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#1 of 40 Old 10-04-2011, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am an ocasional lurker around here, usually when i have a parenting question i do a search and get so much out of everything i read in these forums. i hope this is the right spot for this post?

 

i am a single mom with a very energetic 3 y/o. we live with my parents in a fairly rural area and i was at my happiest when living in a big city. i was sober for 3 1/2 years and relapsed... started smoking heroin all day everyday. i was, i like to think, still a fairly decent functional mom. kinda grumpy, sometimes dopesick, but ok. i would wake up, though, and get high before i could deal with my kid. 

 

now i went through detox, got into outpatient, went back to aa, started all that recovery over from scratch..... about 16 days ago.

 

you guys, i am exhausted and overwhelmed . waking up every morning facing life and my son on life's terms, dealing with him and what feels like chaos without my crutch, without the substance that was ruining my life but made me not care, numbed me....

 

i got pregnant by accident by a guy i was not even dating. i chose to have the baby when i was living in a beautiful city, had a huge network of amazing, beautiful, creative friends, was finishing up a masters degree (and the economy was lookin ok)... but that all fell apart through some bad personal choices and i found myself back home with my parents. i don't see the end in sight.....

 

i will be 30 in a couple months and my life is not the way i planned it, or want it, and i am worn out and overwhelmed and i know i am taking the right first few steps,but dang you guys...... waking up every morning and just facing reality is SO HARD. so hard. 

 

why can't i just be a real, normal grown up who can provide for her family and deal with life???

 

thanks for listening to me. any words of wisdom, similar experience, etc very very welcome. xo K

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#2 of 40 Old 10-04-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by klenora View Post

 

why can't i just be a real, normal grown up who can provide for her family and deal with life???

 

 


grouphug.gif  A lot of the adults I know who look very normal and functional on the outside feel much the same way -- feel like they aren't "real" adults, feel like they are faking their lives, and struggle to cope.

 

Many people have other kinds of addictions -- such as smoking, over eating, over excising, etc. I just wanted to point this out because part of what you are dealing with is recovery from drug addiction, but part of what is making that so hard is beating yourself for your struggles. Sure, the things you are struggling with are easier for others to see and are more harshly judged in our culture, but having struggles means that you are a human.

 

All human being struggle with things at some point. Many, many moms of young children struggle to deal with the day to day of living with young children.  Go easy on yourself. Think kind thoughts toward yourself.

 

Peace

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 40 Old 10-05-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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big hugs for you mama and congratulations on your 16 days (17 now?) of sobriety! I don't have any personal experience with substance abuse, so I can't offer any support in that arena, but I couldn't read and not respond. I just wanted you to know that even without all the struggles you described, life as a parent is HARD! 

 

Some things that help me get through the rough days:

-taking "me" time. It can be tricky to coordinate, but I try to leave my son with my mom at least once a week and spend some time meditating, sleeping, painting, walking---anything to relax, recharge, and feed my soul

-get outside. My son is super active and often I'm just too worn out to give him the attention/engagement that he needs. I find getting fresh air helps us both and shifts the energy to a more positive space. We've been taking lots of long walks lately.

--breathe. One breath at a time.....

 

It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but keep reminding yourself that it's there. Your life might never be exactly what you had planned/hoped for, but you can definitely live a life that you love...it might just take some time to get there. 

Stay strong mama--you did a wonderful, courageous thing getting clean and you will make it through this rough patch. 


~may all beings be free from suffering~
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#4 of 40 Old 10-05-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klenora View Post

i am an ocasional lurker around here, usually when i have a parenting question i do a search and get so much out of everything i read in these forums. i hope this is the right spot for this post?

 

i am a single mom with a very energetic 3 y/o. we live with my parents in a fairly rural area and i was at my happiest when living in a big city. i was sober for 3 1/2 years and relapsed... started smoking heroin all day everyday. i was, i like to think, still a fairly decent functional mom. kinda grumpy, sometimes dopesick, but ok. i would wake up, though, and get high before i could deal with my kid. 

 

now i went through detox, got into outpatient, went back to aa, started all that recovery over from scratch..... about 16 days ago.

 

you guys, i am exhausted and overwhelmed . waking up every morning facing life and my son on life's terms, dealing with him and what feels like chaos without my crutch, without the substance that was ruining my life but made me not care, numbed me....

