One big driving force of my addiction was my feeling of inadequacy. I never felt I was good enough and no amount of trying to “do it all” could remedy that feeling. Who was I comparing myself to? What was I comparing myself to? I think back, and I have NO CLUE. My brain is clear of most of that muck now, but goodness, what a swamp it was! I wasn’t comparing myself to my friends or even other family members, I just had this constant tightening in my chest of panic and anxiety. I was holding myself to unrealistic and frankly, stupid, standards that I made up in my own head. My house had to look like a showroom that no one lived in, I had to make dinner every night or I was failing as a wife, my nails had to be done or I was slob, workout clothes were not acceptable attire unless I was working out- on that note, I had to work out every day or I was going to get fat. (eye-roll)
Now, here I am, 30 years-old, fumbling around trying to raise an almost 4-year-old and 16-month-old girls, an 11-week-old chocolate lab, and expecting a baby boy in February. A year ago, this would have looked like a recipe for relapse. My brain would not have been able to slow down, organize priorities, and function close to sanity. I have since been able to change my state of mind and my outlook on my life. I can leave the clothes in the dryer and sit down to relax. I remember while in treatment craving to just spend time on the floor with my daughter, watch TV shows with husband, do a jigsaw puzzle at night, to just live SIMPLY. I don’t strive to be running around cleaning up for every guest that comes over, denying my daughters play dates because my house is “a mess,” turning down the butter cream cake because its “fattening,” or missing out on life because I am too busy organizing and perfecting.
Like most people, I feel like I have an endless to-do list. Throughout my day, sometimes all I seem to do is see and think of things that need to be done. I now try to prioritize and to possibly choose relaxation, me time, family time – without feeling guilt. I have also learned to ask and accept help. To surrender control has been a gift that I keep giving myself, that gets sweeter and more satisfying every time! I have realized that I don’t need everything done my way, and that my way isn’t always right. IMAGINE THAT!? I have found out that I actually don’t care exactly how a table is cleaned off, food is cooked, how a refrigerator, toys or clothes are organized, how a room is picked up, a bed is made, how my kids are bathed, what my kid is wearing, etc. Just please, someone do it for me! I would never have been able to honestly say any of that 5 years ago, let alone 1 year ago. I frequently reference a conversation I had with one of the therapists during treatment who was helping me combat the feeling of being overwhelmed once I went back home. She told me to sit down, take a deep breath, and ask myself does this need to get done right this second? Can someone help me? Can someone else do it for me? Then, pick up the phone and ask someone for help! That concept was so mind blowing to me at the time and I have consciously lived by those steps for almost 2 years, now it is almost second nature… hallelujah and thank you!
All of that fits into what sobriety looks like for me, what happiness looks like to me. Do I prefer a clean house, with no glaring to-dos while walking through it? Of course! But do I need that to feel at peace? No.
I have always said “my door is always open,” and now, I am not lying to you or myself. Come on over! It might be a bit messy- but you will feel love, there will be lots of laughter and enough chaos to leave you feeling nutty yourself!
I am going to keep enjoying life’s moments, good and bad, and just throw my hands in the air while shouting, “WHATEVER!” with a smile on my face. 🙂
8 thoughts on “The Sweetness of Surrendering”
Thank you so much for sharing Brittany! I am constantly struggling with making th house looks like no one lives here, having dinner made every night and trying to do what the other moms look like they are doing! I am finally starting to not change myself to try and fit in and make my life look perfect when it isn’t. We all like to only share the good so others think there is no bad in our lives, which makes other women try to live up to that! It’s nice to know other moms struggle with this too! And congrats on your baby boy!!
Seriously an amazing post for anyone! Happy to follow you on your journey and learn life lessons through what you have to share! Congratulations on your third sweet baby!! How is that I’m so excited for someone I’ve never met?! You deserve all the happiness in the world, we all do.
Congrats on baby boy! Loved reading this as I feel overwhelmed by my to do list & keeping my house decent!
Thank you for your honesty and truth . I just reminded myself what it was like, what happens and be grateful to be sober today . 🌷
I needed to read this today for so many reasons. Your transparency helps me to realize I’m not alone in learning to let go of control. Congratulations on the baby boy!!!
Brittany, what you said has probably taken the pressure off many young moms. I did not learn this until I was 40. Trying to be Supermom was what I expected of myself. Soooo now a grandma I do STOP and take time to just play and let the house go. Would love to visit and help out with girls since I am retired from teaching.
Superb description of a wonderful Life Practice! You are such a joy! I love reading your blog and feel the community your are building will soar! Also, you are fun, funny, and insightful and inspiring!!!
Brittany I feel like you’re speaking exactly what I’m thinking. As someone who struggles with alcoholism this is so inspiring to read and hear from someone who has struggled and made it to the other side… one day at a time. Thank you for your honestly and your openness and your courage to share your story with others. It’s touched my heart and I’m sure it will continue to touch countless more. So thank you!