Today is my daughter's 6th Birthday. Only 6 short years ago, a doctor in Sylva, NC was removing a 22", 7 lb,11 oz human from my tummy. The anesthesia from the epideral left me paralyzed and not able to breathe on my own so I was a helpless lump on the operating table, as a nurse pumped oxygen into me with one of those bulbous bag thingies and my baby was taking her first breaths. It's funny how time can make you forget and almost minimize some of the most frightening yet strangest moments of your life.
Flash forward to December 1, 2010. I find myself in Las Vegas, NV working at the same job as a receptionist for almost 3 years, raising my lovely daughter on my own and actually smiling. It took a lot of sweat, tears, mistakes and regrets to get here and I couldn't be happier about it.
For about 10 days now, I have been in a funk. This blog post is going to snap me right out of it. Yep, you guessed it...it's GRATITUDE TIME! But before I begin, I have to digress just a wee bit...
Now, 6 years ago I brought into this world an amazing little person we call Riley. I didn't tell you that the reason WHY I was having Riley in the first place was because one night almost 9 months prior to that, I was too drunk and careless to give a damn, about anything, especially myself.
To spare you the boring details I'll get right to the point. I was an alcoholic dating a loser pothead and having the time of my life. I was living at my mom's (mind you I was 32 years old, not a teenager). I was pathetic, lazy, unaccountable and most of all, completely oblivious to anyone else's feelings. I was a drunk, just getting started on throwing away any chances of living a decent, self-respecting life.
Ok, so that sets the scene. My boyfriend and I did what two jackasses do when they are carefree and stupid and we created life. Ahhhh, yes...I really knew what it was to be a jerk.
Within 6 months, my once fun loving boyfriend had hit the road, my mother was at her wit's end dealing with a daughter that she could hardly stand to look at, and I was finding an end of my own. I couldn't run away from life anymore. Ironic how I wanted out of life when I had a life growing inside me.
My best friend in NC coaxed me into moving back out there and living with her while I finish trying to make this baby inside me and have some sense of stability. It was the answer to my prayers.
By August 2004, I found myself living in Whittier, NC with my best friend, her little poodle, my two cats and my growing belly. I was scared to death and took it out on Robin as often as I could. Because, after all, it was her fault that I was in this mess. (please, enjoy the sarcasm).
December 1, 2004 and I'm laying motionless on a gurney while the nurse bags me while trying to explain to my mother, who is in scrubs next to me, why I look lifeless and am not responding. One neat thing (again, sarcasm) about being temporarily paralyzed when the epidural pumps too much anesthesia into you is that you have no use of your body, you can't feel a thing, you can't open your eyes or move a finger but you can hear everything. It's a complete twilight zone, especially in the maternity O.R.
Little Riley was brought forth at 9:12 am. I couldn't lift my head to look at her but I could hear her first screams. Music to my numb ears. I could hear voices telling me she was beautiful and had all ten toes and ten fingers. I ached to see her myself.
The doctor then explained that she was going to sew me up now while they took Riley out to clean her up. By all means, go right ahead. I'll just lay here motionless and wish that someone hadn't f*cked up in the prep room so I can actually see and hold my own child after carrying her for 9 months. I never felt so lonely in all my life.
Finally, the anethesia began to wear off. It started with my being able to move my eyebrows, then I could blink and finally, smile. If I could scream "WTF was that?!?!" I would have. Instead, I just wanted to see my Riley. I turned my head to my left and someone held her at table level so I could glance at her.
All I saw was her bright pink nose and squished little face amongst all her blankets. My first words after getting my voice back were "Is she cute?" Seeing her little button nose was enough evidence for me. My biggest fear was that she would look like me with a cleft lip and palate. We were spared that heartbreak and given a great looking little monkey.
WHOOAAA can I digress...
I have to stop and get to the real reason why I started this post. I wanted to share with you what I
almost missed if I hadn't of messed up my life in NC with my active alcoholism and found my place to breathe and recover here in Las Vegas. And how I ended up in Vegas from NC is another long post for another day *wink*.
A good friend called Riley this morning to wish her a happy birthday. I haven't seen this lady in a while and we were catching up a bit after they talked. She congratulated me on some blessings in my life that I've recently acquired and it hit me...WOW. I AM BLESSED! And it's all because of recovery, no doubt about it.
If I hadn't reached my emotional bottom and made my way into the rooms of recovery, I wouldn't have anything like I have today. Who knows where I'd be or what I'd be doing. I do know that celebrating my Angel's 6th birthday and speaking to a wonderful friend would not be on the docket, that's for sure.
Today, I am proud to share with you just some of the blessings that I have been so grateful to receive and enjoy. Thank You GAAWD for being there for me always with your subtle whispers and gentle reminders that You love me and will never leave me. This one goes out to You.
> A healthy, happy, beautiful 6 year old daughter
> A rental house in the Lynwood Community
> A blackberry phone to keep in touch with my loved ones
> A Toyota Camry
> Nice clothes, shoes and makeup
> The same job for almost 3 years
> Being able to host a huge Birthday Party this weekend for my Riley
> Friends that love us and are coming to celebrate with us.
> Long-distance friends that would be here without-a-doubt if the miles didn't separate us
> My restored physical and mental health
> Having a good credit rating
> Finding a safe place to be able to breathe
> Money in the bank
> Paying the bills on time
> Being single and setting healthy boundaries in my relationships
> Having a solution for living this life as it comes, one-day-at-a-time
> Having compassion for others
> Being able to hear and respond to that Something Within, my gauge, that tells me when it's time to slow down, get back to basics and remember where I've come from...and how far I've gone.