 

i got pregnant by accident by a guy i was not even dating. i chose to have the baby when i was living in a beautiful city, had a huge network of amazing, beautiful, creative friends, was finishing up a masters degree (and the economy was lookin ok)... but that all fell apart through some bad personal choices and i found myself back home with my parents. i don't see the end in sight.....

 

i will be 30 in a couple months and my life is not the way i planned it, or want it, and i am worn out and overwhelmed and i know i am taking the right first few steps,but dang you guys...... waking up every morning and just facing reality is SO HARD. so hard. 

 

why can't i just be a real, normal grown up who can provide for her family and deal with life???

 

thanks for listening to me. any words of wisdom, similar experience, etc very very welcome. xo K


Oh honey. At least you're clean NOW, before your son can remember too much. I got clean from meth and pills when my son was 18 months old, and it was the hardest thing I've ever ever done. Childbirth doesn't even compare to how hard it is to stop using and stay away from it. I know what dopesick feels like, I know how life feels hard when you first start picking up the pieces. At least you are in a safe place with your son. That is the very first step in the right direction. Be in a safe place at all times. Home with your parents, meetings, and best case scenario, at work. My husband is 2 years older than you and we got clean together. He was 29, so not too far off from where you are. He's now an assistant manager at a nice restaurant chain, making $35,000 a year. Doesn't seem like much to some people, but it's better than the $18000 a year he made when we were using!

 

The only thing that worked for me, hon, was working the steps with a sponsor to find out what my triggers were and to find people in the program I could trust so I had some sort of sounding board. That's one thing that helped. Alot of parents and friends don't understand the addict mindset and judge the things you feel without meaning to. Find something to throw yourself into for when you're triggered. I was really into running before I got pregnant this go 'round and plan on keeping that up once I have the baby. What did you enjoy doing before you ever started using? Whatever that is, fit it in between meetings and parenting. It's important for the first 90 days that you hit as many meetings as possible without it interfering with your parenting. Don't be afraid to take your son with you to meetings. He might find some other kids around his age to keep him occupied. Get phone numbers for other WOMEN, not men (don't want those damn "13 steppers" getting to you lol). USE those phone numbers when you need to. LISTEN to other women speak in the meetings. If you know they've done the steps and like what you hear from them, ask one of them to be your sponsor. Call your sponsor everyday for 90 days if you choose to get a sponsor. But one of the most important things to do is call when you feel like you're going to use. And that's what you'll say when they pick up the phone. "Hi this is.....(your name)...I feel like I'm going to use. Could you talk me through it?" and I'm sure she'd be more than happy to oblige. I hope you can get through this rough time. If you ever think there's something you can't handle, just remember feeling dopesick and how much worse it felt than the situation you think is so bad. What an addict tends to remember when they want to use is how great they felt when they had a good time using, not the times they were dopesick or homeless or too broke to get their kid food or pay the electric. Please message me if you ever need to. grouphug.gif

 

One other thing to remember is to HALT: If you are Hungry Angry Lonely Tired you need to do something about it. Always make sure you are taken care of above anyone else except for your son. Remember to make you and your son happy before anyone else. If you spend your life trying to make everyone else happy, you will not get anywhere.

 

~Becky
 

 

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#5 of 40 Old 10-05-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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In addition to the wonderful advice from previous posters, I would suggest slowly starting to figure out how to get your life the way you want it. The first step is figure out what you want, and right now, in this temporarily fragile state, I suggest just daydreaming! Let it be enjoyable. Fantasize. When you have some ideas that seem really appealing, try to figure out strategies to get there. Living with your parents in a rural area you don't feel you belong in is going to be a constant trigger. You will need to get out of there. Right now is a tough time, obviously, and it may not be something you can realistically do for a little while, but you will need to take steps to get out. Until then, try to find some support in your current community, if you haven't already.

The first step is healing, and realizing that your life now is not the only life available to you, that you have the power to change things, no matter how hard it seems at the moment. You have already taken the hardest step by getting yourself treatment and kicking the dope. That is a huge accomplishment!

Good luck! Deep down you know you can do this, otherwise you wouldn't have come so far already.

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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#6 of 40 Old 10-05-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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Hello,

I was just thinking about you and wanted to send you warm fuzzies.

