To go to rehab or not?

 

 

Six days from now will mark the day, 21 years ago, that I was infected, hooked and yes, unsuspected addicted.

Here’s how it happened; Just about 19 years ago I was standing in a childhood friend’s living room. I was blessed with my second child in my belly and my first on my hip. I remember delivering a hand-made newborn garment to her. It was Janet’s request as the one gift she hand not received and she had remembered how my mother was talented in this venue. I remember Janet saying to me, “In high school you said you never wanted children… and now look at you… you are going to be the mother of two in just a little while,” this mother of one was shaking her head, smiling and had a bit of amazement filing her eyes.

I didn’t and still don’t remember saying I didn’t want kids, but heck-fire, in high school, like many of us gals, and guys too, I knew I was not ready to become a mom. At 18 I was not mature enough, did not know where I was headed in life and was afraid to even hold my niece or nephew for fear I would break them. As it was … I waited until I was 27, the age my parents’ stopped having kids, before I had my first and 32 when I had my last. I remember calling my dad when I informed him I was pregnant, again, at 31 1/2, his response was not excitement it was: “Aren’t you a little old to be doing that?” I was a little surprised but I responded, “I always do things about the time yah’ll stopped doing them.”

But when I said that to my dad I had not realized my addiction was well underway. I was blind to my own addiction, as many addicts are, so it seems.

It was not until 14-years into my addiction that I began to see glimpses of it. But I was still blind to it. In denial, maybe, but reality is I could not see whatit was from where I stood. Eighteen years in, though, I was without a doubt fully addicted and I knew it.

How scared I was. I was filled with anxiety, again, as the source of my addiction was removed from my day to day life. Withdrawals, yes I was going through withdrawals. Oh the withdrawals! I longed for the sight, the sound or even the smell of it to help me through the day. I just knew that if I could smell something a kin to it I might, might, and I do mean might make it through the day. But a day did not go by without my body, my mind, my soul, every fiber of my being yearning for that which was missing from my life. That which I was addicted to.

I remember calling my mom; poor woman had to deal with me, her youngest, 2,200 miles away, on the phone, in tears, going through withdrawals.

“Momma you lied to me!” I managed to say between sobs.

“How?” she was concerned she had lied – not a word I would use to describe my mother.

“You never told me I would be addicted to my kids! I need them in my life. I want them home. I can’t take this.”

“Oh honey, they will be back. They just need to prove to themselves that their father is not up to being a father,” I could hear her heart breaking with each word. It was only then, some 25 years after I had left, that she admitted, “It was very difficult on me when you left.” The sadness that swelled in her heart was not hidden from her voice.

Days later, when my tears seemed to dry for a minute or two and some sanity was regained, I realized – addicted I was, addicted I am. I realized that no one ever told us, as we grew up, that becoming addicted to our kids was a possible side affect of pregnancy. Oh sure they talked about “Empty Nest Syndrome” but they never told me I would be addicted.

It is said that admitting one is addicted is the first step to breaking the addiction. But I will not be going to rehab. I can’t help but beam with pride when I admit — my children are the addiction I don’t ever want to be cured of.

 

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A Mother of Days

The month of May brings me many hurdles now. Hurdles I had not anticipated when I began this journey.

There is Mother’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary and a class reunion.

I am blessed to admit that my mom, now 73, is still here to celebrate. And celebrate her I do, but not without a bit of chastising along the way.

You see … I have called my mom out on the carpet. It was a few years back, as I remember, when I said, through the tears, “You lied to me.”

I remember my mom being taken aback. She had raised her girls to be honest and was not big on even little white lies. “What do you mean?” I remember her asking me.

“You never told me I would become addicted … to my kids!”

Why is it that no one tells us that being a Mom can be addicting?

Sigh.

I never knew. I really did not. I know it now… but I was in the dark for so many years.

The birthday coincides with the anniversary. My son was born on the 21st day of May and this year will be my 21st anniversary of being a mom.

The reunion … well as I prepare to attend one of my 30th High School reunion gatherings, a Barb-B-Que, Saturday, I am reminded that one of my high school friends said, “Wow, look at you. When we were in school you said you never wanted kids and now you are here with one on your hip and one on the way.”

Janet was right. I was too afraid to have kids when I was in my teens. Guess I thought I would not be a good mom. But that was over 21 years ago. And it was, in fact, my kids who changed that in me.

As a mother of three beauties I shall celebrate my children, as well as my mom, on the 14th of this month, because the reality is … I couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day as fully if I didn’t have them.