I was born to be a mother. Thankfully, my higher power gave me the gift of sobriety first. Twenty five years of binge drinking kept me from achieving my heart’s desires. I was 12 years old when I had my first blackout; I was 37 when I had my last. In between my first and last drinks, there were some good times– sipping salty margaritas on exotic beaches; savoring a chardonnay with an amazing dinner in Paris; swigging beers while sailing the Chesapeake Bay. I have those fond memories, but there are many other memories that are not so pleasant. In my early 30’s, I crossed the line from wanting to drink to needing to drink. My weekend binge drinking had become a daily necessity. I needed to drink during the workday, so I drank on my lunch hour. On the days I could not make it out for my “liquid lunch,” I would have the shakes before my workday was through. I had to hit happy hour or a liquor store the moment I walked out of the office. For five long years, I tried unsuccessfully to control my drinking. It was truly a struggle. In those years, I had many more drunken episodes to regret, more friends to apologize to, more excuses to make to my parents, more need to cover my butt at work.
When I finally cried out to God for help, I was walking along my favorite beach on a cold winter’s day but this time there was no salty margarita in my hand. Within a few days, I had what I hope was my last drink of my life, and events unfolded that led me to the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. In my first days of recovery, I met the man who was to become my husband. I soon realized that he was indeed a gift of sobriety, one of many to come my way. Two years later, we were married on Mother’s Day (which fell on my 39th birthday) surrounded by our family, our life-long friends and many new friends from the program. By this time, we were not able to conceive a child. The day we were given this sad news, we decided to proceed with plan B: adoption.
With the support of our family, a close circle of sober friends and a great sponsor, we did all the footwork necessary. The first three Steps and the slogans helped me along the way. When I was sober for five years, our son was born. I was invited into the delivery room to witness his birth. Holding his birth mothers hand, I watched our baby draw his first breath. My husband cut the umbilical cord and was the first to hold our son. We brought our baby boy home on Thanksgiving Day. That was seven years ago. The list of gifts I have received in sobriety is long, but at the top is the family my Higher Power gave to me. I am certain that god knew my desires long before I did. I was born to be a mother-a sober mother.