I was lying on the floor next to her bed. Her little hand reached toward me from the comfort and furry pinkness of her blanket; both of us quiet, almost asleep really. The energy of her touch awakened me. I remember sitting up and looking, just looking trance-like and contented at her hand cradled in my palm. How precious was that little hand.
My first thought was of gratitude. How thankful I felt that she was here. Here in our home. My mind wandered to all the parents who had lost their children. I felt a moment of horror. I said my thank you. For all I have endured in sobriety, the loss of a child has not been one of them.
I tumbled her 10 year old hand in mine. I weaved our mismatched fingers together. Here, now asleep, before me was this beautiful life. This incredible person that had been gifted to me from the Universe. How fortunate I was.
Then for unknown reasons I felt guilty. I felt unworthy. Where was this coming from? I stayed with the thought. I let it speak to me.
Guilt:” You don’t deserve her. You have been a selfish and drunk mother. You owe me for allowing you to keep her.”
Me: “I owe you? What could I possibly owe you?”
Guilt: “A lifetime of feeling me.”
Me: “Of what value does that serve?”
Guilt: “It keeps me alive and I want to live.”
Me: “So I must live my life feeling you? This is my penance for having been a drunken mom?”
Me: “Why must I keep you alive? Since when has this become part of my mission?”
Guilt: “Since forever—since the beginning.”
Me: “So who says you have to stay forever?”
Guilt: “You do.”
Me: “Then I un-choose you.”
Guilt: “It’s not that simple. I am welcome anytime you choose me. And you always, eventually choose me.”
Me: “Fine, then beginning right now, this moment, I un-choose you. So go away.”
Guilt: “That’s okay. I’ll be back. You always welcome me back.”
Me: “I will work at not welcoming you. And trust me, one day you will no longer be rooted so deeply.”
I looked at my little girl’s hand. I touched the tips of her fingers. I felt the life force move through her. She was one year old when I got sober. She doesn’t remember me “drinking.” She remembers much, but not the drinking. Recovery was hard on my children. Seems we grew up together. The absence of alcohol doesn’t make a perfect mommy. It only makes a mommy that doesn’t drink alcohol. I had a lot to learn.
How incredible was this moment? I am sober. I am recovered from a hopeless state of mind. I am no longer obsessed with drinking alcohol. I am free.
It can no longer be about the moments I missed.
That time is gone.
It can only be about this moment.
Who am I being now?
What am I bringing now?
If I don’t choose love then I have chosen love’s opposite. And love’s opposite isn’t welcome here anymore. And this I work on every day.
Who would have thought one little hand could yield so much thought?
I want to dedicate this post to The Miracles Around the Corner. She is celebrating one year of continuous sobriety today. She’s an inspiration for any mom struggling to find herself in sobriety. Happy Anniversay … it is a BIG DEAL.