Mission Statement

I’ve been told to create a mission statement and I’m finding I don’t have the words to express the entirety of what I feel my current mission is.

This is what I’m working with so far: To inhabit my life in a creative and spiritual manner in order to become a better daughter, friend; power of example to my love bugs.

OR

To spiritually and creatively inhabit my life in a way that values acceptance, gratitude, and allows my growth process to continue.

Somewhere in there I’d like to include my goals surrounding my writing habits, step work with my sponsor, becoming more independent, and financially stable. I suppose that is loosely included in the two I’ve developed thus far.

This exercise began as an assignment for one of my required classes and it’s become of paramount importance since a number of opportunities have presented themselves recently which will aide me in my ability to meet my long-term goals.

Apologies

I’ve been away for a bit…contemplating my goals for this coming year, connecting with Spirit, building a recovery network of courageous women….

To catch you up – I’ve acquired employment, secured a housing plan for when I leave treatment, developed a working budget, and continue to work with the attorney regarding my upcoming court case for my love bugs! It’s been busy!!

My friend Jayme had an emergency C-section and lost two liters of blood. Everyone is thriving now and she has a beautiful baby boy!

I got my first tattoo and pierced my lip-

Recovery has been a roller coaster! I happen to adore the thrill of the ride. My job offer opened up a career path through AmeriCorps that I never imagined (the Fey Folk have blessed me). I’ll be providing resources to others who are in need of recovery services such as treatment, MAT, housing, etc…

For anyone struggling- trust me when I say these last 6 months have been excruciating and spectacularly beautiful all at the same time. I’ve grown in areas I didn’t even know existed within me.

Where the Big Book insists that you will “be rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence” they weren’t lying, however, you have to walk through the pain to get there.

Long term Treatment

Too many mothers who suffer from the disease of addiction are burdened by the overwhelming responsibility to “hurry up and get well” in order to return home and tend to their parental obligations. A popular recovery mantra is: “You will lose whatever you choose to put before your recovery”. The issue, then, is obvious: forced to choose between your needs and your children’s needs (keep in mind a women is taught when gifted her first baby doll) the priority is, and forever should be, your children. It is drilled into us as early as our childhood that if we deem anything else a priority, we are failing as mothers, and by extension, as women.

The disease of addiction is so insidious, our recovery demands prime real estate on Priority Boulevard. We are then left to decide which is more important: Should we choose correctly, and attend to our recovery we are labeled “bad moms” by the committee between our ears first, and second, by everyone in the free world who is also convinced women who bear children have a sole purpose: caretaking!

Should we choose our children, our recovery is short-lived, at best. You’ll discover the very same people who swore you weren’t involved enough while tending to your recovery stand in judgment once more. This time the accusations are bold-faced insults and they all want to know why you can’t stay sober if you love your kids.

I’ve learned all of this at an enormous cost. If you are like me and wish to save yourself the time and heartache, I highly suggest you accept the following:

  1. It’s none of your business what other people think about you
  2. There are women who carry wounds identical to your own waiting for you in recovery
  3. They were never true friends to begin with if they judge you for your disease (would you judge them if they had cancer and couldn’t spend as much time with their children due to chemo treatments?)
  4. Remember: Always recite to yourself that addiction is a DISEASE.

5. You are absolutely no good to your kids (or anyone, for that matter) if you are on your way to a relapse.

Too many women go with their gut instinct and rush through a 28-day program only to return to their “normal” lives with barely any skills to combat the overwhelming cravings. They try and make it to self-help meetings and reach out yet find that those groups seem cliquey. It’s difficult to feel like an outsider and that’s exactly what you are when you walk in to a meeting for the first time.
It’s important to keep in mind that the people who attend regularly and have been in recovery for a lengthy period of time see people come and go. Obviously they are going to sit back and watch for newcomers to “stick and stay,” as they call it (remain a regular at the meetings).
Part of the reason a long-term residential treatment is so important is due to the fact that creating an entirely new network of friends takes some time. When an addict enters into a recovery program they abandon every person in their life who is still in active addiction, usually everyone in their life. From there, they attempt to rebuild a completely new life with new friends, new hobbies, an entirely different environment. This is a scary process!

I write about this topic because I am a mother in recovery who tried the 28-day program cure. Truly, it was no cure. I’d get a small taste of recovery, hope, and pieces of my life began to assemble themselves into a picture I liked to look at. Life would ensue and I would get pummeled by those things I had previously ignored (bills, broken relationships, etc..) which would present themselves at the worst possible moments. Life would become too frantic to fit in a daily recovery meeting, the kids would demand every waking moment because I’d been absent for the last month, and recovery would fall into 7th place. As I stated earlier: “Anything you put before your recovery, you’ll lose”.

