Friday, March 21, 2014

The Death of the Sitcom Baby

Sitcom Babies are so convenient. 

They're only around when they're needed for the plot line, and other than that... we rarely see them.  They're with nannies or grannies or never mentioned.  I sometimes even have, "oh, yeah!  They have a baby!" moments.
Even Grandpa Gellar (from Friends) forgets -at the birth of his sitcom grandgirl -that he has a sitcom grandson, because WE NEVER SEE HIM.
But he's there.

That was my recovery.  It was convenient and pulled out when my story needed it.  As the old saying goes, "I worked my recovery around my life, not my life around my recovery."
I didn't know then that recovery in it's truest form isn't convenient AT ALL.
I didn't know then that recovery is much, much more about well-being than comfort.
I didn't know then that someday recovery would cease to be a sitcom baby and would blossom into a fully-formed infant.

Guys, I'm not kidding when I say recovery has come on the scene like a kicking, screaming new baby... fresh home from the hospital.

I feel like a first time Mom -losing sleep, aging, wondering what life was like before recovery, knowing that my life would never go back to the way it was before recovery entered the scene.
And just as my joy is deepened, fully felt, and more appreciated, so is my frustration more apparent, my anger more present, and my own shortcomings magnified.

I went from casually working the steps and attending an online meeting once a week to
This.... MY LIFE NOW this.

I'm working the s-anon program with a sponsor, attending s-anon meetings online once a week, attending LifeStar once a week, working my calling as an LDS Service Missionary for the ARP program specific to pornography (which means running meetings in town -but no one comes, so I don't really count that just yet), working with a counselor, a Bishop (yes, for myself), blogging, reading, keeping the kids while Danny does his LifeStar and counseling and Bishop work...
breathing this baby.
Every once in a while, we'll sit next to each other in a darkened living room and either laugh at our exhaustion or wipe tears from our cheeks.
Last night was a wipe tears kind of night.

I went to Parent/Teacher Conferences yesterday.  I sat in the hallway, waiting my turn to go in and read recovery blogs from my phone.  I checked my facebook which was full of notifications on my addiction-related secret and locked down walls.
I then went in and sat across from my daughter's teacher, and she told me that my sweet daughter -who is in FIRST grade -is reading at a FOURTH grade level.
I was pained to listened to her and she told me things I had no idea about, and while I was proud that she was the best reader in her class, it was coupled with sorrow.
I didn't know.
I wasn't aware.
I've been handing her piddly books a 2nd grader might read because I knew she was at a higher level... but I'd obviously missed the mark in a BIG way.
And her teacher knew more about my own daughter than I did.

I'm proud of her, and I'm angry.

I'm angry that my son isn't taught preschool at home like his sister was... because I work now and can't do it.
I'm angry that I'm depressed (how's that for a bundle of WRECKAGE emotion?).

This stupid recovery.
This stupid, consuming, NOT AT ALL CONVENIENT recovery!
Sucking my life away!  Sucking my youth and life away!

But later on when we're home and my oldest has a meltdown, I don't rescue or fix or shame.  I teach her about letting her yuckies out.  I teach her about writing in her journal.  I teach her about being honest with herself.  We talk about the lies we tell ourselves.  We talk about our negative emotions instead of sending them to bed.
And when it comes right down to it, I DO HAVE TIME to teach my son the ABCs and how to write his name, but we spend time whittling instead.  We put our feet in the springtime sunshine, close our eyes and talk about what we can hear.
My daughter may not be dressed in matching outfits or be bathed everyday... but she is held and rocked.  She is sung to and locked eyes with.  She is heard.

And this Recovery is just the new baby in the house.  It's taxing and overwhelming, but it's bringing more than it's taking away.
And we'll find our rhythm soon.

But I definitely don't have it right now.
I can definitely say I work my life around Recovery.

Speaking of new babies, I came across this picture yesterday and it made me smile.  Here are my ACTUAL babies, all dolled up in their blessing clothes:

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