One of the greatest things about being a part of the 12 step program, you don’t just learn how to live sober but also how to be a sober mom. And you meet some wonderful women who have had the same struggles with sobriety and motherhood and are always willing to share their wisdom.
There is an amazing bond between us, as we know that sobriety is the most important thing in our lives, it has to be! Yet we struggle on daily basis to put it up front. The challenge here is to see that the amount of time and dedication put into taking care of our sobriety, has to be even above the amount of time that we put into taking care of our families. For many of us, to drink again means to lose everything! This is often hard for family members to understand; they just can’t fathom that we are now going to many meetings or other support groups, instead of spending that time with them. Sometimes this is hard for kids to understand; they may feel left out and unimportant.
In my early sobriety, I went to a meeting every single day no matter what. Being a single mom after me and my ex split, I often took my daughter with me. I bought a portable DVD player and headphones and we sat in the back of the room as not to disturb anyone. I went to mostly women’s meetings, because I think they made my daughter and I feel more comfortable. And, well the women just loved her! But the bottom line was that I just went no matter what! I just did what I had to do to stay sober!
Of course I got the idea of bringing my daughter to the meetings from another sober mom, who would bring her son to the meetings. She too did not have the money for a babysitter but found it crucial to go to meetings no matter what!
When my daughter was a bit older she started asking why I was going to these meetings, at first I was just sort of making up things, I said they are my friends, and I feel better when I see them. But that was not that far from the truth! The longer you attend the more friends you meet! They have become my family and my village. I don’t have to take my daughter to meetings anymore, but once in while she asks if she can still come! And many people still ask me how she is doing and reminisce about seeing her in the rooms when she was little.
So this weekend was great, I saw few women that I haven’t seen in a while. We talked bout sobriety and family and work and all that stuff that’s part of a “normal” life. At one point I was making some small talk with a couple who has been married for 20 years! I asked what their secret was, and the woman replied, meetings! She said they bring their 4-year-old with them sometimes and take turns playing with her at the playground outside of the church where the meeting is held. Then she said, we had put a lot of effort in drinking, now we have to put a lot of effort in staying sober! That’s going to any lengths!
What do you do to ensure your sobriety?
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