Without any friends in the program to warn me about signs and symptoms of relapse, I’d trudge on blindly. My attitudes would soon become negative and harsh. My behaviors would follow and I’d begin acting out all my character defects: manipulation, ego, dishonesty, until finally, the moment would present itself. I would be in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone would have my favorite “forget-me-not” (fentanyl) and off I’d spiral till my next 28-day treatment.

There has been a marked difference due to my choice to attend longer term treatment. I’ve had the time and a safe space to begin to create a recovery network, piece myself back together, find a sponsor, begin working the steps, and confront the demons of my past that attack my memories with a therapist.

I guess the purpose of this post is to remind the women who are struggling with addiction and have kids who depend on them that it’s ok to take the time you need to get well. Don’t be ashamed of it. If I would have done this program initially, I could have saved all of us the trouble of having to research numerous 28 day programs. If you aren’t able to take care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to take care of your littles. It is heartbreaking to have to take a lengthy amount of time away from them…but if you are dedicated to working the program correctly – you won’t be disappointed with the results!! Neither will they!

R.I.D.

(Restless, irritable and discontent)

I knock against the clutter in my head

Mania pulses acutely

My spool spins

An impulse to escape the thread

Handcuffs wound tight about my wrists

I couldn’t have known the

Complexity of sobriety

Being pristine

A tapestry of irritation

Restless as an empty socket

I want to jolt

Into each temptation

Allow the electricity to flow through

Level Playing Field

I had court last week for my Post-permanency hearing. Needless to say, that hearing quickly turned into my preliminary termination hearing. They served me the paperwork at the court house and my idiot attorney actually thought I’d accept the papers and immediately allow the proceedings to go forward.

You’ll be glad to know that I didn’t allow any such thing to continue!! Instead I asked the judge to continue it and my very sympathetic and compassionate friend decided to hire an attorney in the meantime. I never dreamed I’d be this lucky and the attorney is amazing!! He’s not only familiar with the TPR proceedings, he’s known to win them.

I’d like to be clear about my stance on the need to have money in this country if you expect things like a decent education or, in my case, a decent defense. It’s absolute horse shit. I didn’t make the rules, however, I do have to live with them. Normally I’d be in a stuck position. Much like I repeatedly was in the criminal court system.

I am grateful that I have not been left to my own devices on this one. With my kids at stake, it’s not as though I’m simply going to serve a sentence and be released. The choice handed down by the judge at my termination hearing is the one which decides my fate and the fate of three precious little people who haven’t the faintest idea what is happening right now.

It’s my job to protect them and I take that job seriously. I suppose that’s part of the rub in this whole thing, isn’t it?? They are attempting to say I endangered my babies and, furthermore, I haven’t done anything to correct these conditions.

Now I stand a fighting chance. The fighting chance of a well-trained boxer who spent their career in similar situations and who knows the ins and outs of the ring.

Condensation

There was once a familiar face

In the mirror

Before the glass fogged

I was left to etch madly

Finger paint in the dew

Lull the collage of

Unruliness

My silent ritual to

Conjure a self-portrait

All I see is my absence

Instead, I’ve invoked a vision of you

Blue, like the leftovers of an overdose

Dirt clings to your creases

And the distance of knowing

What there is left to lose

And what is lost

Rings in my ears

Endured like a bittersweet eulogy

Time to retire this tireless

Game of Hide-n-seek.

Never-ending Story

You are never going to believe this! I just paid $110 for a hair follicle test to prove to the treatment center I reside in that I didn’t abuse meth while I was on my weekend pass from Oct. 6th.

For some reason, my urinalysis from that day came back from the lab with a positive result for meth. At this point it’s been over a month so I can’t just take another urine test and prove that I was clean. My only option is the hair follicle test which will show up to 3 months prior to the date it’s collected.

My hair test came back negative. That was great news, right?? While waiting for the hair follicle test to come back from the lab my case manager contacted DCYF and disclosed that I had a positive drug test. DCYF, understandably, pulled my weekend visits. The problem is that they refuse to reinstate them now that I’ve proven that the test was negative.

I have a hearing this morning so I’m hoping that the judge will allow my weekend visits to continue. In the past 2 months, we’ve had so much time taken away from us!! I am trying to remain positive and tell myself that this will be worth it in the end. Being punished for something I didn’t do is truly bothersome. Especially when I’ve done everything in my power to follow my recovery program to the letter.

If you’re reading this please put up a prayer that the Universe will have my back when I stand before the judge this morning at 9am. I am missing precious moments with my littles, time I can’t replace or get back. Seems that this story of consequence and punishment is never-ending.

Thank you!!