It has been sometime since I’ve sat down and written. It is a great tool for me to process things and hopefully help someone along the way. Since I wrote last I’ve celebrated 7 years of recovery. I started making my handmade jewelry again and started a shop, check it out! Jewelry By Sassy! My relationship with my husband has grown and I love him more than ever. My son is almost 3 years old and I love everything about being his mom. We’ve had grand adventures as a family and shared lots of love and laughter. I was pondering the other day over all I’ve gone through in the past 7 years in recovery. The most memorable years I’ve had!! (Laughing out loud on that statement.) I’ve also had some of the toughest situations and struggles I would have just preferred not to. Those times where using briefly popped in my head as a solution. The feelings I was having at the time I certainly did not want to feel. And all those times I found the willingness to not pick up! To pick up a phone instead, to play the tape all the way through, to go to a meeting, to pray, meditate, call my sponsor, read some recovery literature, ask for help, and so on.
What I’m about to share with you is very personal. It may bring up some feelings some of you may not want to feel. It may be a bit much for others. But this is my story and it is important for me to get it out. Pain shared is pain lessened. Although this experience has brought me grief and great sadness it as also brought me closer to God, my husband, and there is a message of hope as well. Dealing with any loss is tough. Feeling feelings without using is even tougher!
A few weeks ago a life on life’s terms situation showed up. My husband and I had finally gotten pregnant again. We were overjoyed as we had been trying since our son was born, April 11th, 2012. Of course I couldn’t wait for 3 whole months to share the news with my close friends and family. I had not announced it via social media as I wanted to get safely through my first trimester. We had some fears as I am almost 40 but we were really starting to get excited.
Nearly 3 weeks ago at almost 7 weeks pregnant I started cramping. I called my long time doctors office right away and they assured me it was normal for some woman to have cramping during their pregnancy. I was told to call if it got worse, more frequent, or I started to bleed. On the 3rd day of cramping I called again. They suggested I come in as I was complaining of greater and more frequent pain. I had a bad gut feeling about it. I felt something was not right. I had my first ultrasound of my pregnancy that day. There was no visible fetus. I was in shock. I was confused.
I asked my doctor what was wrong. He said I could be off on my dates but I record everything and I knew that wasn’t the case. He said I could do a blood draw that day, then on Sunday and then come in Monday. We would then compare my hormone levels and have another ultrasound or we could wait and see. I opted to take the blood draws to see if my pregnancy hormone levels were rising or dropping and we scheduled another ultrasound for my appointment on Monday. I just knew in my heart it was the worst but miracles have happened in my previous pregnancy so I had a bit of hope.
That Friday through Monday was the longest weekend of my life. The unknown has always been tough for me as well as patience. My husband who is also in recovery has been my light and our son is my heart!
I am grateful to find light in the darkest of days.
I am grateful that in the moment, I am in the moment
I am grateful to have the awareness to find gratitude because it’s usually when I need it most.
It was Monday finally and we went to the doctor. There we compared the hormone levels from my blood test and again, no visible baby. I was in shock. I wanted to drink more than I have in my entire sobriety. I didn’t want to feel or deal with reality. I had a case of the “fuck it’s” as we call it. But I knew it wouldn’t change anything and fortunately this time my ego saved my ass. I just didn’t want to walk into another meeting to get a 1 day chip and start over. The thought of using was quick in the grand scheme of things. It always baffled me this disease of addiction. Cunning and powerful to boot. No matter how long I’ve been in recovery or how hard I work my program, I’m still an addict and my disease just sits in my head waiting for those moments to sneak up and taunt me.
My husband, my doctor and I discussed our options. I could have a procedure done, have a natural miscarriage, or take a pill to induce a miscarriage. Every option sucked! I was in shock at first, then unbearably sad, then very angry and in denial. I asked both of their opinions on what they thought I should do. Based on the fact I’m extremely emotional even without hormones they thought I’d handle the surgical procedure best.
But I needed time. I needed time to ponder how I felt about that. My gut felt I’d be playing God. Again, time to use my tools. Randomly a friend of a friend showed up one day and shared her experience with me. Total God Shot as I couldn’t think of any friends who had this experience. Then another friend and a nurse, asked me to look at my scenario with a different perspective. She pointed out that it looks like God already made his choice and the next decision was mine for my health both mentally & physically. That resonated well with me but still I just couldn’t decide.
