Hi, I’m Amber, and I’m a recovering addict.
Anyone who has ever battled depression, addiction, and been in a toxic relationship has been told a million times that in order to move forward, they have to change the environment and people in their lives. I stopped talking to people I had my entire life because I couldn’t disassociate them and the darkness. I hated the darkness they brought to my life. I purged everything dark and negative out of my life, one piece at a time. Not only to save my own life, but to be the mom my daughter deserved and the darkness had robbed from her.
When I finally woke up from the fog of addiction, I had to face everything I had tried to erase with the pills. It was like having the memories of being in the situations but also seeing them from a much bigger, much clearer perspective now. I had to stop running away from it all, and turn and face it head on. I had to face every mistake I had ever made, I had to see and feel all the hurt and destruction I had inflicted on so many people. I didn’t go to a program, or have a doctor to help me through, I had given up so much control of my own life that I had to take it back on my own. I had to find the light for myself, and fight to stay there. I had to look at every part of who I am, look into the deepest darkest corners of my soul and banish the darkness that resided there. I had to fight every demon that resided in the darkest places of my very core. Withdrawal was easy compared to the fight to find myself and take back control over my life. The real fight started after the withdrawal ended.
Now a year later, I still fight every day to stand my ground. Every day is another battle, another fight in a war over my self worth, self respect, and control over my own heart, mind and soul. I fight within myself to react with logic, I am constantly reinforcing my armor and checking for weak spots. I want to be sure that every decision is my own, that everything I feel is because of logic and not misguided emotions. I make sure that I am fully aware of all possible consequences my decision may bring.
When your world has been nothing but darkness and misery, where all sense of direction is lost, its hard to find the right path towards a better life. For me, it was looking at my daughter, 5 even 15 years from now. What will she think when she looks back at her momma? What was I showing her? What was I teaching her? What kind of woman do I hope she will be? Now I do everything I can to be that woman I hope she will be. I want her to be better than me in every way, I never want her to allow anyone to take away her sense of self, her self respect, self worth, or self esteem. Holding on to the misery of the bad things in my life won’t get me anywhere. I have tried and even failed to let things go, to let the past die, to break the chains of my upbringing and move forward. I am constantly sifting through life, breaking everything down into a lesson to be learned, good or bad.
As I write, 60 miles away from me my father’s life is ending. My siblings and his sisters, along with countless other family members have gathered to be with him. I have chosen not to go, I know that nothing I have to say will bring any comfort to him, I know that it will only create an explosion that will affect my sister and my daughters grieving. I had an in depth discussion with my 7 year old daughter, I asked her if she wanted to go say goodbye. Her response blew me away, she told me she didn’t want to go and watch him die, that it wasn’t something she wanted to see. This isn’t something I take lightly as I feel this is her life too, and she is a very smart little girl who knows how she feels and what she does and does not want to happen. Her life will go on and this is something she will carry with her for a long time, if there is anything I can do to help her get through this any easier then that is what I will do regardless of anything or anyone else.
I have been called every name in the book for standing my ground, but no amount of hatred spewed at me will cause me to budge. I don’t care what anyone on this planet thinks or says. Her heart, mind, body, soul and life are my one responsibility to protect, nurture, empower, and love. My sole reason for living is to be her momma, what she needs and wants comes before all else. My own feelings and thoughts are my own, I will not force her to feel any way but her own. But I also don’t lie to my daughter, if I want her to feel comfortable talking to me about anything, then I have to raise her that way. I am always 100% myself, so that she knows she can always be HERSELF, and be loved, valued, appreciated and respected unconditionally.
See in the recovery process, my father is one of the people that was purged from my life. No matter how many conversations I tried to have with him, I couldn’t get him to see the depth of the damage that he caused. Neither of us were perfect, however I faced up to every wrong I had ever done to him, apologized and tried to make things right. However, I will not tolerate being disrespected. Two choices: A or B ? You choose your path.