Projecting

When you’re in recovery from addiction, and have kids with a fellow addict/alky in recovery, one of the biggest fears you have is that your child will follow down your path. The whole nature vs. nurture thing happens. It can cause severe anxiety if you dwell on it, and keep you up nights.
This was especially true when Boo was a baby. Along with all the other “newborn worries”, I was terrified that my beautiful little boy would become a homeless addict like his father had been, or an awkward drunk like me. One day I decided enough is enough, and started thinking of wonderful things he could become instead.
I pictured a tall, smiling professional snow boarder with dreadlocks…I can still see that vision I concocted for myself.
Anytime I got to feeling anxious I’d think of that picture.
Honestly, I didn’t care if he was a snow boarder, I didn’t care if he became head milker on a dairy farm…I just needed to quit picturing him as an addict dead in a ditch.
I told my sponsor what I had done and how it made me feel better…
(A note about my sponsor at that time: She was a forty-something, never married, no kids, overextending and constantly sick woman who had double-digit sobriety.
Those of us that she sponsored were called “chickens” when we were good, and “Louises” when we didn’t listen. She wasn’t my sponsor for very long after that.)
I explained what had been happening and how I’d fixed the problem. I thought she’d be proud of me.
I didn’t expect her to go off on how I was projecting my poor child’s future (The snow boarder one-not the addict one), and how I needed to meditate on how to be a better mother.
It wasn’t long after that that I realized she was an alcoholic just like me.
She could help me with my steps, but figuring out how to navigate parenthood was beyond her.
She didn’t understand that if Moose (who was on Interferon to treat Hep C) was too sick to watch Boo, then I couldn’t make it to a meeting where kids weren’t allowed.
My sponsor after her was a married mom with a large amount of sobriety. She told me that my vision was fine.
The reason any of this even comes up is because this last weekend Moose took the boys up to the snow. Keylime learned to ski while Boo got a snowboarding lesson.
It turns out he spent more time on his behind than he did on his board.
I’m really glad that the vision that comforted me as a new mom wasn’t something I set in stone.

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