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[ Personal Narratives ]

To all you women in recovery

It is currently 11:45 pm, Thursday night and I can not sleep. I have this overwhelming feeling to write about something ive noticed, something i feel needs to be said. This article is inspired by not only my wife but all the mommys out there in recovery. Ive noticed the dedication, time and unconditional love it takes to make it through another day. Sure guys, we take on alot on a daily basis but lets get real, the strongest thing ive ever seen was watching my wife, a woman, a mommy in recovery. I dedicate this to all the moms and wives that not only make it through the day, but end it much stronger than when they started. This is an observation from a dad, a husband, someone who is inspired by a much stronger woman.

As a person in recovery, my days consist of new challenges, curve balls and milestones. A little over two years ago I was struggling to find food, a bed to lay my head and a stranger to fill voids. I remember the rainy nights alone in the front seat of my truck, the rearview mirrow in pieces, shattered from sheer fear of seeing myself. The clothes in trash bags doubled as pillows. I remember the summer breeze scent, a new feature for the kitchen bag world. I will never forget balling my eyes out as i would lay there and wonder what my kids were doing, “are they asleep?” “do they hate me or even know who i am?” “will they have scary dreams, wake up and cry for mommy knowing daddy is no longer around?” This was the most painful nights i remember, a pain no pill or heroin could manage. Those nights will forever rent space in my mind, will stab and poke my gut and more times than not reminds me of how grateful i am to be sober. Today I am a father and husband in training. From watching my wife and seeing the hard work and dedication to our family, i get the inspiration and confidence to push through.

I guess you can say im your typical man, you could follow my trails through the house like a tornado through a city. From the scattered socks stinking up the house, the beard trimmings spread like wildfire throughout the sink and the dishes piled up 8 inches from the dishwasher. I work a fullfiling career and i get to come home everyday to a beautiful family. My daily practice includes throwing my clothes on the bathroom floor, finding the easiest dinner to make and getting to channel 242 to watch Phil on Modern Family. So do i qualify as every womans dream guy, lol, i think not. Now……

I am married to my best friend, a woman who wakes up everyday at 7:30, makes a pot of coffee and gently wakes our little girl. Me not being a morning person never completly understand how someone can smile before 10 am. It wasnt until i started waking up next to this girl, seeing her single dimple and creased eyes as she smiles everyday did i understand waking up grateful does exist. I lay in bed, i hear her voice from our little girls room and the suttle cry from our angle waking up to a new day. Then footsteps down the staircase followed by a diaper bag getting packed. The car starting so it cool enough for our daughter to ride in. Finally i smell the fresh coffee she made as she pours it in another cup that may never make it back. Not once through all this do i ever here a single curse word, complaint or sign of defeat. I rush to the front door to carrry my daughter to the car, as i kiss my wife off to work i look at her, i become inspired and I know at that moment the strength she holds. We cannot afford daycare just yet so she goes off to an 8 sometimes 10 hour day, works dilligently while holding an 8 month old on her hip. She finds a way to make it work, she still smiles.

Days off, lets just say can be described as the days to catch up. The endless loads of laundry, piles of folded clothes that never make it into the dresser, the empty bottles scattered and the aftermath of a little girls war path, yes shes crawling now. The little time we do spend together is spent cleaning, chasing babygirl and learning how to be adults. Still this woman finds a way to also be a wife. I hear her yawn as her hazel eyes are fighting to stay open, she holds me tight using her last bit of energy to finish our show. As i slowly take off her glasses, kiss her gentle face goodnight i fall in love with her all over again.

I notice with all women in recovery the strength it takes to not only stay sober but also grown into mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. It is not my place to tell you my wifes story. I will say it is a painful one, one that started at a very young age, a story i wish on no one. Many women experience active addiction in ways most men could never endure. To know my wifes story along with many other amazing women in recovery and to see them today is nothing short of a miracle. I didnt know my wife while in active addiciton, i know my wife today. A woman ever evolving as she carries herself with dignity and pride. A woman of God, hope and strength. Today i know my wife as a mother, a daughter to proud parents and sister to a loving brother. I see you! I see the amount of energy it takes to get through another day, the dedication and loyalty it takes to grow not only as a mother but a woman in recovery.

I close with this, im not sure if all my thoughts were laid out in this article as i planned. I do want to honor and thank all the women who wake up with a smile knowing the day will hold challenges, the women who never complain and strive to being the best parents they can. I want to recognize all the women who may be seperated from their families in order to stay sober. Know this is temporary, know women like my wife have sacrificed in order to gain self. We can not underestimate the power of not only a woman but a woman of God. I want to give hope to everyone that may be struggling with this disease, your not that junkie, drunk, girl on the corner, your a woman capable of anything. Your a survivor and no longer a victim. Take that power you hold inside and find your true self, because the power of a woman is stronger than anything i know.

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