Updated: Jan 31
I gradually adjusted to my new "temporary home." I made friends and became dedicated to my AA meetings. I picked a sponsor. I knew nothing about the 12-step program and questioned how 12 principles would transform my life. I was willing to give it a chance. I wanted sobriety and I wanted to be healthy for my kids. I was desperate to get my life back on track. I talked to Bentley, Everett, and Cooper every day. The first time Eric brought the kids to see me he was coming back from Panama City Beach. Him and the kids went to our annually beach trip. It made me incredibly grievous. Eric and I met in 2011 at the Panama City Beach condo, both of our parents shared timeshares there. I could not wait to hold my babies. They came in and immediately jumped into my arms. "Mommy, is this your new home?" I replied, for now. We had a good visit. Eric brought me back a bracelet and a plastic ring, to wear on my ring finger. Eric knew how hard it was for me. He could see the sadness in my eyes, and I could see it in his. Without voicing it, we both wanted to act like the downfall never happened and go back to our lives. As much as I despised Eric during this time, I loved him and wanted my security blanket back; that was him. Eric knew I had a problem with drinking, but he also knew I was a good mom and when alcohol was not consumed our lives were fine. We hardly ever argue unless substances were involved. I was mainly the one who would start the arguments. All of my resentments, present and past hurts I would project onto him. It was not healthy. Back then, I did not know any better. I was emotionally immature. As I said goodbye, I would have given anything to get in the car with them and make this all disappear. I got a job at Smoothie King. All the employees were in recovery. It kept me busy, although as you can imagine; I was embarrassed that I was working there with a college degree. It hurt my ego and humbled me at the same time. After a few weeks of complaining I had no vehicle (My minivan was still impounded and needed a new transmission), my mama bought me a 1999 Buick she paid cash for. I was thrilled to have a vehicle again. I had never known what it was like to not have what I considered "basic necessities. " I called the car, Betsy. It reminded me of an old grandma car. It got me from point A to point B. During this time in my life, I had to get use to my new normal. For the first in my life, I truly felt like I belonged in recovery. Beforehand, I had this idealized vision it was homeless men on the street with paper bags. Sober living helped me stay grateful. A lot of people are hurting in this world. The amazing thing about meetings is when you walk into that safe space; everyone is an equal. My story was no different from many who walk through the doors. We all had one thing in common: We are powerless over alcohol.