Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

You’re Not A Mom, You Don’t Understand

My husband and I don’t have children.  It’s a very long, drawn out story, but the bottom line is I had to have a hysterectomy several years ago.  Although it was a terribly emotional decision, medically speaking, there weren’t other options.

As a couple, my husband and I got through it.  Separately we grieved in the way we each needed to so ultimately we could accept and move on.  While we have no idea what life will bring to us, we are grateful to have each other and the lives we have today.

I share this because when I sponsor/mentor other women, often issues will come up regarding their children.  If for some reason they don’t like how I suggest they might reconsider their reaction to the situation, as a matter of defensiveness I’ll often hear, “You don’t have children.  You don’t understand.”

That’s where they’re wrong.

You see it’s not about the children, (or the husband, the job, the family, the neighbors, etc.) it’s about us.  It’s about how we chose to handle emotional, anxiety-driven, uncomfortable, stressful situations.

This I most certainly understand.

I’ve had my fair share of being at those cross-roads … when there are easily two ways to respond to an uncomfortable situation.  I can either react in a “knee-jerk” manner, relying on how I used to handle things  (meaning before I got sober from alcohol and anorexia), or I can take a second and regroup.

When I can stop and take a deep breath, I allow myself the time to consider another course of action.  When I do this, I’ll respond in a much healthier manner – which, not surprisingly, will result in feeling less emotional, less anxiety-driven, less uncomfortable and far less stressful.  In my experience, it never fails.

All it takes is a moment to pause, breathe and regroup.  There’s nothing that says life has to be figured out this very second.  Further, I’m  respecting myself and those around me (no matter what their age) by slowing it down.

So you see it’s not about whether or not I’m a mom, it’s about my ability to understand as a fellow recovering adult woman. I know, without question, how I react and respond will get me nowhere if I do so based on old behavior.

No matter who is involved when our tempers are tested and/or our fears begin to escalate, all situations are best handled if we simply stop, slow it down and take a deep breath.

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One thought on “You’re Not A Mom, You Don’t Understand

  1. I can relate to this Alison. I say it’s not about the kids, it’s about behavior. Glad I’m not alone in this.


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