One thing that helped me cope with my children when they were small was routines. I'm wondering you guys have any routines at all and if a simple one would help. I'm also wondering if there are options near where you live for head start or preschool or something like that which could give you bait of a break and be nice for you child, too.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 40 Old 10-05-2011, 09:09 PM
 
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double post

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 40 Old 10-08-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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 Hi.  How are you today.

 

I don't know anything about addiction.  So I can't help with that.  I do know about chaos with crazy kids. (its ok if it is chaotic. )  and I know about feeling like I am faking and wishing I could be like other grown ups.  Feeling like a failure.  Living situation that isolates me.  and things not going as planned (good heavens this is NOT what I planned.  This is, in fact, exactly what I worked so hard to avoid thinking I need only to make good choices in life.  Yet here I am.) And I know about facing the bad choices I made that landed me here.  and it sucks.  Every single day it sucks a little more.  And there is nothing I can do to change it.  I don't have any answers but what you are feeling is normal.  It is hard.  but it is doable.  

 

how are your parents?  are they supportive?  Are they helpful?  Would putting your son in headstart help (it may not be ideal but some days we have to say screw it to ideal).  Also rituals and routines.  not just for your son but for you.  Even if you just get up in the morning and make yourself a cup of coffee.  That one little ritual for yourself might be what it takes to get your day going.

 

Best of luck to you.  You CAN do this.  hug2.gif


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#9 of 40 Old 10-09-2011, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh thank you so much to all who replied. luckily, my kid is in school a full three days a week... and i am in an outpatient program + aa meetings + sponsor, so that's provided me with the break from my little guy + the structure and routine that many of you suggested. i am also trying to be gentler to myself... would i talk to myself the way i would talk to a friend? ha! right? i am finally just beginning to remember what i liked to do before drugs... bake, read, sew. haven't done some of those things in quite a long time. i am listing goals, things i'd like to do in my lifetime, remembering who i was/am as a person, not just as a zombie addicted to drugs. i am recognizing that i suffered from extreme post partum depression that maybe was never dealt with, and that and my tendency toward people pleasing were huge triggers for me, so i have some things to work on mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

thank you again. let's see.... i guess it has been around 20, 21 days now since i checked into detox? life is getting better faster... well, my circumstances are the same-- same kid, same family, same dirt road i gotta drive up to get home, lol. but i guess my attitude is getting better. 

 

my parents have been incredibly supportive. i know i scared them. shoot, i scared myself!! you know, it's hard being a single mom, living with parents. there are more people to help, but there are more opinions... that's another thread, but to those of you who asked, yes, they are helpful. will watch him so i can get to meetings etc.  

 

let me just say, i wouldn't wish this journey on anyone. it is really painful and exhausting. i am getting better everyday, but i wish i didn't have to spend so much time healing, that i hadn't set my life up so i would have to heal, you know what i mean? but it is what it is. 

 

i am trying to meet moms of younger kids, toddlers, in my outpatient group and aa and have gotten phone numbers and i talk with my sponsor who has a 4 year old and one friend from outpatient who has a 2 and 9 year old everyday. before this i had NO connection to other moms, so i didn't know that this feeling of overwhelm and tiredness is not just me... it is every (or many) first time mom or mom of a toddler. so that is helping. to hear you guys and the women i am meeting say, this is actually totally common, what you are feeling. isn't that a relief? unfortunate that we all have to feel it, but at least i'm not the only one which makes it somehow easier and less my fault. 

 

anyway i'm rambling but i wanted to checkin and say thank you for the support. i am writing down ALL of your suggestions in my little notebook to refer to.

xoK

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#10 of 40 Old 10-10-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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Oh my goodness, I was so waiting for an update and hoping for a positive one! Good for you on 21 days! Don't ever hesitate to pick up that phone on the hard days, hon. Sometimes it can feel like it weighs 1,000 pounds. Keep on truckin! One thing that an old sponsor told me was :KISMIF Keep It Simple, Make It Fun     And also to make plans, but don't plan the outcome. Aren't AA oneliners great? orngtongue.gif

 

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#11 of 40 Old 10-10-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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So glad to hear you sounding so positive! You are strong, mama. It's great that you are making connections, I think you'll find life a lot easier and happier now, and even on days that you don't, at least you will have understanding shoulders to cry on.

