Tm – Keep It Green
Narcotics Anonymous only promises us freedom from active addiction and a new way of life, but in my eight years clean, I’d been extremely lucky in recovery. It was easy to have faith when it seemed like I was going to and did get everything I wanted.
My graduation from college, which had been deferred from December to May because I’d decided to get clean in the middle of my final exams week, happened in May, when I had six months clean. I met very close friends, “winners”, in NA immediately. After six months without being able to get a job, I was offered two. I moved out of my parent’s house, carting a garbage bag’s worth of stuff, and into an apartment I was now able to afford with furniture I was able to buy. I didn’t date for my first year in recovery, and the first guy I dated clean, I married. I got accepted to graduate school with a tuition waiver and completed my degree in three years. I retained a job for five years and my husband and I bought a house. Within a year of buying that house, we had both accepted new jobs that had doubled our current salaries. We went from barely making ends meet to not needing to worry about money, and two and a half years later, we sold that house quickly and bought an even bigger one along with two new cars. Without fear of financial security and secure in the love of a HP that had given me so many gifts, I felt at peace.
Then we decided to start a family. What we expected to be easy for us, as it seemed to be for everyone else, was not. I had foolishly believed that it would work out just as everything else had. After six months of trying, we sought professional help who suggested surgery. We had it and were told to try for another six months and that it “should” happen within that timeframe. It didn’t. My obsession and desire to control skyrocketed. I was an addict who was wanting a fix, which I thought meant getting pregnant, and I was desperate to get it. When another six months went by, we went back to the doctor.
By that time, I was mired in self-obsession. I was angry that it hadn’t worked out in the timeframe I’d expected, that others were getting what we wanted. I was fearful it would never work out and resentful that our journey already hadn’t been easy. No one in our local NA community had experienced the same route we were taking, and I felt alone. I was frustrated with the lack of understanding I felt I received and from hearing phrases like, “God’s time, not your time!” I knew that was true intellectually, and through practice of the 11th step, I could look back on my life and see all the ways I’d been taken care of, but I couldn’t surrender /this/. It wasn’t drugs! It was a desire to have a family! Perfectly natural, right? I started to feel that my HP, the all-powerful loving figure that had helped me get and stay clean, was with me through marriage and new jobs and relationships, had decided to punish me, and my self-obsession drove me into deeper and deeper isolation.
Through all of this, I maintained my recovery. I kept in touch with my sponsor, attended meetings regularly, and did service work. I struggled sharing at meetings what I was going through because it felt like an “outside issue,” even though I was dying on the inside. Even worse, I struggled maintaining friendships especially when anger, fear, and resentment were at the root of all of my interactions. We tried two more treatment options, one for three months in a row, which all failed.
Finally, after another six months, I started working the steps specifically around this issue, and after some prayer, we chose the end-all be-all of fertility treatments: In Vitro Fertilization. How could I, a recovering drug addict, inject myself with needles? But I started to feel at peace once we made the decision to move forward with it. When I was truly powerless over my addiction, I had to give up old people, places, and things and start the NA way of life. Here I was, finally powerless over our predicament, which meant giving up my old attitudes and beliefs about how to have or make a family and start living in the solution. Our solution was IVF.
Six months and 87 shots in the stomach and backside later, we are pregnant with twins. While IVF has given us the family we’ve always wanted and I can look back and realize that it all did happen in God’s perfect time, what truly happened for me is another spiritual awakening. My sense of a HP had to change. It couldn’t be dependent on me always getting what I want and thinking I’m “blessed.” If we aren’t humble, we will be humiliated, and the kind of stubborn addict I am meant I had to hit a deep bottom before I could start climbing back out. The thing that helped the most is that, through all of my tough times and my sense of alienation, I knew I needed to stay clean. Staying clean helped me get through this crisis and come out on the other side with a HP who is there for me no matter what and would never punish me. Today, I hope my story can help someone else. I went through my own personal hell, kept going, and came out on the other side happy and joyous and free.