “party” for him. I was given some of my clothes back (minus belts, shoe laces, etc – still wasn’t allowed that dangerous stuff – lol). I struggled to put his bicycle together, but got it done. At that point I was determined that a life of drugs and alcohol was no life at all. Thanks be to God, I have not had to put any substance in my body since….

    Your post brought back such a fond memory and I am grateful to your sharing.


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