Both my husband and longtime Doc told me it’s my body and I was the only one who could make that decision. They both said they support me whatever I chose. I’ve been seeing my doctor since I was 19. Nearly 20 years! I trust him and he’s become a friend. That in itself is a blessing for me. I opted to have a few more tests and another ultrasound. I needed to be 200% certain before I made any choice.
In the meantime, we did what we do…we went fishing. We got a sitter, and spent 10 hours on the river with a dear friend. We laughed, we talked shit to one another, we were just silly and in the moment. The present is the gift.
So this past Monday I went to compare the most recent blood tests and have one more ultrasound. As I walked into the waiting room it happened. There was a bit of blood. I went to the nurse, who’s a friend, bawling . She took me to my room and went to get my husband and offered to take our 3-year-old to play with the nurses.
As I laid on that table sobbing hysterically, grasping my husband’s hand and looking up at the ceiling, something wonderful happened. I cracked a smile and a giggle between tears. It was God. My higher power knew. He knew I just couldn’t make that choice to have that procedure. He knew I’d always wonder, question the what if’s, doubt myself. So you know what? He made that choice for me. I’ve never believed in God more in my entire life. I had had a Spiritual experience in one of the toughest moments in my life.
It is in the greatest losses, struggles, and deep sadness in life that having the awareness to find gratitude, be thankful for the little things in life, and having trust in faith in something that makes absolutely no sense that I find my greatest connection to my higher power.
I shared the story with the doctor and we agreed. This was happening just as it was intended. For the first time in weeks, I was at peace. I knew that God had my back.
This has been tough, I’m in pain, and of course sad but I am no longer angry, in denial, or what have you. Being in a 12 step program hasn’t just kept me clean/sober! It has taught me how to find gratitude in the darkest of days. It’s taught me I can feel my feelings and I won’t die from them. It’s taught me to pay attention and have awareness. It’s taught me to be honest, open, and willing. It’s taught me how to live life! It’s taught me I can deal with life on life’s terms without masking my feelings with booze and drugs. It has taught me I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. It has taught me how to be a wife, mother, and friend. It has taught me who Clairey is. The real authentic Clairey.
So as emotionally, physically, and visually heartbreaking as this whole process has been, I am thankful. I have found so much beauty and gratitude in my life. My cousins have been reaching out to me and they have brightened many of my days. My husband has busted his ass keeping me busy and showing me so much strength and love. He even talked me into going fly fishing in a damn snow storm. I was freezing and miserable but his ploy worked and I was too cold to think about anything else! My family & friends have wrapped me I their loving arms. You see some of life’s greatest tragedies have given me the biggest gifts. The gift of love.
When I got clean 7 years ago I thought, “Great! Life will be perfect, easy, full of rainbows and moonbeams and cherries on top”
Some people in recovery will tell you that your life gets better. Yes, I’ve had things happen beyond my wildest dreams but….I don’t 100% agree with that statement.
Life still happens, sober or not, clean or not, dead or alive. Sometimes it even feels like it get’s worse! You know what though? I get better! I walk through these life experiences and live to tell them. Remember them even!
I am so glad I have chosen a life in recovery!! This post may be too much for some but it’s life. It’s my life. I have a gift of being able to talk about things some people just can’t do, which is ok for them, but I’m not other people. I am Clairey. I share my stories. I am an open book. I want others to know they are not the only ones who’ve walked through hell and back. i want people to know there is hope. I can not be more ecstatic to feel God’s Grace today…even through the pain.
After almost 40 years on earth and a the majority of that spent feeling angry at God, or a victim, or that He just plain disliked me I’ve discovered something this week. It is far less exhausting to have faith and trust the process. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still holler up there screaming and cussing at him, I still question the majority of stuff, and I still am not 100% sure of what my exact belief is. But for Pete’s sakes if what I’ve been taught and learned from experience is true, he can handle it. Not to mention it just plain helps to believe in something greater than me. So just for this moment I’m ok with not having all the answers, knowing all the “why’s” in life etc. I’m just going to believe I’m still here for a reason and have faith that it always works out in the end. If it doesn’t work out…it’s not the end.
So if you are new, old, just coming back, or thinking about giving recovery a shot…keep coming back. Don’t leave before the miracle happens. There are so many miracles I suggest you just STAY! Life will take on new meaning. You will never be alone again. You’ll be amazed at all you can do sober/clean. If you have reservations on whether you can stay sober/clean through X, Y, Z…talk to someone. I guarantee you will find someone who has been in your shoes and they walked through it without picking up. There is always hope. Always love. Never give up on you. You’ve got this!
Love & Hugs-