When beginning recovery, we first make the decision to change. Then we yearn for others to understand. We want to get that special pat on the back from our friends and family that we are doing the right thing. Instant gratification for taking the first big step.
It really doesn’t work that way, though. Then we are hurt, when we realize that no one is going to be happy for us until we prove it to them that we are dedicated to change. My family was very hard on me in the beginning. The ride home from the hospital was the worst. My sister and mom took me home and the whole ride was instructions on what to do next and what I’ve done to the family. There was so much anger that it hung in the air like a heavy fog. I cried and cried but there was no remorse. They needed to see proof that I was in this for the long haul. They didn’t trust me because of all the lying and scandals that went on before the hospital. In my mind, it was all a party! I made the big leap to get better! I’m going to do this and be the person that God intended me to be. Everyone should be on my side and ready to help. Why do they still hate me?
For people on the other side, it doesn’t look like that. It’s just another thing that I could mess up. My family convinced me that it would be best for me to do this on my own. They let my kids stay with them for a few months so I could take care of myself. There was a game plan, but plans seem to change. My children were all I could think about. They were the ones that were affected the most and it was because of me. The guilt was overwhelming at first, but I knew I was doing the right thing for them and myself. I needed to know they were what I was living for. Of course, I had a freak out moment when I first was alone. No one ever wants to feel this way, but we have to get through the bad to get to the good. We can’t have happiness without sadness and vice versa. It was the right move to make, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t almost kill me to let go of my children. My sister took it upon herself to make the big decisions, like whether it was ok for me to be alone with my kids. There was no reason not to, besides the fact that she didn’t trust me. She thought I was crazy and out of control, but I knew I wasn’t. I was just sick. I would never do anything to my kids besides love them; now that I was sober and getting the help I needed. Still, the trust wasn’t there and the fighting still was. They didn’t want to admit that I was an alcoholic, they just wanted me to admit that I had anger issues. So, I took them to court. I wasn’t going to let my kids go. After the judge told them that only the alcoholic can decide if they are an alcoholic, they felt a little apologetic, but still held their ground that it would take more time. It took court and a professional opinion for the family to acknowledge that visiting with my kids was not the issue that needed focus. The reunion of friendship among family was the key. Mom was the first to forgive.
My whole family hasn’t come around to understanding, but they are on their way. I’ve learned patience is the only thing I can give them now. Most of my friends were users or enablers, so again that loneliness could have taken over, but support was found in therapy and girls from my new church. Resources are out there but they won’t fall in your lap. The first step is always to decide to change or seek help. Only expect instant gratification from yourself. Expect to be lonely and enjoy your time to be creative on your own. Learn to love yourself and know you are worth that gratification when it comes, in due time. You are worth it, every second, every day, you are worth the work and the love.