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Being a Functional Adult in Recovery

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Jenna L.

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I am a single-working-full time mother. I take care of my daughter and I go to work. When I don't have my daughter I meet with one of my three sponsees, my sponsor attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, I go to therapy, I go to the gym, I do laundry and clean, I pray and I meditate. 

 

This sounds like what an average adult human being in recovery does, I'm not special. But what absolutely shocks me is that I do these things day after day, and if you were to have known me five, maybe even two, years ago my level of adult functioning would shock you. It absolutely shocks me. I was the girl that was so addicted to drugs and alcohol and so deep in delusion and self-pity I didn’t even know what managing a life looked like. I was the girl that was so codependent on others that my dependence on other people could have killed me faster than my drug addiction and alcoholism. I was the girl who was so scared of what people thought of me that I would fake sick from school so I wouldn't have to give an oral report for a week at a time. I was the little girl who had to have her mom sit in her kindergarten class for the first two weeks of school because I was so scared to be separated from her. I was the girl that lived off of drama and chaos and the girl that could never be alone or live alone. My fear and character defects swallowed me whole, they were a part of my identify and I could barely even function, well into my sobriety.

 

Now, I am a transformed woman. I live alone. I take care of myself and my daughter. I am self-supporting through my own contributions and I’m a functioning adult. However, I won't sugarcoat it, most days are hard. I think a lot of that is the manufacturing of my own thoughts, I tend to lean into self-pity and fixate on my loneliness than look for the positives. I think it would be easier for me to have someone "take care" of me and to constantly tell me everything is going to be okay, that's how codependent and full of fear I am.

 

Some days my depression swallows me whole and I don't see the point of doing the same thing every day. There's days I lose hope and faith in the bigger picture. 

But at the end of the day I give myself a pat on the back. To say I've grown is an understatement. I am a different person. I have grown up in Alcoholics Anonymous and this brings me hope, this calms my fears.

 

My solution today is to rely on God. To lean on the women in the program, and to keep doing it day in and day out. But I also can't make other people my higher power, whether it's my mother, my best friend, sponsor or a man. God is my higher power and I am better able to function when my faith and my thoughts are aligned with what God would have me be.

 

I get to walk through some pretty painful things and some pretty scary days and know that I have a team of support and I have God’s love, always. I get to practice self-care and have a plethora of resources and guidance at my side.

 

My sobriety, recovery, and the woman I have become is an absolute gift and miracle. But the biggest miracle of all, is that I chose every day to be this functioning sober adult. I am welling up with tears of gratitude thinking about how far I’ve come, from the tiny little kindergartener who couldn’t face one full day of school without her mother, to a strong, independent, sober woman. It truly is a testament to Alcoholics Anonymous, the program that was so simply laid out in front of me, the tools I have, and a higher power of my understanding I chose to call God.

 

Even though days are hard, I wouldn’t trade my recovery for anything. If I didn’t have recovery, I wouldn’t be alive. And even though days are hard, there’s more to it than just surviving, and trying to get by. I get to experience love and laughter, forgiveness and joy. I get to watch my daughter grow up and be present for it all. I get to watch myself grow and change too and experience all the beauty and wonder the world has to offer. I am so grateful Alcoholics Anonymous and recovery has taught me how to grow up, how to live through my fear and how to be a functioning adult.

 

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Topics: AA, functional alcoholic

Jenna L.

Written by Jenna L.

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