I have recently come to grips with the fact that I am a perfectionistic, uptight person who is way too hard on herself and has a very narrow view of what her life is supposed to look like.
I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this.
When something in my life feels out of my control — and there is literally ALWAYS something bothering me that is out of my control — I have to do something about it. I have to take action, even if that action has absolutely zero effect on the situation. I recently said out loud in a room full of strangers that the scariest thing a control freak can do is have three children, but I also believe that having those children is what will keep me from relapsing. If it were just me and Robbie, and no children, who knows how bad things would have gotten. I wouldn’t have three little people watching me, copying my behaviors, and adapting my fucked up coping mechanisms.
I wouldn’t have a good enough reason to get better.
In the past, my coping included cleaning the house while raging at my family about how messy they are, when in fact, they are just normal people. I would drink to make myself stop obsessing over what I could not control. I would put entirely too much makeup on or nitpick myself to death or yell obscenities or unjustly pick fights with people in my life. I felt personally victimized by minor inconveniences. I was not grateful.
“It seems like motherhood is a big source of stress for you.”
My therapist shifted in her seat as she waited for me to respond, uncrossing and re-crossing her legs. I wondered if she was starting to get that tingly feeling that happens just before a limb shuts down.
“I would say so, yes,” I said quietly.
Four months into sobriety, I am slowly, painfully, learning how to be different.
I’ve started working again, doing freelance work which is mostly me talking about being sober while also being a parent. My latest essay is one I’m very proud of, and you can find it here.
We have the strength we need to make it through today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, but today, right now, we are okay, and for that I am learning to be very, very grateful.