I thought getting sober was the hardest thing I have ever faced. It was hard at first. Physically, mentally, emotionally but once I resigned myself to be open to doing whatever was asked of me by my sponsor things started to turn around. I was able up start picking up the pieces and rebuilding my relationships. What has proven to be the hardest part was not getting sober but staying sober under any circumstance.
I thought my life would magically get better once I was sober but suffering never goes away. I had to continue to build a toolbox of ways to face life on life's terms.
I have often heard you can't heal in the environment you got sick in and I almost agree with that statement. I often would ask myself, "how am I supposed to stay sober under these circumstances?"
In my case I had no choice. My child has a complex brain disorder. It's been called many things but we have the brain scans to show that his brain is underdeveloped in some areas and over active in others. His official diagnosis is DMDD and ADHD but he also has sensory processing disorder.
He's the most loving, generous child but when dysregulated he can be extremely violent, inflexible in his thinking, and all of this gets projected on to me or his younger sister. During my first few months in recovery my son was taken off some heavy duty meds that were not only not helping they were also causing a tremendous amount of rapid weight gain.
The withdrawal for him pushed him into severe anxiety, suicidal thoughts and actions, violent out bursts, expelled from school, police involvement and 2 hospitalizations. That whole time I was taking myself to meetings and doing step work, trying to stay sober. I stood firm with resolve to not only stay sober but to grow.
I had to find more tools than daily meetings, step work and a sponsor. I needed a new perspective on my spiritual practices. Over the next few months I read everything I could get my hands on and left no room for no. The other thing I did every morning was a daily reading and journaling, even if only for 5 minutes. I eventually incorporated more and more meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices.
We walked on eggshells but that was nothing new, I just kept telling myself it's temporary. My son is becoming more self aware and learning to self regulate but it's a long haul and it takes practice. In the meantime the only person I have control over is me, so anytime I start to feel anxious because he's not doing something he's supposed to do I remind myself that this is his life and all I can do is provide him with the opportunity.
I want mama's to know getting sober is hard but it can be done under any circumstance if we find the right support. Mother's that have children with disabilities have different needs for their sober journey.
If you're finding that it's getting too hard or you're struggling to keep up with a certain program know that there are other programs that give you more flexibility. Find other moms that understand your circumstance.
Don't ever think because you're unable to do something one way that it can't be done. I have felt very frustrated but instead of shaming myself I picked myself up and tried another approach. If you're a mom, trying to get sober and have a child with a disability, know you're not alone. If you need additional support please reach out anytime I'm here to help.