As for wishing you had set your life up so you wouldn't have to heal, I would just like to say that things will happen in our lives we can't control, and that no matter how hard we try to do things "right", things sometimes go wrong, we misjudge what is right, etc. EVERYBODY goes through things they will have to heal from- and if they don't, I feel sorry for them, because pain and healing is a big part of growing as a person. I've made many decisions in my life that caused me pain, that could be easily called mistakes (including drugs, bad relationships), but they made me who I am now, and made possible the life I have now- and I am really happy with my life now.

Looking forward to reading more of your posts and hearing about what you are baking, reading, and sewing! And lots of new adventures, too!

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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so glad to hear that you are doing better. congrats on your sobriety you can do this. I dont know anything about addiction but I just wanted to send hugs.


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#13 of 40 Old 10-13-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klenora View Post

i

i will be 30 in a couple months and my life is not the way i planned it, or want it, and i am worn out and overwhelmed and i know i am taking the right first few steps,but dang you guys...... waking up every morning and just facing reality is SO HARD. so hard. 

 

why can't i just be a real, normal grown up who can provide for her family and deal with life???

 

 



I could have written this part of your post you are not alone mama.


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#14 of 40 Old 10-15-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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I hope to hear another update from her. I keep thinking of her and hoping she's coping well.

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#15 of 40 Old 10-16-2011, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i like "make plans but don't plan the outcome"... that is a good one. also remembering that pain and healing are part of growth is good.

 

it seems to be getting better everyday. i had a little hump yesterday... if i'm not doing drugs then i am replacing them with other self destructive obsessive behaviors. i try not to beat myself up over, say, binge eating but it's definitely disconcerting. i am dying to smoke but the last time i got sober i started smoking a pack and a half a day almost immediately (after always being a nonsmoker!) and i don't want to negatively affect my son's health... also i don't want yet another thing that i need to have before i can deal with him. but the craving to smoke cigarettes is *really* intense right now. 

 

i certainly do not feel so overwhelmed, and being in outpatient with a bunch of other single moms, many of whom have cps cases hanging over their heads, has relieved me of a lot of self pity. knowing i am not the only one that struggles, and that many people have a taller mountain to climb than me, is very helpful.

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#16 of 40 Old 10-16-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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HUGS MAMA. I am so proud of you!!! You are doing it ! ONE DAY AT A TIME. ONE MINUTE AT A TIME.  One thing I thought of during my own journey I would take the kids to the woods and we would hike.  EVEN when I was hung over before I got sober... we would get out with nature and I really was able to connect with them. My dd was 2 and 3 at that time and I would carry her on my back a lot of the time. Find things you enjoy doing with her that are quiet and peaceful and then do them.


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#17 of 40 Old 10-16-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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Klenora, I know you are having a hard time not smoking at this point, but why not give yourself a break and let yourself do that one thing if it helps you for now? I smoked for several months after getting clean, when I had never been a smoker before, ever. I hope you continue to do well in your recovery. How many days do you have now? 28? That's huge! I'll be sure to congratulate you on 30 days. orngbiggrin.gif

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#19 of 40 Old 10-24-2011, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks ladies... i have a little over 30 days today and every day does get better.

 

iwannabanrn, that's funny that you started smoking when you got clean too. most people are smokers already, and the only advice ppl have about the issue is don't try to quit everything all at once. i'm always like, but what about starting???

 

emilie, we did go to the park the other day, for the first time in a long time. it was fun.

 

and rainbow mandala, oh that relationship problem... hahaha. i find i'm about as addicted to dating junkies as i am addicted to the drug itself. obnoxious.

 

it has been so helpful to have you ladies and the moms in my outpatient group remind me that feeling overwhelmed is common, getting angry at my kid is ok, and the main thing is that i am sober so i can deal with life and my kid. things won't get better if i don't.   xo

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#20 of 40 Old 10-24-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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thumb.gifjoy.gifjoy.gifhug2.gif  You are doing great!!!  So happy to hear 30 days!!!


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#21 of 40 Old 10-24-2011, 11:11 PM
 
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I am so glad you made it to 30 days! Any amount of clean time is a day to celebrate. An addict conquering addiction is a feat alot of people can't accomplish, let alone try to do "life" on life's terms.

