I posted a picture earlier this week. It was of me 8 weeks post-partum and one of me as of Sunday, October 29, 2017. The difference to me is shocking. It might not be to others but they don’t really know what is most shocking to me.
I’m about to tell you.
I’m extremely scared to tell this story but it’s been on my mind and in my head for too long. I need to release it and allow me to embrace and accept me.
Prior to discovering I was pregnant on July 4, 2015, I was self-destructing.
I was nearly 300lbs and getting bigger each day. I went to the gym every morning, I ate right but I also was drinking a bottle or rum a day. I’m shaking as I write this. That is the first time I’ve admitted that to anyone outside my house.
I was miserable. I felt lost. I was happy but felt that I wasn’t living the life I knew I was meant to live. I wasn’t whole. I assumed it was because of my weight, because of course, I would only be truly happy when I was skinny. That’s complete horse shit folks, weight doesn’t and shouldn’t define you. So, I drank. It was easier to blur my vision and quiet my mind than deal with how much I hated myself.
I had just left one job where I was stressed out and miserable, two more perfect reasons (excuses) to drink every day. If only that perfect job was out there…I moved on to a new job and was happy, yet I continued to drink. What did it matter? I wasn’t hurting anyone.
I had been with my husband since 2000 and we were moving right along. Never a scare of pregnancy, despite never using protection. I wasn’t surprised, my doctor’s had said that chances of me conceiving were slim to none. I was ok with that, I didn’t want kids anyways…at least that’s what I kept telling myself. It hurt less that way. It was easier to say I didn’t want kids and not think that my body wasn’t suitable to grow life. I truly believed that I was ok with never having a child.
I can look back now and say with 100% certainty that I was living in denial. I had convinced my brain I was ok with it or so I thought, the recesses of my mind that I wasn’t using or keeping drunk knew better.
I drank so much and so often that I’m surprised I remember as much as I do about the past decade. I’m surprised I never drank myself to death. I’m surprised I never hurt anyone. That is something I’m grateful for each day.
I hid it well. Or maybe I didn’t, who knows. I never asked anyone around me. I just never went anywhere either. I was always doing whatever I could do just to get home to drink. It was the only thing that made me feel at peace. The manic ramblings in my head slowed. The world blurred and I was able to exhale.
I did this for 10 years. How did I not die?!?! I have started to believe that it’s possible that the universe had something else in store for me. I keep that in mind every day.
I was drunk when I took the pregnancy test and discovered I was pregnant. I’m still mortified about that and also extremely blessed that my Ninja is perfect. I didn’t hurt her when my reckless behavior.
From that night on I made a vow. I would never again drink until I couldn’t feel. I would be someone that my child could respect. I would leave behind the selfishness that I used to destroy myself.
I’ve kept those vows. What’s odd is that I’ve not felt that fierce desire to drink like I did before Emerson existed. That urge to consume until I passed out is gone. I can drink a beer, a shot or something fruity and be done. I have only drank a handful of times since she was born.
I’ve mentioned before in posts that my daughter saved my life and now you know how. For whatever reason, I was able to conceive an amazing human being, grew her in my damaged body and now I help her grow into her own person. Every day I hug her tight and thank her. I tell her how much I love her and how she’s the best thing to ever happen to me. She doesn’t understand my meaning. She just knows that her Mommy loves to squeeze her tight and kiss her all over.
I’m still shaking, I can’t believe I’m writing this all down. I can’t believe I’m going to post this and allow so many people to share in my deepest shame. I can only hope that in sharing I learn to forgive myself a little more.