So Many Unexpected Gifts Along The Way...

Lisa Partee By Lisa Partee, 9th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Parenting

I have been recovering from drug abuse for 2 yrs, 7 mos, and 24 days. If I were to script my journey and the gifts I would like at the beginning of this process, I surely would have short-changed myself!

It is so important for recovering parents to remember that our children were hurt just as bad from our illness. As we get better, so will they!

So Many Unexpected Gifts Along the Way...

I spent so much time thinking yesterday. I actually was kinda stuck in my head…you know, all consumed with self. My little one, OliviaGrace, was laying close to me on the floor playing with the apps on my phone. I will admit, I was so glad that she was distracted and quiet because myself wanted to continue thinking about me. A few minutes go by and I hear the littlest, saddest voice say, “Momma, why doesn’t my daddy love me?” I looked over at her long, long legs and followed them all the way up to her face…her eyes never left my phone.

The Daddy…ten years ago, when I was first introduced to the fellowship of NA. I look back and I shudder….

I had not a clue what “Recovery” meant but I was busy busy busy with meetings and dances and and letting all the men in the group tell me how pretty I was. See, back then, when the addiction was “just” pills, I really didn’t see myself in the same light as those reformed hoes and parolees and people that were missing teeth and only got to see there kids under supervision. No. I’ll never forget boasting, “Yeah…I don’t know about that life you all speak of. My drug, you ask? (laughter) Well, if my primary coverage didn’t pay for it, my secondary did!”

*dear God, I am so sorry…*

Looking back on that experience, the best thing that I walked away with was my little happy surprise baby at the age of 37. I called her Cookie.

Now, outwardly, it seemed as though I sorta held it together for about three years. Ummm…no, no it was really really bad. I managed to work-in a black out most days. I would spend $300 on frozen dinners when I got paid. My house was dirty and going into foreclosure and my Cookie just kinda waded around with me as I tried to get through each day. She was so naughty and undisciplined. Poor baby.

When she was 3 my life bottomed out and thus began three years that I was physically away from my children. Cookie was with family and I told myself she was okay…she wasn’t. She needed her mommy and she never stopped asking for me. I came home in 2010 and I believe it was probably as a result of my “happy surprise baby’s” prayers for me while I was in the wilderness…

Restoration ensued…my children I fell in love with each other all over again and it was actually better than when I first saw them as tiny babies because this time I knew that the cost of my disease had been paid by their tears. I knew that the beauty of my babies had nothing to do with their smooth brown skin and shiny thick hair…and their wide, hopeful eyes every single time they placed their arms around my neck and just gave me love that was so so pure…I want to believe that a long time ago, God looked at me and said, “She’s gonna get lost and need some prayers and some love one day…let me send her angels now.” Wow…that still brings up the d e e p w i d e a c h e. But for Grace and Mercy… .

So, last night, I knew that it was important to put me aside for a while and help my angel re-visit some things that were still hurting her. I pulled her close and I told her a story. I said, “Baby, your daddy loves you very very much. But he, and I, suffer from a disease. I want you to imagine that this disease looks like a monster that lives inside of you. It walks around in your heart and in your soul and it breaks and destroys every single thing it can find. And even when you look at that monster and say, ‘I love my babies…’ it screams back at you, “I DON’T FUCKING CARE ABOUT THOSE KIDS-YOU WILL LOVE ONLY ME!!”

…we talked for a long time. I didn’t rush to take her hurt away. Today, I understand the value of embracing our struggle. There are so many unexpected gifts if we learn to walk through it-there is a refining that is the direct result of this Process. We are left stronger, better, wiser…

I took her outside as the sun was going down. I have always loved the gloaming…we don’t live in a pretty neighborhood but as we walked in our back yard, I spotted two little tulips that had found their way back there. I said, “Look baby-when I was a little girl, my momma used to hide Easter eggs in our tulips…” I made sure to tell her NOT to pick them; God had given them to us to enjoy as we welcomed spring.

This morning, as I went to make my coffee, I felt my way around the dim kitchen. I turned the water on and measured the scoops and waited. This is always the best time of my day. I sat down and in the first light of the morning, I saw these two perfect little tulips in this measuring cup. I couldn’t get mad. I quietly thanked my Cookie for my gift as I drank my coffee. I sat there and understood once again, that I never could have scripted the richness of my life now. So many unexpected gifts along the way…

Lisa P.


Addiction, Children, Family, Hope, Mothers, Parenting, Prayer, Recovery, Restoration, Spring, Women

Meet the author

author avatar Lisa Partee
My name is Lisa and when I wake up in the morning, I think about writing...everything I look at throughout the day tells me a story...and before I go to sleep at night, I thank
God for this "gift".

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