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#22 of 40 Old 11-03-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Parenting is hard!  You can do it, mama.  You can make it through.  One day at a time.  Keep us posted-- come here to vent, etc. 

 

 


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#23 of 40 Old 11-06-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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Please update when you can, mama! I look forward to seeing progress and how life is changing for recovering addicts. hug2.gif

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#24 of 40 Old 12-04-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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Dear klenora, 

 

I just want to say thank you. I had this mom friend - the only one I really liked out of the community I lived in - who was a wonderful mom and died of a heroin overdose about a year ago. She relapsed with (you guessed it) a "junkie boyfriend" - actually a good guy who was in recovery and just fell and relapsed with her. I miss her all the time. I am thankful to you that you decided to face this struggle. I believe in you.

 

You talk about how you didn't realize how hard it is for everyone who has a young child. Yes!!! When my friend died - I was mad, and sad, and everything, but above all I thought - "Yeah. If there is ANYTHING that could make a person relapse, it is how incredibly, maddeningly, soul-challengingly hard it is to be a parent to a young child." Not just how tough it can be to actually deal with your child's ups and downs, and worry that you are not doing it right, but also just how isolating it can be to be raising a child. I am so glad some of the people you are getting to know are moms. Non-parents have a really hard time understanding our struggles sometimes.

 

I encourage you to let yourself not be a great parent all the time. Being a clean mom is good enough. Whatever ways you treat your son these days that you feel dissapointe about, just know that he is going to grow up and one day be thankful to you that you made the most important choice of all, to get clean, and that all the other little things that didn't go perfectly in his upbringing will be overshadowed by the goodness of having a mom who loved him enough, and loved herself enough, to get clean.

 

Congratulations and keep up the hard, great work.

 

Love.

 

 

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#25 of 40 Old 12-04-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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how are you doing mama???


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#26 of 40 Old 12-10-2011, 09:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grape-april View Post

I encourage you to let yourself not be a great parent all the time. Being a clean mom is good enough.


 



Oh my goodness-- truer words were never spoken.  My dad was an alcoholic and I wished every day that he wouldn't be.  NO ONE expects perfection except maybe we do of ourselves.  You are going to get to the point where you will stop being your own enemy.  You will stop living in a hell you've created.  It doesn't mean life won't be hard as a parent . . .it will, but it's VERY different when you are not out to get yourself.  You and your son deserve the best, but the best just means "clean."


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#27 of 40 Old 12-16-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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Huge hugs to you!!!!!

 

I marvel at how much strength and stamina there is in this world. 


Professor mama dedicated to natural birth, breastfeeding, growing our food, cloth diapering, hunting, foraging, a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle, no television, no vaccinations, no circumcision

 

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#28 of 40 Old 12-18-2011, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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grape-april- what a great post, thank you.

 

sometimes it's hard to remember that it does get better... i've been feeling really great, but recently experiencing normal parent overload/burnout. the tantrums (my kids and mine, lol), the trying to make the right parenting decisions, life decisions, trying to convince myself that *i* deserve a real life, not zombie junkie life... that i'm not doing this just for my kid, that i deserve happiness too...

 

it's good for me to go back and reread my original post and marvel at how much my spirit has transformed in just 3 months.

 

super grateful for the support and empathy i've received here and elsewhere from other parents. 

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#29 of 40 Old 12-19-2011, 04:06 AM
 
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Oh SO GLAD TO SEE YOU POST!!!!  Good to know you are doing ok.


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#30 of 40 Old 12-20-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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I'm so glad to see you post, Klenora. I really hope you keep it up with staying clean. No one can be a perfect parent. I've been clean for roughly 3 years and still need help being a good parent at times. It's hard to grasp. Don't hold yourself to the reservation that if you lose your temper trying to cope with being a parent that you'll have to use. I've held onto expectations of things and when the expectations didn't work out, I would end up using. (ie, "if this person doesn't die, I won't use today" "If I don't get written up by my boss I won't use")

 Hugs to you, mama. Be gentle on yourself. You are super lucky to be being a parent right now. He could be out of your custody while you begin this journey. I almost lost my son when I first got clean and I know it would have been harder on me if he'd not been in my custody.

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