I am a mother. Today I regard motherhood as a sacred gift bestowed upon me by a power greater than myself. When I found out I was pregnant a part of me came alive that I didn’t know existed. I fell instantly in love with this tiny being growing inside my body and so powerful was this love and so protective was I of this unborn life, it enabled me to stop drinking for the gestation period of both my children. Christopher and Jessica. These names were chosen before they entered this world. I awoke this morning to hear them both laughing in the next room. My children’s laughter and their freedom to be youthful signifies that in this house, recovery is alive and well and dwells not just inside me, but also inside them. I am their mother, their protector, their provider, their role model. Every decision I make, every word I speak, every breath I take directly affects them. I am not always mindful of that and sometimes I have failed them, most definitely in active addiction I failed them hugely. Through all my trials and tribulations, faults and failings God still saw fit to give me guardianship over these exquisite lives. Their vibrancy and enthusiasm engulfs our home and creates joy and mayhem and sometimes catastrophic energy that almost drives me insane.
They are free. No longer do the binds of addiction restrict their growth and development. They do not have to watch their mother harm herself by filling her body with poison, find her passed out on the floor, their little hearts broken with sorrow and fear that she may be dead. No longer do they have to wait for love and affection that was fighting to cut loose inside me. Once I could not reach my arms far enough to protect them and love them as they were meant to be. I remember vividly still the day they were both born, their first cry, that special smell, their mops of black curly hair. I remember how I was transfixed by their very presence not quite able to believe they came from me. I remember the feeling of wonderment at being able to nourish them with milk from my own body. I am failing to put into words the power of the bond between my children and I. Perhaps there are no words.
Addiction took them from me. Physically they were there. I could see them, hear them, touch them. At night I would lull them to sleep, lay next to them admiring their beauty as they slept, but I could not feel them inside me anymore, in my heart and soul. I feared them because of their vulnerability and fragility. I asked God why he had bestowed such huge responsibility on me that I could not carry. The more I drank and used the further from my children I became. I was alone, desperate and helpless.
Then my time came to get well and I found AA. Through working the steps and living a programme of recovery, I have regained that pure unspoiled love for my children that addiction was holding hostage. By learning to love and care for myself my children have their mother back. I am no longer afraid of my responsibilities and even though as a single parent the challenges are overwhelming, I know that a power greater than myself is guiding me and protecting me and providing all we need. I am proud to be a woman and mother in recovery. It has been a difficult and painful road but I know that as long as I continue to live a life in the arms of my programme the best is yet to come for me and my beautiful precious children.
I realise that today there will be as many women feeling deep loss and sorrow as there will be women celebrating. Let us remember those women who have lost their children for one reason or another, those who crave to become mothers and cant and those who have lost their own mothers. Let us hold each other support each other and love each other as women in both joy and grief on this mothers today and remember that nothing in Gods world happens by mistake.