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Four Months...

My son has four months of sobriety today.  For four months he has not been actively killing himself...

He is only 18.  How can one’s life get so messed up by 18? 

Easily, actually.

I am so proud of him.  He just got a new sponsor, a really good sponsor who will help him not only in recovery related things, but also life.  And he needs that kind of guidance that is best delivered from a man, not his mom.  Way easier to listen to a young guy, who is much more relatable, than his older, and dumber (from his perspective) mom.

I sent him to treatment center after treatment center...all to no avail.  He would do the deal while there and then get out and fuck stuff up.  Repeatedly.  He is so impressionable.  So young, in so very many ways.  And yet, in spite of his age and relative lack of maturity, he is sober, employed and doing pretty well.

I cannot believe how much can change in four months.  Each day passing from one to the next, and him making a choice for 121 days in a row to give this whole recovery thing a not give up or in and to refrain from further damaging his heart, mind, body and spirit.

So I wake up today with the immense gratitude for recovery.  It is literally saving the three men I love most:  my dad, my son and my guy.  Kind of fucked up that all three of the men I love need recovery quite desperately but that is just how it goes.  And I see now that it would never really be any other way for me.  I think I was born to love a drunk.  I mean, I literally have since I birth.  And now it is my life.

I will say that I love the sober versions of all three of these men better than I do the drunk.  Wait, it isn’t that I love them any less when they are a mess or fucking up, just that I can’t and don’t trust them and feel like their behavior is making my own life unsafe.  And while I know that I likely should have walked away from each of them sooner and perhaps more permanently at times in the intervening years, I know that I too, like them, have done the very best I can with what I have.

I have been thinking a lot about wellness lately.  Mine and others.  And I kind of hate the way we as a society are treating illness and addiction.  I find myself really not enjoying or sharing this whole “sickness” idea.  I mean, I know I have an illness.  But it is not all I am.  It does effect everything in my life. But I feel like the sick label is convenient nomenclature to throw down, right before you move on and forget that this other person feels, struggles, lives, breathes and attempts to live this life, just like us.

I do not believe the illness of addiction provides a ready excuse for shitty treatment of others...I am in no way excusing the poor behavior and I know, believe me I have been told a million times, that I am way too forgiving and offer up way too many chances.  And perhaps that is correct.  Perhaps that is true.  But I have to be true to myself, that is the whole point of recovery, right?  To be able to hold true to your beliefs, your truths and just stand there naked with them...making no apologies for who you really are and how that manifests in your life.  And it would seem that is what is asked of all of in recovery, to stop the drinking and drugging so that we may finally be able to accept and love ourselves as we are.  In our most basic raw form, with all the shitty things we do and say and don’t do and say.  If we can find a love for ourselves and a lasting peace with all the shit we do and did that is less than wonderful, we get a happy head to live in one day at a time. And all those chances given to us by others, sometimes mean the difference of life and death.

I am proud of my son today.  He is doing well.  And I know, we only have this day.  Just the one we are in.  Whether we are sober and alive tomorrow completely and totally depends on what we do in this minute, hour and day. And the result of living this way is that sometimes an 18 year old kid hellbent on self destruction puts 121 days together in a row...and a mother’s heart and mind are made easier, less stressed than ever before.

Love reigns for me in that beautiful space between the potential and the actual.  In fact, I have been accused, rightly so, of always falling more in love with the potential than the person who is standing in front of me.  And I know, I really,  really know that on days like today,  all the love I seemed to pour into that bottomless pit of unrealized potential, is actually filled to the brim.  And I know that all I gave and sacrificed and withstood was worth it.  The pain, the frustration, the anger, the hurt, the hard feelings, the despair, not giving up on someone you love is probably one of the hardest, most difficult things to do...especially in today’s world when there is so much fodder being tossed around that if you care about yourself, you tolerate no bullshit from anyone.

I care about myself and I love some fucked up people.  And I believe that the love I give is more than the addiction.  And today, the math pans out.   All the love and patience I have given my son, all the second, third, millionth chances, have gotten us here to this place where he has not been actively destroying himself for 121 days in a row.  And that is a miracle I am very grateful to have been a part of...again, still.

And at the very same time, it was a very hard road to walk. And I do not lose sight of that in all the relief I feel in this moment...and so I am brought back into the day, where all my life happens in this moment, and the next...again, still.

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